Joe Girardi will not return to the New York Yankees as manager in 2018, according to a report by ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan.
In a statement from Girardi, per Sweeny Murti of WFAN, it was revealed “with a heavy heart” that it was the Yankees’ decision to not bring Girardi back. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made the call, advising Hal Steinbrenner to make the move.
The 53-year-old spent 10 seasons as the Yankees skipper, winning a World Series title in 2009. He recently led the Yankees to an improbable appearance in the ALCS where they fell in seven games to the Houston Astros. It was a remarkable season considering New York was a rebuilding club not expected to make the postseason this year.
“I want to thank Joe for his 10 years of hard work and service to this organization,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman wrote in his official statement. “Everything this organization does is done with careful and thorough consideration, and we’ve deiced to pursue alternatives for the managerial position.”
Despite the success, Girardi was often put under the microscope for managerial decisions, which is common in New York. But he was accused of overmanaging games, mismanaging his bullpen and not utilizing his challenges correctly.
He fell under fire most recently after Game 2 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians when he failed to challenge a play in which Lonnie Chisenhall was ruled to have been hit by a pitch with the Yankees leading 8-3 with two outs in the sixth to load the bases. Replays showed that the ball had, in fact, hit the knob of Chisenhall’s bat, but Girardi chose not to challenge it and he was awarded first base. The next batter, Francisco Lindor, hit a grand slam to spark the Indians comeback. They won the game 9-8 in 13 innings.
New York came back to win the series and move on to the ALCS, where they once again overturned a 2-games-to-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead before losing the last two games of the series in Houston.
While there were and will be arguments against him, Girardi is one of the greatest managers in franchise history as his 910 wins rank sixth on the team’s all-time list. He never had a losing season — continuing the organization’s streak offseasons over .500 to 25 years — despite heavy roster turnover that was highlighted by the retiring of the team’s “Core Four” of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.
He has more playoff appearances in his 10-year term with the Yankees than eight MLB franchises have in their entire history, including the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals.
His departure continues the dizzying trend of successful managers being let go. Dusty Baker of the Nationals and John Farrell of the Boston Red Sox both won division titles this season and made the playoffs before they were fired.
The Mets also made a change at manager after Terry Collins resigned following the final game of the regular season. They introduced former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as their new manager on Monday.
This is the first time that the Mets and Yankees have made changes at the managerial position in the same offseason since 1992. The Yankees let go of Stump Merril and hired Buck Showalter while the Mets parted ways with Mike Cubbage and brought on Jeff Torborg.
There has been speculation in the last few days that the Nationals might be interested in bringing on Girardi as manager. With him now on the market, that’s something to keep an eye out for.