Joe Girardi will not return as manager of the Yankees next season. Now this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone as there have been rumors since the Bronx Bombers were eliminated by Houston last weekend that Girardi may not return. Still, this move is a gamble by general manager Brian Cashman (who I would assume is returning since he was part of the decision process not to bring Girardi back).
Why was Girardi fired? Well it wasn’t because of his failure to challenge the HBP in Game 2 of the ALDS as the NYY came back to win that series. It seems to be a combination of his robotic nature to the game, struggles with the media at times, players getting tired of his message, and his relationship with Cashman not being what it once was. For the Yankees to make this move after several other teams have already hired new skippers would make you think they have someone specific in mind to take over the team. Personally, I would think it will be someone not only big on analytics but also someone who is bilingual to help with the maturation of young stars like Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres. Here are a few (quite a few) names that could be in the mix.
- Don Mattingly: This is the fans choice as it’s hard to find a Yankee fan that doesn’t love Donnie Baseball. There is at least one small problem however. He’s still employed by the Miami Marlins as their manager. While it’s true that Derek Jeter seems to be firing anyone and everyone that was employed under former owner Jeffrey Loria, Mattingly as of right now still has a job and Jeter may not be anxious to see the club he played his Hall of Fame career for employ Mattingly as their manager immediately after he fires him.
- Willie Randolph: Probably the fans second favorite choice. The problem is although Randolph has experience managing in NY (a big plus) he hasn’t done so in almost a decade. I have a hard time seeing Cashman hiring someone who has been out of the game for that long.
- Kevin Long: He was one of the finalists for the Mets job but apparently wasn’t considered because he was too chummy with the players. It would be kind of ironic if his being let go of by the Mets is the reason the NYY all of a sudden don’t want Girardi back. I doubt it, but Long does have a history with the Yankees.
- Dusty Baker: The Nats have been widely criticized for not retaining Baker. This would give the Yankees not only someone who is used to performing under high expectations, but only someone who is recognizable, a name, and can handle big time personalities and the media.
- Manny Acta: He seems to be the choice now of several teams and the hottest name still available. He has had unsuccessful managerial stints in Washington and Cleveland and has a solid reputation around MLB.
- Alex Rodriguez: This would be the most ridiculous. ARod burned every bridge with the NYY when he was not only throwing the organization under the bus but also backing up over them when trying to escape his PED suspension. Still, he does have a great baseball mind but this will never ever happen unless George Steinbrenner is raised from the dead.
- Rob Thompson: He may be the choice if the NYY decide to go the safe route and keep their choice within the family. Lord knows he wasn’t the greatest 3B coach so maybe he would actually do a better job as manager. He is well liked by the players and embraces analytics.
- Mark DeRosa: Another one of the finalists for the Mets job. He is universally praised for his work on the MLB Network but would the Yankees want to hire someone with little to no managerial experience?
- Randy Levine: The Yankees president is such a blowhard and says so many stupid things he’d be perfect as the team’s manager. The players wouldn’t have to worry about answering questions about the game from the media as that horde would flock to Levine.
- Billy Crystal: It’s not like he’s making good movies anymore.
- Rudy Giuliani: His political career went to hell a while back also.
- Joe Fan: He believes he could do a better job than any manager and loves to critique on social media. Probably also the same person who doesn’t think the manager does anything but make pitching changes and submit a lineup.
You can find me on Twitter, @georgekurtz