The Phillies skipper is honoring his longtime colleague at summer camp
The camaraderie between Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi and bench coach Rob Thomson extends far beyond the past few months that the 2009 World Series-winning manager has donned a red uniform.
They have known each other, rather, for decades. Thomson was on Girardi’s coaching staff, as either a third base coach or bench coach for all 10 seasons that Girardi managed the New York Yankees, 2008 to 2017. And, back when Girardi donned Yankees pinstripes as a player in the mid-to-late 1990s, Thomson was the Yankees’ coordinator for both major-league and minor-league spring training camps in Tampa, Florida. Both are former catchers.
Thomson is now entering his third year as Phillies bench coach, having been hired to join Gabe Kapler‘s new staff in December 2017. Girardi, meanwhile, is still new to the organization, but is not wasting any time to pay homage to his longtime colleague and friend at summer camp in South Philadelphia.
With the team’s 50-plus players in their pool splitting to train at either Citizens Bank Park or FDR Park, Girardi cannot be in both places at the same time. So, he has called upon Thomson to oversee workouts in the nearby ball fields.
And, given Thomson wears No. 59, Girardi is using the term “Field 59” as the team’s code for the FDR Park setup in honor of him, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber.
Back in October, Thomson told NBC Sports Philadelphia that Girardi is a “very intelligent person” and that he “prepares as well as anybody”
Also, Thomson added that Girardi has a great work ethic and a passion for baseball: “He cares about his staff and his players, cares about the organization and the city he works for. He’s been a winner his entire life.”
Now, the coaching duo who helped the Yankees to a World Series championship over the Phillies, nearly 11 years ago, will get the chance to repeat history in the opposing dugout this year.