Joe Girardi has managed his last game for the New York Yankees, at least for now. (The Yanks most famous owner, the late George Steinbrenner, brought back fired manager Billy Martin five times — and Steinbrenner’s pugnacious ghost still presides over this team, it sometimes seems.) Girardi leaves the Yankees skipper’s seat with a lifetime manager’s record of 910-710, Hall of Fame-level stats and good job security probably anywhere but the Bronx. Despite a long successful tenure including a 2009 World Series victory, Girardi was ridiculed after opting not to challenge a hit-by-pitch ruling that probably cost the Yankees the game against Cleveland in Game 2 of the ALDS. Letting Girardi go may be a case of the common affliction known as “what have you done for me lately” — with the recent incident overshadowing a strong showing over a decade.
After the mistake, which Girardi owned up to, the manager said: “The only thing I can do is give my best to this team moving forward. And that’s what I’ll do.” But Girardi’s chance to do that was limited to the remainder of the playoffs. Girardi will likely have plenty of offers to choose from going forward, but he’s tied to the famous pinstripes. Though Girardi played for different teams throughout his career (Cubs, Rockies, Cards), he spent four prime years as a player with the Yankees in the late 1990s winning three World Series crowns.