By JUSTIN STEVENS
Joe Girardi will not be wearing those Yankee pinstripes next season. The team announced that Girardi will not be resigned after completing the final year of a four-year, $16 million contract.
Girardi, 53, announced in an e-mail to local news media outlets that with a “heavy heart” that “the Yankees have decided to not bring me back.” In the same statement, he went of and thanked many people including Yankees executives and his assistant coaches.
The move comes right after the Yankees were one game away from reaching the world series. But their season ended after they lost to the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
Girardi was manager for the past 10 years and lead the Yankees to a combined 910-710 record, which equated to a .562 winning percentage. Along the way, Girardi also lead the Yankees to a World Series championship and they made the playoffs six times.
The decision was ultimately made by owner Hal Steinbrenner after general manager Brian Cashman recommended that the team swap managers. There had been an extreme amount of tension growing throughout the latter part of the 2017 season and the Yankees playoff run with Girardi making questionable calls along the way.
His biggest criticism came in Game two of the American League Divisional Series against the Cleveland Indians when Girardi declined to ask for a replay review on a controversial call. The decision opened the door for an Indians comeback.
Girardi was hired in 2008, replacing Hall of Fame manager, Joe Torre. His first season under the helm resulted in the first time the Yankees missing the playoffs since 1994. But in the next season, Girardi lead the Yankees to a World Series championship.
The biggest challenge for the Yankees will be hiring a new manager. With no clear-cut candidates the front office needs to decide if they go for a big name, or for a young gun who could connect to the young Yankees team.
Overall, the news media have done a great job reporting the release of Girardi and they’ve been fair to both sides. Although the move had been coming for some time, it showed that there was an immense amount of respect for the news media and to Girardi. Not many people who get fired turn to local news media outlets and break the story to them. Only with a mutual level of respect, does something like that occur.