There is no longer a day when we expect a decision regarding Joe Girardi and the Yankees’ offer to bring him back. It was the weekend. Then it was Monday. Then it was yesterday. Against that backdrop, I say … we’ll hear at some point.
- Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner was on the radio yesterday and he naturally discussed the ongoing Girardi negotiations. His comments were interesting. He said that there are a number of considerations at play, but the Yankees want Girardi back. That said, Steinbrenner indicated, the Yankees want to know one way or another “quickly.” Unless October 31 is considered “quickly,” Steinbrenner’s comments stand in contrast to reports from a couple days ago that had the Yankees willing to wait this out until the end. Frankly, that always struck me as odd. Sure, the Yankees can hold onto Girardi through October, but, if they know he won’t re-sign until he has a chance to talk to the Cubs, all holding onto him accomplishes is ensuring that the Yankees cannot start their managerial search – if Girardi ultimately decides to leave – until November. How does that make sense for them? Worse for the Yankees, their organizational meetings start next week. That should be an added pressure to either force a Girardi decision, or to move on and grant him permission to talk to other teams. (You can see more thoughts from Steinbrenner here in the Post.) Are Steinbrenner’s comments designed to pressure Girardi publicly? Build the case for fans on how the Yankees did all they could reasonably do to keep him? Both?
- So, we come back to the operative question in all of this: if Girardi said he wanted to have this wrapped up quickly after the season, and the Yankees want a decision “quickly,” as well, why is this taking so long? The problem, from an outside perspective, is that a delay is equally consistent with Girardi legitimately being conflicted about his future and wanting to talk to the Cubs before making a decision, and with Girardi merely wanting the opportunity to leverage more money out of the Yankees. And, if the Yankees suspect it’s the latter, then they’re in a bind – something of a staring contest. Unfortunately for the Yankees, other than personal comfort, Girardi has no reason to blink first. If the Yankees won’t force the issue before October 31, he can simply wait, and then engage any and all interested teams at that time.
- Speaking of which, Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs are willing to wait on Girardi, however long the situation takes to play out. Although that sets up an ugly narrative for the new manager if Girardi elects to return to New York (or heads back to TV) – “So, how does it feel to be the very public fall-back option for the Cubs?” – it’s the Cubs’ only play if they truly believe Girardi is the top man for the job.
- On those other candidates, Manny Acta’s meeting with the Cubs this week lasted seven hours, and he sounded very positive about it. Acta immediately acknowledged to ESPN that it’s a long process, and he’s just one of many candidates being considered. I’m sure he knows the score right now. Nick Cafardo hears that Acta’s interview went very well, for whatever that’s worth.
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