Earlier today, a person familiar with the deal came out to say the Phillies have agreed to hire 55 year old Joe Elliot Girardi to replace their former manager Gabe Kapler. The anonymous person spoke to Association Press and made it clear that the team has not announced the decision yet but the deal is yet to be signed.
Gabe Kapler was fired in October 2019 underweight of losses and leadership issues. The general manager of Phillies Matt Klentak took it upon himself to show appreciation to Gabe for his hard work and tireless commitment. “When we hired Kap, it was our goal to develop a positive, forward-thinking and collaborative culture throughout the organization that would allow us to compete with the best teams year in year out”. Seems like Gabe fell short of these expectations but he was still grateful for the time he had spent with them.
Phillies managing partner John Middleton said he expected Klentak to lead the search for the next manager though Kapler had one year left on his contract with Phillies. Kapler went on to thank the team and the city of Philadelphia. He also wished the next manager well when he said “we came into 2019 with high hopes, we fell short of these and the responsibility lies with me. Whoever is the next Phillies manager will inherit a team of talented and dedicated players”.
Who is Joe Girardi? Is he up for the task?
Joe Girardi managed the Florida Marlins in 2006 and was named the National League Manager of the year though he was fired after the season. He also managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017 and led them to it’s 27th World series title beating the Phillies in six games in 2009. Fair enough, but why is he the “trophy manager”? Four major identifiable reasons are
- He is focused and always places his work first. When Girardi’s father died in 2012, he had kept the news from his players for days and said that he didn’t want the team to have to deal with it.
- Joe is an experienced man who managed two teams for 11 years. There are other competent managers that could possibly take the place of Gabe but Joe’s years of experience are undeniable facts that he was perfect for the job. Apart from the fact that he had many years of experience, he had won the manager of the year, three times!
- He had a decent education, he studied engineering, majoring in industrial engineering at Northwestern University. Being an engineer was not a bad idea but he ended up on the pitch. Girardi had said he loves maths and made use of it in scouting reports, trying to figure how to get hitters out, which pitchers to use, when to use certain things and so on and so forth. Obviously, his engineering skills had not gone to waste, he used them well. Girardi is well vexed in strategical and personnel decisions.
- He was a good player himself. He had won three world series championships within the years 1996,1998 and 1999. In October 1996, he hit a go-ahead triple off Brave’s Greg Maddux, a former teammate in a game. Also on September 28 2003, he singled off the D’ backs’ Edgar Gonzalez in the last plate appearance of his career. These and many more are the important memories and things he did in his days which contribute to the reason why he’s the ideal candidate to take place of the manager at Philadelphia.
What were Phillies fans saying? Some of the fans displayed positive reactions on Twitter, others couldn’t hide their disappointment. ” I forgive Girardi for cheating during the 2009 world series” a fan said, another fan also claimed he can be a Phillies fan again and he hoped the team can be watchable once again.
Other candidates are Luis Rogas and Derek Shelton but Joe Girardi has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is perfect for the job. As said earlier, the deal is yet to be signed and announcement yet to be made. Perhaps he seems like the ideal candidate but until it’s done, we can’t be sure.