Phillies ‘Blown Away’ with New Manager Joe Girardi
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, and his senior advisor, Larry Bowa, have nothing but praise for new manager Joe Girardi.
Joe Girardi, the 55th manager in Philadelphia Phillies history, has had the job for only a few weeks.
Yet, he has already made a tremendous impact, so much so, that he has “blown away” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, among others.
Klentak recently joined SportsRadio 94 WIP and praised the new Phillies skipper.
“Just going through the interview process and talking to a lot of people that have known Joe throughout his time with the Yankees, Marlins, and back to his playing days, what stuck out was how many people who talked about what a great guy, teammate and hard worker he is,” Klentak said. “A lot of the traits and characteristics we would hope for in any employee, but certainly for the major league manager. That stuck out for sure.”
In addition to playing 15 seasons in the major leagues, winning two World Series, Girardi has won one World Series in his 11 years of managerial experience as well.
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The Phillies have not returned to the Fall Classic since falling to Girardi and the New York Yankees in 2009. Furthermore, the team has not reached the postseason in each of its last eight seasons, since its franchise-best 102-win season in 2011.
Now, according to Klentak, the Phillies have “the core of a championship team,” and while they “still need to add to it,” he said, “it’s time to take the next step and that’s where a guy like Joe Girardi comes in.”
“This is a guy that’s won a World Series, been to the playoffs six times [as manager], has obviously achieved great success in a very difficult market.”
“I think he’s a great fit for this next era of Phillies baseball.”
Larry Bowa, one of the senior advisors to Klentak, is just as bullish on Girardi, as well as his decision to add Bryan Price to his staff as pitching coach.
“I was very happy. I thought it was a good pick. He’s a good fit here. Obviously, in New York, he was successful there.” Bowa recently said on SportsRadio 94 WIP. “I thought our pitching coach was a good pick. [too]. Now we have to go out and write some more checks out and get some pitching. We need pitching to go to the next step, and I think everybody knows that … [Price] does a very good job with the pitchers.”
Among the things Bowa thinks Girardi can have an immediate impact on next season is having a “sense of urgency” every night:
"“We had some good series last year against the Cubs and Dodgers. In fact, in our park I think we swept both teams. And then San Diego and the White Sox come in … we lose those two series. To me, that’s just a matter of keeping the concentration up and respecting every team that comes in here. Don’t look at their win and loss record. It seems like we played exceptionally well against real good teams, especially at home. When the lesser teams came in, we just didn’t meet the challenge. That’s important when you play 162 games. You have to get up for every single game.”"
Girardi, according to Bowa, “pays attention to detail,” and “knows how to handle the pitching staff very well.” “So,” he adds, “I think it’s going to be a good fit.”
When interviewing to fill the Phillies’ various coaching vacancies, such as infield coach, pitching coach, and the still-needed hitting coach, Klentak says it has been “awesome” to collaborate with Girardi.
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“I would say, in the last couple weeks since he’s been on board, just having the chance to spend time with him more, sitting in meetings with him, going through interviews, I’ve been blown away,” Klentak said. “This guy has been awesome to work with.”
“He’s a great fit for our club and where we are trying to go. He’s already had an impact and I expect that will continue for the next few years, if not longer.”
Girardi clearly has had a huge impact in just the few weeks he has been with the Phillies. It will be interesting to see how that translates to when everything starts to matter, Opening Day of the 2020 season.