Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is Joe Girardi's job in trouble? One columnist seems to think so

There's a whole to-do in Yankeeland over Bob Klapisch's Bergen Record column suggesting that Joe Girardi is "managing for his job."

Klapisch's main points:
  • Girardi has a "history of putting his foot on the gas," like with the 2006 Marlins pitching staff: "Three of the five starters — Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez – all suffered injuries the following season. And another, Dontrelle Willis, has never been the same." And now, the writer charges, Girardi is doing the same with CC Sabathia.
  • The Yankee manager is too "tight," as one veteran describes him. Klapisch writes that "Girardi’s confidence has turned to a square-jawed form of desperation."
  • Girardi used a "strategy of fear" in bringing in Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning of the Mets game, and "almost got burned."
  • Why is Joe so tight? Because, the columnist charges, "Girardi knows his managerial career will be over if he gets fired by the Yankees."
  • It's also because Girardi is under a lot of "pressure" due to declining ticket sales. Klapisch says that the Yankees' have much "angst over ticket sales — they failed to sell out the Subway Series and are urgently reminding fans that seats are available for the Red Sox series in August." The writer says "that pressure trickles down to Cashman, then to Girardi and, ultimately, to the players."
My own thoughts? Girardi should lose his job if the Yankees don't make the playoffs this year. But Brian Cashman ought to lose his job as well. And Lonn Trost and Randy Levine ought to have lost their jobs already over the new stadium debacle.

Speaking of which, this article makes it sound like there were plenty of seats available for the Subway Series and Yankees-Red Sox games. Sure, there are a plethora of seats - if you don't mind spending $900 a ticket. Otherwise, there is nothing available. We were at the Friday Subway Series game, and it was packed, as were the other games in the series.

I spent some time this morning looking at Ticketmaster to see what is still unsold for the Yanks-Sox. There is literally nothing available in the grandstand, bleachers, terrace, or even the main section. The only tix still not sold are the still-overpriced Legends Suite ones - the seats Trost is responsible for overpricing in the first place. Just because one Record reader complained to Klapisch about getting emails about ticket sales, doesn't mean that there are Yanks-Red Sox tickets available.

Besides, how exactly is Girardi responsible for that sales problem? And if, as Klapisch suggests, the pressure to sell these tickets is ultimately trickling down to management and to the players, then some heads need to roll. But it shouldn't be Joe Girardi's; it should be Trost's - and Levine's.

The columnist also writes that A-Rod can't handle this pressure. Yet he seems to blame Girardi for Alex's slumping state now by not giving him a day off. Which one is it? (I agree that Girardi mismanaged giving Rodriguez rest. But to suggest, as Klapisch seems to, that declining ticket sales are ultimately causing negative pressure on A-Rod is just laughable.)

As for Klapisch's disapproval of Girardi bringing in Mariano in the eighth inning against the Mets, Joe got grief for being too inflexible not bringing him in for the Red Sox game the night before. Which one is it?

Also, was it a "strategy of fear," as Klapisch calls it with Girardi, when Joe Torre used Mo in the eighth inning in big games for both the Red Sox and Mets so many times? Also, as Squawker Jon noted, the heart of the Mets lineup was coming up then. It's also curious how Klapisch assigns blame to Girardi, not Rivera, for the Mets scoring in the eighth.

I do think Girardi mismanaged A-Rod's rest and recovery. And even though I wanted Girardi to replace Joe Torre, I also think Girardi deserves to lose his job if the Yanks don't make the playoffs this year. But I disagree with the other complaints against Girardi listed in this column.

What do you think about Joe Girardi? Tell us about it!


Bostowned said...

I hate to say it but Hank and Hal are not George. No one is getting fired and the Yanks wont make the playoffs. You cant possibly think they can be successful if they cant beat the Sox.

Look every team goes through slumps but you dont slump when facing the Mets, Nats and Marlins in that order and walk away with 4 wins out of 9. Thats just a lack of chemistry. Something we all thought we finally had again last month.

After we lose 2 of 3 to the Braves and fall to 3rd place, you'll believe me.

She-Fan said...

