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As ESPN.com reports, Jim Leyland and Joe Girardi have been named managers of the year. Remember Joe Girardi? He got shitcanned a week after the regular season ended because the Marlins owner is fucking insane.

Now, before I get into this, let's all remember one thing - I (along with Vinnie, your resident baseball experts) don't believe managers have a gigantic amount of influence on a given team. At most, I think they're only able to affect the outcomes of maybe 7-10 games a year (or 50 if that manager is Larry Bowa).

A lot of times - as you saw this postseason with the Grizzlefest of Jimmy Leyland - managers are given a really disproportionate amount of credit for what they actually do (how good is that Tigers team if Bonderman, Rodgers and Verlander don't pitch like absolute madmen throughout the entire season?). The bottom line is this: there is no way to manage bad players into being a good team, regardless of who's flashing the signs from the dugout. I don't care whether it's Joe Torre sitting there doing nothing, Jim Leyland chain smoking and stroking his mustache or if it's Tony LaRussa calling 15 pitching changes and 4 suicide squeezes in one inning; without the ponies, you ain't winnin' the derby.

As such, my praise of Girardi is somewhat limited. I think Girardi did "surprisingly" well only because the young talent they had (guys like Hermida and Uggla who are phenomenal young talents) were just unheralded, not bums. It's not like he managed a team full of guys like Kevin Seitzer and Bobby Kielty to an NLCS birth, he won a bunch of games with a solid core of young talent.

That being said, the motherfucker got jobbed. Getting fired after a season like this just because of some meaningless tiff with Jeffrey "Fire Sale!" Loria is as ridiculous and unjustified of a termination I can think of in sports. If there is a bright side to this story, it's this:

"It's nice that people who watch the game every day understood what we accomplished," Girardi said, adding he wasn't particularly surprised to win. "We had a lot of good things happen."

Translation: "Fuck you, Jeffrey Loria."

Also, don't feel bad for Joe Girardi, because next year he'll be in the Yankees broadcast booth. Presumably with Jim Leyritz. Man, those guys were clutch and gritty. They paved the way for these new young punks like Eckstein.

3 comments:

Matt Zuchowski 5:54 PM  

True story, I got Joe Girardi and Jim McMahon's autographs as a youth as a reward for reading a shitload of childern's books. For a brief period of time, I was a dorky overachiever.

Vinnie 7:43 PM  

True story: For a brief period of time (kindergarten through twelfth grade) I was a dorky overachiever too. Then for a subsequent brief period (college), I was a horrendous underachiever and incidentally, even more dorky than before.

But yeah, I have a hard time giving Girardi much credit for this year because the talent truly was there. Yeah, they were a bunch of rookies, but three of them were among the four best in the NL (according to the admittedly imperfect measure of ROY voting results), including one All-Star and one Cy Young candidate.

Knowing their respective records in the department of being decent people, I'm guessing Loria was way more in the wrong with that whole nonsense, but then again, Girardi sent Uggla up to sac bunt on a number of occasions, says Dan LeBatard. Of course, that has nothing to do with Loria's firing him, but that would have plenty to do with my firing him were I someone capable of firing Joe Girardi. That, and I don't like dagos.

Vinnie 9:55 PM  

Also, I wonder how much that signed card is worth. I can't believe someone would even photograph it, for risk of light damage.

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