The Phillies taking the Charlie Manuel road with Joe Girardi: win it!
The Phillies taking the Charlie Manuel route with Girardi: win it! originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has a long and important list of things to do this winter. It does not include the exercise of the option for 2023 in the contract of manager Joe Girardi.
Thus, Girardi will enter the 2022 season as a lame duck. This status can compromise a manager’s authority in the clubhouse, but Dombrowski doesn’t think that will be a problem in this case.
“Not with someone of Joe Girardi’s stature,” Dombrowski said Wednesday. “He’s been a big league manager for a long time. I don’t think that’s a problem for him. I know no. We had discussions and I saw many managers entering the last year of their contract. I actually got to the end with Jim Leyland, where that’s all he wanted. One year at a time. So no I don’t think so. I think he will do very well.
Girardi signed a three-year contract worth $ 3 million per season in October 2019. The 2023 club option can be redeemed for an undisclosed amount.
“If you don’t get it back, you pay extra money,” Dombrowski said. “So there’s a slightly different scenario if you were to say lame duck, per se, because there is a financial incentive to that. “
Girardi is 110-112 in two seasons on the job. His teams remained in playoff contention for the final week of both seasons before fading in the final days as the club’s playoff drought reached 10 seasons, the longest in the National League. The Phils have lost seven of their last eight games in 2020 and six of their last seven this season.
Poor finishes have been a worrying motive for the Phillies. Under Gabe Kapler, the club have lost nine of their last 11 in 2018 and nine of their last 12 in 2019. Kapler has since moved to San Francisco. His Giants led the majors to 107-55 in 2021 and will open the playoffs on Friday night against former rivals the Dodgers.
Dombrowski offered an overall positive, but barely complimentary, assessment of Girardi’s work.
“He did well,” Dombrowski said. “He did a good job for us. I think he’s a good leader, he’s a good leader of our club, handles situations well, manages well, he is well respected, has good communication with the players, has good communication with me. I think he has good communication with the media. I think Joe did a good job for us.
Did he get all he could from the team?
“Well, when you say, ‘Whatever he could,’ we could always improve, right? Said Dombrowski. “But I think he did a good job with them. I mean, I think when you look at some of the circumstances and the situations of the players and the performance levels, could he have gotten more? I guess that everyone could have more, but I think he did a good job.
It should be noted that Dombrowski did not hire Girardi. Dombrowski arrived on board a year after Girardi, who was hired when Matt Klentak was general manager. It was a tangled web because Klentak didn’t want to dismiss Kapler. Property canceled it and lobbied for an experienced manager with a winning pedigree like Girardi.
Fast forward to the present …
The dynamic between Dombrowski and Girardi is reminiscent of that which existed between Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel 15 years ago.
Gillick became Managing Director in the fall of 2005, after Manuel completed the first year of a three-year contract. Gillick was only lukewarm about keeping Manuel after the 2006 season, but he wasn’t in the habit of firing managers. He ended up keeping Manuel for the final year of the manager’s contract, but pushed for changes in the coaching staff, which included the additions of bench coach Jim Williams and base racing guru Davey Lopes. . Manuel never mingled with Williams, but he credited his former Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Lopes with arming the Phillies racing game.
Manuel had no problem entering the 2007 season as a lame duck.
“I want everything I get on merit,” he said after the 2006 season. “I want to win it.”
He led the Phillies to the first of five consecutive NL East titles in 2007 and got a contract extension after that season, then another after that.
In 2008, Manuel chaired the second World Series winning team in Phillies history. Gillick retired as general manager after this season. Reflecting on his long and distinguished Hall of Fame career, he said keeping Manuel was the best decision he’s ever made.
The Phillies are hoping Joe Girardi’s lame duck status takes a similar, positive turn.
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