In a somewhat surprising development (considering the year the Yankees just had), it is being reported that the New York Yankees have fired manager Joe Girardi. Girardi will part ways with the Yankees after ten years.
Ten years of work make it easy to get a picture of Girardi's tenure as a Yankee manager. His record of 910-710 is easily divisible by ten to give you an average season of 91-71. That seems like a successful run. The Yankees won the World Series with him at the helm in 2009.
On the other hand, Girardi's teams (which are always expected to win) only finished on top of the division three times in those ten years and the World Series year is the only year of the ten that the Yankees were the top team (pennant winner) of the American League.
A quick look at his seasons show more wins early in his tenure as he inherited the aging dynasty personnel of the Joe Torre years. For years, Girardi was dealt a roster that included fading stars and high-end free agents on the downward sides of their careers.
This past season, when the Yankees were not expected to be a great team as a transition was made to youth, the team performed better than expected and made it to the seventh game of the ALCS. You would think that would bode well for a manager's security.
But in the Yankees' world view, only winning a World Series is acceptable. And like Kennedy of the Red Sox and Dusty Baker of the Nationals, Joe Girardi paid the price of not getting to the Series and bringing a title home to NY. It will be interesting to see if he again wins the Manager Of The Year Award for the second time as he heads out a team's door.
Girardi was a good manager who handled what he was dealt as a roster really well from year to year. He was great (most of the time) in handling his bullpen. What irked the most was his handling of starting pitchers and his constant and obsessive tinkering of the lineup. He seemed to handle young players very well and (with perhaps the exception of Derek Jeter, which is understandable) did not have problems replacing veterans in the lineup if they were not producing.
Speculation will begin about who the next manager will be. A big key to this team in 2017 was the clubhouse vibe and atmosphere. Care must be taken to keep that vibe going for the young team moving forward. It will be very interesting if two men in the 2017 dugout will be considered or if they will all be swept out with Girardi.
So long, Joe Girardi. Much success in the future. You did a good job. It just was not good enough for the Yankees.