It has been made official the Philadelphia Phillies have signed Joe Girardi to be their new manager. So for this piece, we give three reasons why Joe Girardi to the Philadelphia Phillies makes so much sense.
Reliant but not Dependent on Analytics
As a Yankee fan, I had the privilege of watching Joe Girardi manager for ten seasons in the Bronx. And during that decade, Joe would lead the Yanks to a World Series victory in 2009 over the Philadelphia Phillies. One other thing that became a staple of Joe Girardi’s time in the Bronx was his trusty binder. Joe’s binder was filled with all the analytical data; Joe can get his hands-on. Joe was also adept at utilizing this information as well as possible.
Now Phillies fans are going to be weary and even somewhat skeptical about a manager having a binder full of data after the data-driven Gabe Kapler was “relieved” of his duties in Philly. But having seen Joe in action, Girardi can also assess a situation based on sight, a skill that seemed to allude Kapler. At times, Joe would make decisions based on numbers and at other times, the often infamous “manager’s gut.” Joe Girardi has all the necessary skills and intelligence to disseminate the analytics to his players to get the best from them.
For the last two seasons, Girardi has been an analyst for MLB Network (amongst other places.) And during that time, Joe has done many player breakdowns and even asked questions to players about in-game scenarios. Joe also had a lesson in high pressured media outlets from his time in the Bronx. And alongside New York and Boston, Philadelphia is one of the toughest media markets in the world. Joe has nearly mastered the art of saying nothing while appearing to deliver information. Joe is also a manager that will “go to bat” for his players.
Gabe Kapler was a different kind of dude, and for some people, that kind of guy can rub people the wrong way. Personally, I thought the hiring of Gabe Kapler at the time was an innovative move that could change the culture and spark great success. I, along with the Phillies Front Office, we’re wrong. Taking the team in a different approach begins with bringing in an established Major League manager. And a manager that is going to present things in a different style to his predecessor.
In our Ledger Picks 7 MLB Managers piece, we spoke of Girardi’s structure is one of the key features that would aid the Cubs if the Cubs hired him. That same structure would settle in excellently in Philadelphia. The Phillies have a mostly youthful squad and will need some guidance. Philly will also need a manager that understands the grind of the regular season and how to manage a bullpen. Joe Girardi fits both of those qualities and more. Philadelphia needed to make a change, and they hired one of the top two candidates (in my opinion, Joe Madden being the other) available on the market. Look for Philadelphia to play a better brand of baseball as early as 2020.