Assessing Joe Girardi as possible candidate for White Sox Manager
The World Series is upon us. Since neither the White Sox or Cubs have played in several weeks, there’s not much news coming out for either team.
However, the most recent White Sox news – as reported on earlier by Southside Showdown’s own Etheria Mocadure – is that Joe Girardi may be waiting for a managerial job with either the ChiSox or Cubs in 2019.
While a lot can change between now and then, there are some good reasons to consider Girardi as a candidate the Pale Hose should go after.
1) Chicago roots:
Though having grown up in Peoria, Girardi’s connection to Chicago began in college at Northwestern University and extended through his playing career. He had two tenures with the Cubs from 1989-1992, and again from 2000-2002. While in Chicago, he took part in his first playoff series in 1989 and made his only All-Star team in 2000.
2) Proven winner on and off the field:
While spending four seasons as the Yankees catcher from 1996-1999, Girardi was a key member of three World Series championship teams. His triple in Game 6 of the 1996 World Series helped the Yankees clinch their first championship in almost twenty years.
As a manager, he led the Yankees to their last championship to date in 2009. This was no easy task to handle, as he followed in the footsteps of the great Joe Torre.
Having found success in both Chicago and New York, Girardi won’t be intimidated by the big city.
3) He can help build a team:
If ever the White Sox needed convincing that Girardi was the right man for their particular situation, the following is a good explanation of why.
There will be those who say that Girardi was given a gift in New York and had to just make sure the team stayed on course. In other words, he let the players do the work and just sat back. It would be hard to believe that’s true. Case in point: the 2006 Florida Marlins.
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Because his stay was only one year, many forget that Girardi actually managed the Marlins before taking over the Yankees. In fact, his performance was good enough to earn him the National League Manager of the Year Award after he took a team with the lowest payroll in baseball, filled with rookies and few veterans, to a 78-84 record that saw them in Wild Card contention through much of the season.
He likely would’ve been around longer, but Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria fired him after having told him in an August game to stop being disrespectful towards umpires.
In his experience with the Marlins, Girardi demonstrated that he can work with young talent and make the best out of a situation where prime talent may not be available. Such may be the case as the White Sox continue their rebuild.
In the case of Joe Girardi taking over for Rick Renteria, there are similarities in how Joe Maddon took over the Cubs. Both times, the manager would be taking over from Rick Renteria. Both times, the manager would be in a situation where he is trying to build a young team into a contender. We know Girardi can do both. The question is: will the White Sox go after him?