Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Bomber Bites With Jumping Joe–Is Joe Girardi On the Hot Seat?

Mandatory Credit: Chad R. MacDonald.

Mandatory Credit: Chad R. MacDonald.

Joe Girardi has been the manager of the Yankees since the 2008 season when he took over for Hall of Famer Joe Torre.  Girardi missed the playoffs in his first year but rebounded to win the World Series in 2009.  He guided the Yankees to the playoffs from 2010-2012 but before missing the playoffs last season. Other than Torre, Girardi is already the longest tenured manager since Ralph Houk was manager from 1966-1973.  After a frustrating season in 2013, and a sluggish start to 2014, we may be looking at the end of the Joe Girardi Era.

First of all, I don’t think a move will be made before the end of the season.  At least not in regards to the manager. However, the hitting coach, Kevin Long or the third base coach, Robby Thompson, might be sent packing before the All-Star break if the offense doesn’t improve.  The Yankees signed him to a four year $16 million deal only last October.  The Yankees would probably be loathe to eat that much salary.  That doesn’t mean his seat is getting warmer each day his lineup struggles to score runs.

Girardi does several things very well as manager.  He uses the bullpen more effectively than nearly any manager in the game.  In fact, he handles the entire staff with a golden touch that his Hall of Famer predecessor severely lacked. He also has shown through his heavy use of advanced statistics, a knack for choosing the correct match-up and late game substitutions.  However, he also does many of his managerial duties very poorly.  He can be a slave to the binder containing his advanced metrics, forgoing seemingly clear and basic baseball decisions in favor of bizarre tendencies.  He has also had a lot of trouble in dealing with aging stars.  Jorge Posada‘s final season was a disaster that was made worse by Girardi’s benching on national television twice.

However, the biggest complaint I have about Girardi at the current moment, is the fact that he does not seem to be getting his players ready to play everyday.  Over the last year, the team has come out flat over and over and over again.  The team has no fire or passion.  Girardi is not inspiring his team to take the field and dominate on the course to a win.  The are often listless and seemingly unconcerned with the outcome of the game.  Now, I am not saying the Bombers are not playing hard or don’t want to win.  It just seems like Girardi’s act has run its course.  It seems like the team has lost the intensity and passion they once had.  A change in command, might be just the thing to get some bounce back in the Yankees’ legs.

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  • Joseph

    I don’t see where you think he has some sort of Midas touch on eithr the pen or the rotation in general.

    Just this past week I watched him yank a starter out after having given up 1 ER and thrown 71 pitches, only to watch us use the pen for 8.2 innings in a marathon extra-inning affair. Needless to say, 2 nights later we paid the price when a couple of arms were deemed “off-limits” due to being over-worked and we went on to lose that game.

    Then a few days later he used Betances, our most dominant bullpen arm, for not just one out but one pitch. He hadn’t pitched the day before and we had a travel day the next day yet he cose to go to another arm in the pen for 2 innings. They faded after four outs and that in turn forced him to go to our closer in the 8th inning.

    As far as the rotation goes, I also don’t see it. Hughes and Joba never got any traction under him, Nova had been as inconsistent as a starter could be right up until the point where he got hurt, C.C. has failed transition from a “thrower” to a “pitcher” and two years in a row he didn’t properly use Kuroda early on and we ended up seeing the guy fade down the stretch.

    His binder addiction is even more intriguing because I am a stat guy, a SABR nerd and half the time I am looking at the numbers and just don’t see what he sees.

    Just the last two days, with our offense struggling to score runs, he puts the hapless Soriano in the lineup vs King Felix and Scott Kazmire. Soriano is strugglign enough right now that you don’t need to pencil him in versus two hurlers he is a combind 2 for 21 off of with 11 SO’s lol. Then right on queue Soriano had hapless at-bat after hapless at-bat, leaving a bevy of runners on base.