January 13, 2010
I'm going to chalk this post up to the malaise and boredom of mid-January, but the fine folks over on Pinstripe Alley are actually debating whether Joe Girardi will be back as manager in 2011.
It's not as loony-bin conversation topic as you might think. Girardi is entering the final season of his initial three-year deal with the Yankees and Hal Steinbrenner told AOL Fanhouse last month that he doesn't "do extensions." Win a title anywhere else and Girardi is probably swimming in new riches.
So could there be any reason for the Yankees manager to worry about his lame duck status?
Well, Girardi was at the helm of the organization's 27th World Series title last fall, but his management was often questioned in the ALDS and ALCS. He also managed the 2008 team that didn't make the playoffs and who knows how long the Steinbrenner memory actually is?
But I'd have to think that it'd take a monumental disappointment of a season for Girardi not to plan on living in New York for at least a few more years. With the Curtis Granderson(notes) and Javier Vazquez(notes) reinforcements arriving this spring, it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario where the Yanks miss the playoffs and a shot at a 28th title.
Still, who can predict what might happen if the Yankees bow out in a short ALDS series and the New York media lights up Girardi for a certain pitching decision? Would you really rule out the Steinbrenners overreacting and letting Girardi walk, even though he seems to have control of the clubhouse and the relative respect of his players?
Maybe there's something to it and maybe there isn't, but it's certainly an interesting situation to mull over on an otherwise-boring Wednesday in January.
What do you make of the situation?