After a brief search for the right managerial fit following the dismissal of Gabe Kapler, the Phillies have found their man.
BREAKING: A source says the #Phillies have hired Joe Girardi as manager. An announcement could come today.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) October 24, 2019
Girardi spent one year as the Marlins manager, his first year as skipper, then spent a decade in the Bronx as Yankees’ field boss, famously beating the Phillies in 2009 for a world championship. Girardi had a .562 winning percentage in New York and made the playoffs six times. His former boss, Brian Cashman, gave him a glowing recommendation to SNY a couple weeks ago.
“When you’re talking about somebody like Joe, he’d give you instant credibility,” Cashman told SNY. “He’s buttoned-up, ready to go and proven successful in the largest market you can find. And he came out on top.
“He was here for 10 years, and some things have an expiration date, but that doesn’t diminish the abilities the person possesses or the quality of work he provides. I highly recommend Joe to anybody, even our rivals, unfortunately.”
Girardi was pursued by both the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs, but the Cubs have reportedly hired David Ross and the Mets are interviewing a number of candidates, all with far less experience than Girardi. It’s likely the Phillies were willing to outspend New York on their next manager, given the financial constraints in place in The Big Apple.
Girardi is well versed in analytics, but was also known for going with his gut on occasion, and sometimes pushed back when the front office inserted itself too much. The hiring culminates a two-week search led by owner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak. Girardi will be joined by at least one familiar face, his former and the Phils’ current bench coach, Rob Thomson.
The Phils’ search was apparently narrow in focus, as only Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker were interviewed. Among the first items of business for the new Phillies skipper will be to hire a new hitting and pitching coach, and one would assume some more changes to the on-field coaching staff could be forthcoming, despite the Phils picking up the options on a number of their holdover coaches.
A news conference could come later on Thursday.