Well, I think it’s safe to say that Joe Girardi nailed it — that presser went about as well as one could expect.
The Phillies’ new skipper was calm, collected, and told many a story in what was, overall, a fluid and well carried Q&A. He sat with Matt Klentak, and Matt Klentak alone throughout the conferences’ entirety — not a John Middleton or Andy MacPhail in sight. Larry Bowa, however, was in attendance, as were Rhys Hoskins and his fiancé, Jayme.
It began, as these things do, with the ever-awkward jersey presentation, and Girardi confessed that he much preferred the baseball attire to his suit jacket.
After that, it was all business.
In his opening statement, Girardi addressed the winning culture of the city of Philadelphia, as well as his experience with the Phillies throughout his career:
“I’m well aware of the passion for the game of baseball here.” - Joe Girardi’s opening remark on the city of Philadelphia.— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) October 28, 2019
Joe Girardi talks about the ‘09 World Series;— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) October 28, 2019
“[Phillie] fans were not easy to play against, and I want to keep it that way for years to come.”
Girardi was then asked what it was about the Phillies job that was so alluring to him:
Joe Girardi on what made the Phillies’ job so attractive:— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) October 28, 2019
“You have dedicated ownership. You have a dedicated General Manager and fans.”
“I’m well aware of the importance of winning in this town... this team has a history of being successful. I’m selfish. I want to win.”
He was then confronted about previous reports of his unwillingness to comply with analytic teams and utilizing analytic information, to which he responded:
Joe Girardi takes his stance on analytics:— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) October 28, 2019
“I have an engineering degree... they can never give me too much information.”
Girardi then spoke to his media transparency:
Joe Girardi on his media transparency:— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) October 28, 2019
“I’m not gonna do as much story telling as other managers... I’m gonna tell you the truth, all the time.”
The media then proceeded to ask about the recent firing of Larry Rothschild, as well as areas in which the Phillies might need to improve in the offseason. Girardi “dodged” both questions, and mentioned that he and Matt Klentak will be looking at every possible option in terms of pitching and hitting coaches. He then referenced the starting rotation, as well as the bullpen health as areas in which the Phillies will need to improve come 2020. He also mentioned that it’s always a plus to have competition at all positions.
Joe was then confronted about his previous “list of rules” that he would instate for players under his management. Girardi mentioned nothing about a facial hair guideline, but did stress his distaste for competing music in the locker room:
Joe Girardi says there can be no competing music in the locker room:— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) October 28, 2019
“If there’s one band playing over there, and another over there — that just doesn’t sound as good!”
The Phils’ skipper then proceeded to close it out with his overarching message for this coming Phillies team:
Joe Girardi closes with his message to the 2020 Phillies team:— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) October 28, 2019
“We need to do whatever it takes to win... There’s a lot of people counting on us... Lets get it done.”
In all honesty, Joe crushed it. He consistently emphasized the winning culture within the city of Philadelphia, and spoke to his own winning ambitions, as well.
He’s got his work cut out for him, but the overall consensus seems to be that the Phillies have picked the right guy — especially when, in Matt Klentak’s words;
“It is time to win. It is time to win right now”