Jack Curry of the YES Network had an interesting announcement Friday. Longtime Yankees manager Joe Girardi is joining the team-owned channel as an analyst for the upcoming season.
Joe Girardi has been hired by the YES Network as an analyst for 2024. Girardi, who managed the Yankees to their last title in 2009, also contributed to 3 titles as a catcher. As a player, coach, manager & broadcaster, he's spent 17 seasons w/ the Yanks. Welcome to the booth, Joe
— JackCurryYES (@JackCurryYES) February 2, 2024
This is a smart move for the ex-Yankees skipper. Furthermore, it should be a permanent one. Joe Girardi hasn’t managed since being fired by the Philadelphia Phillies midseason in 2022. He also managed the Yankees for ten years, winning the World Series in 2009. His 910 wins rank sixth in team history.
Why should someone with such success, plus winning Manager of the Year with the Marlins in 2006, be stuck behind a desk on a studio set?
Well, several. First and foremost, Joe Girardi has the resume for the job. He played for 15 years and won three rings in the ’90s. A former catcher, he has a very unique understanding of the game. And as Yankees skipper, he had the binders to prove it!
Which brings us to the bigger reason why Joe Girardi should stay in broadcasting for the rest of his baseball career. He just doesn’t have what it takes to manage a major league team anymore. His ironclad determination and simultaneous self-doubt over playing by the numbers cost him the Yankee clubhouse.
The same happened in Philadelphia. The Phillies struggled over Girardi’s short tenure and he just kind of shut down. That the team went on to win the NL Pennant under his longtime lieutenant Rob Thomson says it all. Whatever his approach, it’s not landing in the majors anymore.
This isn’t to say that old school managers can’t win in MLB anymore. Just ask the Texas Rangers’ Bruce Bochy, who just won his fourth World Series ring at 68. Girardi is 59 and could earn one more shot if he’s willing to let go of the wheel.
Except we all know that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. If Joe Girardi manages ever again, it should be on the collegiate level. The season is shorter and better suited for his high-strung personality. Better he always sprint to the finish line than have to slog through losing position in a marathon.
And for what it’s worth, colleges are noticing Girardi. Central Florida offered him their head coaching job last summer. His alma mater Northwestern also showed serious interest. Girardi growing up in nearby Peoria made this sound like a strong match.
Except here’s the kicker. Joe Girardi said no to both jobs. One of which was probably perfect for him. He could have easily gotten the Wildcats back to their winning ways. What better way to drive up College World Series ratings than the possibility of a Joe Girardi meltdown?
Put it all together, and we have the most important reason Girardi should stay in the booth full-time. Based on everything that’s happened since he left Philly, does he even want to manage anymore? If he says no to his old college team, then who gets a yes?
It’s still early, but it looks more and more like that’s the ballgame on Joe Girardi managing again. Let’s see how he does in his return to broadcasting.