For ousted New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, nothing he did this past postseason would have saved his job.
Despite six playoff appearances and one World Series title during his 10 years managing the Yankees, Girardi was fired five days after the Houston Astros eliminated New York in the 2017 American League Championship Series. And during this week’s general manager meetings in Orlando, Fla., Yankees co-owner Hal Steinbrenner acknowledged that conversations to can Girardi were far from spur of the moment. In fact, they had long been in the works, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Not even a World Series title would’ve changed Steinbrenner’s mind.
“I’m sure there would have been more pressure (if he had won the World Series),” Steinbrenner said Wednesday, per Crasnick. “It would have been maybe a more difficult decision to make. But I would have made it because I felt like that was best for the organization moving forward.”
Not exactly mincing words.
The Yankees took the eventual World Series-winning Astros to seven games in the ALCS. After Girardi was let go, Steinbrenner cited “communication and connectivity issues” with players as the catalyst for the change.
Girardi actually does have a history of being fired after a successful season. Prior to joining the Yanks in 2008, he was let go by the Florida Marlins after winning the National League Manager of the Year award in 2006.
In fairness, that Marlins team went 78-84. But Girardi kept the Marlins in postseason contention despite a minuscule payroll, the primary reason he earned the honor.