Thursday, September 19, 2013
First Pitch: Does Girardi want to stay?
By Andrew Marchand
It has been a long season for Joe Girardi. Will it be his last as Yankees skipper?
NEW YORK -- When asked directly if he wants to come back and be the manager of the New York Yankees in 2014, Joe Girardi started to say yes, and said he loves being the team's skipper, but ultimately declined to give a definitive answer.
"Yeah, I mean, I don't worry about those details until it is time to worry about it," Girardi told ESPNNewYork.com. "To me, it doesn't make sense to worry about it, but I love being here. To me, it is wasted energy to worry about it."
Girardi, a free agent at the end of this season, could have other options. There will be managerial openings, most notably in Washington, that could interest him. Plus, the most coveted seat in baseball broadcasting, the World Series analyst job, is opening up with Tim McCarver stepping aside. Girardi has won praise for his booth work in the past.
Girardi, who turns 49 next month, is focused on three things: faith, family and baseball. His wife and three children sound very comfortable in Westchester and, although there are parts of the job that are difficult, he likes being the Yankees' manager.
But judge for yourself -- here is ESPN New York's Q&A with Girardi about what it is like to be the Yankees' manager and if he will continue to be in that dugout next year and beyond.
Q:What have you learned over the past six years about being in that manager's seat?
Girardi: I think a lot of it is the expectations of everyone involved. Whether it is upstairs [the front office], the fans or the media. I would say that you have a decent understanding of what it is like from the fans and the upstairs as a player, but you don't have a decent idea of what it is like from the media. I think that is a big part of your job here. I think it is something that you can only learn by going through it.
The other thing that you have to learn is that you don't only have to answer for yourself. You have to answer for everybody else. That is so much different than being a player. When the expectations are so high, that becomes a little more intense.
Q: Is that different than, let's say, a place like Miami?
Girardi: I think it is the same everywhere. I think there is a difference in expectations and there is a difference in the intensity.
Q: Because of the masses or because of how the media is in New York?
Girardi: I think it is part of the expectation here all the time and what the Yankees have done and I think it is because of the media. The one thing I don't think you truly understand as a player is the media is extremely competitive. I don't think you ever understand that. I don't think you ever think about it as a player because you are only talking about yourself.
Q:How does that impact you?
Girardi: They check up on what you say. It is something you have to make sure your prepared for, in a sense. That the communication with the players is very good and that you are always on the same page.
Q: I don't want put words in your mouth, but it doesn't sound like you enjoy that part of it that much.
Girardi: No, it doesn't bother me. I just know it is a responsibility here, probably more than other places.
Q:Do you enjoy it? I remember a year or two ago in September I asked you if you were enjoying the pennant race and you said this is work for me ...
Girardi: It is work, but I love what I do. It would be the same thing of probably asking you [about your job], 'Do you enjoy it?' There are parts that you enjoy. There are parts that are tough. It is just like any other job. But I'm doing what I have a passion for so that makes it good.
Q:You talk about all the things that come with the New York, but there is the fact you know you are going to have a chance to be competitive. When you think about being in the majors as a kid, you think about the seats being filled. Attendance might be down a little bit, but still they are mostly filled. It is Yankee Stadium. That part of it, the largess of it, do you like that?
Girardi: I like that. It is a tremendous atmosphere. If you are a competitor that is the atmosphere you want to be in and I'm competitive.
Q:When you think about your contract at the end of the year, Randy [Levine] has indicated he wants you back, Brian [Cashman] says he wants you back. Do you want to come back?
Girardi: Yeah, I mean, I don't worry about those details until it is time to worry about it. To me, it doesn't make sense to worry about it, but I love being here. To me, it is wasted energy to worry about it.
Q:It is obvious, they want you back, the question now, there are other possible opportunities, Ken Rosenthal wrote about the managerial job options. The top job in broadcasting will be open. What do you make of these options?
Girardi: I haven't thought of myself doing anything else. But, like any other person, when things arise, you sit down and you talk to your family, I talk to my wife, our kids are in school in New York.
Q:From my perception, you seem intense, like in the past, but -- this might not be the exact right phrase -- but a little more at ease.
Girardi: Every year is different. You learn more and more every year about who you are and how you want to handle things and you grow from it.
Q:There is no sense of burnout or anything like that?