Former MLB star predicted hiring Joe Girardi over Buck Showalter would be a mistake in 2019

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles greets Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees prior to Game Three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 10, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles greets Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees prior to Game Three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 10, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Former MLB star Mark Teixeira predicted that the Phillies hiring Joe Girardi over Buck Showalter could be a mistake

In 2019, Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi bother interviewed for the Philadelphia Phillies manager job that ultimately went to Girardi.

Now, Showalter is returning to the game to manage the division-rival New York Mets. He hasn’t managed since the 2018 season, when his Baltimore Orioles lost a franchise-record 115 games.

Longtime MLB star Mark Teixeira played for Showalter and Girardi during his 14-year career, and during the Phillies’ interview process in 2019, he spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer about what made each of them a great manager.

Teixeira played for Showalter’s Texas Rangers for four years (2003-06) and for Girardi’s Yankees for eight (2009-16), including their most recent World Series championship in 2009.

The former All-Star (3), Silver Slugger (3), and Gold Glove (5) first baseman praised both managers for being “meticulous” in their preparation. However, Teixeria also noted that Showalter had a skill Girardi did not: the “ability to nurture young players.”

"“If you’re looking for a guy that can shepherd young guys, I think [Buck Showalter] just does an incredible job of making sure that they’re put in a position to succeed. I couldn’t think of having a better manager as a young player.”Mark Teixeira"

What Teixeira said he appreciated about Showalter is something Girardi has struggled with in Philadelphia. He was criticized for his management of third baseman Alec Bohm, who had an abysmal sophomore slump, and whom Girardi repeatedly benched in the second half of the season. Utility man Scott Kingery was an unmitigated disaster, only managing one hit in 15 big-league games this season.

At the time of the Phillies’ managerial search, they had the third-youngest position player squad in the NL, as well as a young pitching core. The Inquirer wondered if Showalter could help Rhys Hoskins and Zach Eflin, “unlock” Vince Velasquez and “maximize” Adam Haseley’s potential. Each of those players struggled and missed significant time this season; Velasquez was released before the fall.

Showalter will get a chance to unlock potential in Queens instead, where several players underperformed in 2021. He’s being given the keys to a kingdom that includes Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, Max Scherzer, and Jacob deGrom.

He may very well prove the Phillies made a mistake in 2019.

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