I went to bed Wednesday night happy after reading reports that the Yankees wanted Girardi to return to the club. It only made sense. Girardi lead a team projected to finish 81-81 to a wild card berth and 1 win away from the World Series. Then yesterday, I woke up to see that the Yankees will not be bringing him back. I was mad, really really mad.
Girardi has had the reigns of this club since 2008, and he has done a great job. Since then, the Yankees have the best record in baseball, and Girardi has the second most wins in baseball behind only Joe Maddon (Maddon has managed two clubs during this time). The question that remains on almost every Yankee fans mind: why the hell are the Yankees doing this?
Joe Girardi is not a perfect manager. He is not a Hall of Famer. Of the last two Yankee managers, he’s not even the best of those two. Reports have come flooding in about why Girardi was let go, including from former players of his, but it doesn’t matter. He’s gone, and there’s no need to discuss why anymore. This article won’t even speculate who the next manager will be. There is only one reason for me writing this: to say thank you.
Girardi, you weren’t perfect. You made some very questionable moves (even though you ended up winning the ALDS, you still should’ve challenged the hit-by-pitch). There were plenty of times I got mad at a move you’d make or a move you didn’t make, there were even times I called for you to get fired. But I’m glad you never did.
Looking back now, you were great. I still have no clue how you managed 85 wins from the 2013 roster (the 2013 roster had 420 combined games from Chris Stewart, Lyle Overbay, Jayson Nix and Travis Hafner). 2014 was probably your most disappointing season, but it’s not your fault all the players decided to stop hitting.
You won a World Series. You won 3 division titles. You made the playoffs 6 times. You never won less than 84 games in any season. You won 910 games. In fact, only twice you ever finished outside of 1st or 2nd in the AL East. There is no one else I can imagine running the club next season. I’m still hoping this is a terrible prank the Yankees are pulling on the fans and Girardi actually signed another 4 year deal.
What you did in 2017 will never be forgotten. You led a team that was projected to win 81 games to a 91 win season, a Wild Card victory, an ALDS victory, and an ALCS game 7 against arguably the best team in baseball. Sure, it definitely helped you that Judge hit 52 home runs and Sanchez turned into the best hitting catcher in baseball, and many other things, but nonetheless, you were the leader. You helped make Yankee fans everywhere love being a Yankee fan again. I was looking forward to you celebrating when the Yankees won the World Series in the next couple of seasons and seeing all your hard work paid off. I hope something happens that still allows this scenario to happen.
I just want to finish this off by saying two simple words: thank you. Thank you for your hard work and everything you’ve done for this club over the last 10 seasons. Being the Yankees manager is one of the hardest things a person can do in baseball, and you were great at it. As I speak for Yankee fans everywhere, I wish you nothing but the best, and hope you enjoy this time with your family. I hope you consider a return as the Yankees manager one day if the situation arises. Thank you for everything you have done for this club. Thank for helping renew my love for this sport and this team. Here’s hoping the next guy is half as good as you were. Thank you, Joe Girardi.
All gifs courtesy of MLB.com.