Ten years ago, Joe Girardi kept the Phillies from winning a second straight World Series trophy. Now, he’s going to be in charge of getting them a World Series trophy as the team’s new manager. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia confirmed through an unidentified source that the Phillies and Girardi had agreed to bring the former Yankees manager to Philadelphia.
Phillies are hiring Joe Girardi, source confirms. Announcement could come today— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) October 24, 2019
Girardi reportedly blew away the competition – Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter – when he underwent a second interview with the Phillies on Monday. Some sources believe that Girardi was the choice of majority partner John Middleton, while team president Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak were partial to Showalter. There seems to be an unwinnable power struggle for MacPhail and Klentak going head-to-head with Middleton, who made the call to replace hitting coach John Mallee last August and to dump manager Gabe Kapler.
Girardi had taken the past two seasons off from managing and turned to a career as a TV analyst. He declined to return to managing a year ago, but put his name out there for consideration this offseason. He was the initial front-runner for the Cubs job and being a native of Peoria, IL, it seemed the perfect fit. He was also high on the list for division rival New York Mets. The Phillies may have been helped along when Chicago gave their job to another former Cub, David Ross on Wednesday. The Mets are considering a number of manager candidates and have yet to settle on a choice.
Girardi spent 10 seasons as the manager of the Yankees and one leading the Marlins. In 2009 he led the Yankees to a World Series championship against the Phillies. What appealed to the Phillies was Girardi’s ability to blend using analytics and data with old-school managerial skills. Girardi was able to successfully do that with New York, who are one of baseball’s leaders in the development and implementation of analytics. Girardi went 910-710 with the Yankees in 10 seasons and 78-84 in his one season with the Marlins in 2006. That season, Girardi became the only manager of a team with a sub-.500 record to win the Manager of the Year Award.
The Phillies retained most of their major league coaches after the season, but do have openings for a pitching coach and a hitting coach. It’s likely that Girardi will have full say over filling both of those positions. Early candidates for the pitching coach job are former Girardi dugout mates Dave Eiland and Larry Rothschild, who is currently on the Yankees staff, but could potentially be hired away from New York. Eiland was the Mets pitching coach the past two seasons.
Girardi will be reunited with his former bench coach Rob Thomson, who serves in that role with the Phillies.
A potential hitting coach is Hensley Meulens, who has served in that role and helped lead the Giants to three World Series titles in a stretch of five years. Meulens is being considered for the Giants managerial job.