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A number of blogs have discussed Joe Girardi’s status as a lame duck manager today, with Joe Pawlikowski over at RAB comprehensively covering the subject. He concludes, and I agree, that:

…it would take not only any catastrophe, but one that could be blamed solely on Girardi, for him to get the axe after this season. It’s hard to argue with a World Series title during your first contract.

My question to you is twofold.

1) Do you think Girardi should have that sort of job security? I do, for the reason very eloquently stated by commenter Honorable Congressman Mondesi in the comments to the RAB post:

You know, I know it’s a results-driven business, but I don’t think there are any managerial options who I trust more to get the process right than Girardi. Even when I disagree with his moves, which last year was more often than I expected, I have faith that he’s thinking critically about what he’s doing and using the information available to him, and that’s really the most important thing. Of course none of that would matter if he didn’t have the ability to choose the right tacts and strategies, but he does more often than not, and when he errs, I don’t think he’s too proud to realize it and I think he’s able to understand why and work on fixing whatever problem he might have. He’s a really smart guy who seems to have a good relationship with and the trust of the front office, he seems to not only think critically but also be open to learning and changing his ways, and he showed a marked improvement in one area of weakness, dealing with the media, that’s important for a manager of this team. It’s all about the process, and I have faith that he’s the right guy to get that right and keep it going.

There really is not much I can add to that. I cannot remember a single decision that Girardi has made in the last two seasons for which I could not come up with a rational, somewhat reasonable explanation for. He may be mistaken at times, but he always thinks about what he is doing and tries to be logical.

2) If you believe they should extend him, when do you think it should be done? One the one hand, his contract status could become a distraction for the club, which suggests he should be given a new deal prior to the season. However, if you do not believe that the manager’s status will be a major issue to the players, it might make sense to wait until the end of the season, as he currently has an immense amount of leverage. A good season is unlikely to increase his leverage by much, but a weaker year could help the Yankees in negotiations.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Chime in below.

Photo Credit: Ny Daily News

13 Responses to “Discussion: Girardi’s Contract Status”

  1. Thanks for the h/t, it’s pretty exciting for a lowly member of the commentariat like me.

    As far as question 2 is concerned… I like their policy of not negotiating contracts before they expire, but I think there’s a case to be made for making an exception for managers. If a player’s contract is set to expire and the team has a bad couple of weeks, the team won’t have to deal with constant media attention being paid to the contract status of that player. The same certainly cannot be said concerning the manager, there’s the potential for the manager’s contract status to become a season-long story in the NY media that could become a long-term distraction for the team. Then again, if the Yankees make it clear that their policy is to not negotiate contracts before existing contracts expire and that their failure to extend Girardi is simply due to that policy, that would probably quiet the media attention on the manager’s contract status a bit… And I think Cashman applies the no-negotiation prior to expiration policy even to himself, which further supports the dispassionate nature of the policy and should further mute any possible media noise.

    So… While, like I said, I understand the argument for making an exception to the rule for the manager, I still think the Yanks should stick to their policy of not negotiating until the existing contract expires. That way there’s no question how anybody – be it a player, coach, manager or front office member – should approach their negotiations, and nobody can ever read anything at all into the Yanks’ decision to either negotiate or not prior to the expiration of the existing contract since they wouldn’t ever actually be making that decision.  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    I think you make an excellent point regarding the team policy. As long as this is the way they treat everybody, which it does seem to be, it is unlikely to cause a major distraction on the level of “Why wont they sign him, maybe they dont want him back.” People will understand that this is the way the Yankees do business, and that Girardi is not managing for his job.  (Quote)

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    The Honorable Congressman Mondesi Reply:

    Yeah… I mean, they’ll still say that, but it’ll be a quieter riot than it would be if the Yankees didn’t have that policy. I mean, we’re still talking about the NY media and fans, here, they won’t be able to completely escape that talk.  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    Yeah, I’m probably giving too much credit to the NY media/fans.  (Quote)

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    Tom Swift Reply:

    Besides, the players know that he will be extended, just as they know that Jeter will be extended. I doubt that they will deal with him as a short timer. A manager who needs a new contract to have authority in the clubhouse is perhaps someone who doesn’t deserve a new contract.  (Quote)

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    Ken (O.R.) Reply:

    Very, very good on both posts…. THCM….
    I heartily agree, no contract until this one is done with, just like everyone else.
    No contract…no problems down the line with others that may have a good year and want a new contract.  (Quote)

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  2. As Mo already said, I really can’t add anything to what the good congressman said. Well done.  (Quote)

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  3. Give Girardi $2 million more for this year and have him platoon with Gardner.  (Quote)

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  4. I too thinks he deserves an extension (I actually haven’t found anybody who disagrees with that). But the problem is, Hal Steinbrenner’s policy is “no extensions.” I don’t understand it.  (Quote)

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    Steve S. Reply:

    They’d rather pay a little extra to re-sign the player as a free agent then give them an extension, have them get hurt and have it be dead money on their books for years to come. They figure “We’re the Yankees, if we really want someone we can always outbid everyone else.”

    As HCM said above, it makes more sense for players than it does managers.  (Quote)

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  5. Ugh, reply fail.  (Quote)

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  6. Don’t mind me. I’m new here.  (Quote)

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  7. the yanks will do the right thing for their manager , girardis heart is in the game and his loyalty to yanks is no question, i know he would take less money if it were the case to stay on with the yanks..$ won’t be the case.. torre got 7mil when the closest salary was 3mil as a mgr. he was offered 5mil and was insulted and walked, good for us..girardi will be rewarded for winning and making sound moves..he knows that..he is not worried why should anyone else..these writers create drama when their is no drama around..mismanagement and arrogance ,can only hurt him..i only hope he knows the pressure is off now the he has a ring, and don’t panic in april again and burn mo and the rest of the pen..,those games vs sox last april were handled by him like playoff games..it was to early in the season to push mo more than 1 inn. girardi was to nerved up..relax joe, pressure is off in april..it didn’t work lat year 0 and 8, or the year before…don’t burn mo.. and keep your eye on cano..  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

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