His New York Yankees are up 2-0 over the Twins in the ALDS, but there remains uncertainty whether manager Joe Girardi, who is in the final year of his contract, will return to the Yankees next year. But even if he departs, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll be coming to manage the Chicago Cubs.

As the Yankees worked out to face the Twins in their American League Division Series, I polled a dozen people who either work for the Yankees or deal with them on a regular basis.

Asked to rate the chances Girardi will change jobs after the playoffs on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the least chance, the New York insiders gave replies ranging from a -1 to a 3.5.

“The door’s open,” one said, “but just a crack.”

None among those surveyed thinks there is even a 50-50 chance Girardi is sufficiently weary of New York and all that life there entails to pull the plug. That could change if something goes very bad against the Twins, but one person close to the Yankees’ brain trust offered a take that must be the worst fear for anyone who covets Girardi in the Cubs’ dugout.

“If he does go somewhere, it won’t be (to Chicago),” he said. Chicago Tribune.

As discussed previously, the Cubs seem content to wait on Girardi’s Yankees so that they have the opportunity to kick the tires on the former Cub. Still, while it is unlikely that the Cubs’ apparent top two choices – Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg – will be jetting off to somewhere else any time soon (or, that is, before they know whether they’re getting the Cubs’ job), if the Cubs sense that Girardi is not going to happen, they may just have to go ahead and make a decision. The longer they wait, the more they suggest that Quade/Sandberg are mere fall-back options.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Of course Quade and Sandberg are fall-back options. Girardi is the only real choice. But if he leaves the Yankees he’s not going anywhere but to the Cubs.

  • KB

    Some of these things are so transparent that it’s laughable…Girardi’s agent obviously wants to create “leverage” in his upcoming contract negotiations with the Spankees this winter. So, of course, he’ll string the desperate Cubs along for awhile…why not?

    Girardi would have to be completely out of his mind to leave a Brian Cashman-run franchise for a Jim Hendry-run one. Like, out of his SKULL.

    Just give Quade the gig, for Pete’s sake.

  • jstraw

    Quade will take whatever the Cubs offer him. Give him a one year deal with Sandberg as his bench coach and Maddox as his pitching coach.

  • Cardfan

    Actually think he will end up in StL if McDrinkin leaves.

    Now let’s take a moment to recognize another spectacular exit by the Central Division pennant winner. As we slowly dissolve into the NFC West of baseball, it is interesting to note that, since the Cardinals won the WS in ’06, the NL Central champ has yet to win even one playoff game. Pathetic.

    • Jeff

      As bad as that is, the Twins have now lost 12 straight playoff games and won only one series in the last 10 years despite averaging 90 wins a year. I still can’t tell if I’d rather the Cubs were bad during the regular season every year or good during the regular season and bad in the playoffs.

      • Ace

        It would be painful to see, for sure. Then again, the Cubs have lost 9 straight playoff games, and one playoff series in the last 26 years, so maybe we’ll soon know how it feels.

    • Ace

      I thought I read that the Cards and LaRussa had agreed that he’d come back next year?

      And as for the Central, I keep waiting for the division to make it look bad that we have six teams and the AL West has just four, but… alas…

      • Jeff

        St. Louis is in the NFC West in football. The AL West should adopt the Cards according to the NFL geography. It would balance the divisions, right?

        • Bric

          I would love to see the divisions balanced back. Either Houton or St. Louis could be switched to the A.L. West. But there’s three probablems that prevent it from ever happening. #1 is those teams would lose traditional rivals they’ve always had. This is probably the easiest to fix. #2 is that with 15 teams in each league it would take very creative scheduling to make sure that all 15 teams had someone to play every week (unlike the NFL, MLB only has about 2 weeks when all the teams can play each other). This also could be fixed by changing the way interleague rules work. #3 is the hardest one to fix: money. Both St. Louis and Houston are in the central time zone. This means that if they went to the A.L. West about a third or more of their games would start at an hour that their fans would not stay up late enough to watch. This means they would lose substantial advertising dollars for their T.V. sales. Again, unlike the NFL, there is no set time to start night games and share the advertising dollars. All this means that without a huge push from the commissioner’s office (after Bud retires) we’re likely to be stuck with a six and four team division system.

          • wax_eagle

            I’m more in favor of adding 2 expansion teams and creating 2 16 team leagues. Add 2 teams to the AL and restructure all of the division so that each league has 4 4 team divisions. Here is how I picture things shaking out in this system.

            AL -NE
            NYY, Bos, Tor, Bal

            AL – SW
            TX, Houston, Expansion (San Antonio?), Arizona

            AL -Central
            Minn, Chicago, Cleveland, Det

            AL WE
            Seattle, Oakland, LAA, KC

            NL E
            Philly, NYM, Washington, Pittsburgh

            NL C
            Cubs, Milwaukee, Cinci, st louis

            NL S
            Atlanta, Florida, TBR, Expansion team (Charlotte?)
            Another option here is include Houston and put a second expansion (vegas perhaps) into the AL SW.

            NL W
            San Fran, San Diego, Col, LA

            Schedule should consist of consistent inter league play and playoffs should work as follows:

            4 spot for division winners, 2 wild cards in each league. Bottom 2 division winners play 3 game series against wild card teams. (Else 4 wild cards with each division winner getting one). This would provide tons of incentive for teams to be competitive right up until the last out of the final games of the season and make the post season more interesting with more possibilities for do or die games.

            • Sandberg

              With that many playoff teams, we could have Santa Claus throw out the first pitch.

              • Sandberg

                … of the world series 😉