I agree, Lisa, that many of the points in the article aren't Girardi's fault. I put some of the blame on Cashman, especially for A-Rod's situation. Didn't Cash say A-Rod was "an asset" and wasn't he in touch with the doctors before, during and after the hip surgery? Then why didn't he insist that A-Rod be rested before the Marlins series?

yankee daddy said...

If we don't make playoffs, Girardi gets the axe. I think we'll get in as the wild card. If Wang drops to 0-6, he's got to be in the pen. Let's go with Hughes,Kennedy, or Igawa. It can't be any worse.

NAM said...

Can't the Yankees take out some of the plush seats and add some more economical seats during the all star break? I know the stadium isn't empty, but it feels like it when you watch the game on t.v. and see all the empty seats over the home ump's shoulder.

Uncle Mike said...

I'm beginning to worry that the situation at Yankee Stadium is the same as the situation was at Madison Square Garden: As long as Daddy Owner has a job, Kid Owner has a job; as long as Kid Owner has a job, (fill in the blank: Isiah Thomas, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost or Brian Cashman) has a job; as long as (fill in the blank) has a job, nothing's going to get better.

The complaints about Girardi are similar to the complaints Phillies fans had about Charlie Manuel... but that ultimately turned out okay.

But Levine and Trost are a pair of jokes, and I just hope it won't take to get them out of The Stadium what it took to get Isiah out of The Garden.

As for Klapisch, he used to be a truly great columnist. But now, he may be suffering from Dick Young Disease, believing so much in his own talent and rectitude that he's frittering it away in ever-more-bitter prose. (Memo to Mike Lupica and Peter Vescey: You two are more than halfway there. Don't finish the journey!)

Anonymous said...

Complaints re: Girardi seem to be expected. Not much else to write about. My observation is even if the Yankees make it to the playoffs all the opposing team has to do is bring up a pitcher from AAA who the Yanks have never seen and Yanks lose. Pitiful.
As for the seats, I have a Sunday package and even at the Mets game there were empty seats and Lisa is right it is the $900 seats.
And seriously, during the game when they "upgrade" us folks in the cheap seats...Laughable b/c all they want to do is fill in all those blanks on tv. Do not kid yourself it is customer relations.
Yankee organization at its best. The thing is they have us over a barrel b/c we love baseball.


Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon and blame someone but if you really want to blame someone it's George Steinbrenner and his Tampa group of advisers. What we are suffering today is all those past their prime free agents signings from 2001 up unto Johnny Damon for the 2005 season.
Firing everybody and his mother won't solve a thing. Who is the holier than thou replacement?
The farm system got neglected, no chance to get decent drafts, we have old men that need rest in Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui that has become uni dimensional, no decent backups for catcher or infielders. And we are still three or maybe four years away from getting away from all this mess.
However, I don't think we are in such a bad shape. We can still make the playoffs.
Currently I'm worried about Melky (is he injured?) and Matsui (has he lost it completely?).
Wang wasn't signed a long term contract when Cano was because this guy has been extremely lucky, very low K/9 rate, and his groundout to flies rate has been going down. I'm only wondering how long will it take for the Yankees to realize that Wang will make a better job from the bullpen.
The current mismanagement is having both Berroa and Tomko taking roster space because they are seldomly used and Tomko pitches poorly when he does.
I'm starting to wonder if Girardi and Cashman are in the same page in regard to player usage.

"Nutball Gazette" said...

He did not have a clue about A-Rod being fatigued, I was all for Torre going and Girardi getting the job but not anymore, Time for Cashman to be replaced by Showalter and have him select a manager, Maybe Bobby Valentine.

Roger 9 said...

Playoffs for the Yankees? I don't think so! They have trouble beating even the lowly teams.
The underlying problem is with the way the team is structured. Old,injured and unable to play the positions that they are in..no real defensive outfielders, no effective bullpen and starters that can't go seven innings consistently.The solution will never happen as long as the upper level execs remain.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Change has begun, when Cashman was about to leave the team in 2005. He asked for total control. Since then, he has been overridden just once, in the A-Rod signing.
Last year was a bad draft in that they couldn't sign the number one draft, don't know if that can be blamed on the player or the Yankees.
If Cashman is fired or not renewed, somebody else is going to reap what Cashman sowed. Something like the current Dodgers on what Paul DePodesta built but is not enjoying.

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