Phillies fans call for Joe Girardi to be fired
No doubt about it, Joe Girardi is on the hot seat.
The Philadelphia Phillies manager is in a contract year and his team is 6-10 and hasn’t won a series since Opening Weekend against the Oakland A’s, one of the lowest-budget teams in baseball.
Oh, and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski didn’t even know the team had an option on Girardi. That bodes well for him.
After Kyle Schwarber got ejected Sunday night for (rightfully) losing his cool at home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez, Girardi’s name trended on Twitter, as fans debated whether or not he should get to keep his job.
Spoiler alert: they don’t think so.
He’s also been criticized for his mismanagement of young players. Last season, it was his repeated benching of Alec Bohm in favor of Ronald Torreyes. This year, it’s him leaving rookie Bryson Stott out of the lineup and using him like a utility player.
Oh, and there’s also the fact that he switches up the lineup every single game, never giving things time to gel. It’s an especially bad practice with young players like Bohm and Stott, because it never gives them a chance to get comfortable. The Phillies aren’t winning, either, so the strategy isn’t working on a collective level, either.
Overall, Girardi isn’t managing like a guy who’s trying to win games; he’s managing like a guy desperate to keep his job. One would think that winning games is how he’d keep his job, but that’s far too logical a notion.
The Phillies have their option on Girardi for next season, but if the season continues this way, he might not even last the year; people have already been calling him a lame-duck manager since the offseason began, and that was before he was handed the fanciest roster in franchise history on a silver platter. But Girardi was never Dombrowski’s guy, and it’s likely the Phillies’ president of baseball operations always planned to replace him.
Dombrowski is under pressure too, though his job is likely more secure. Of the two, the longtime executive has a much better track record when it comes to results. Between the Marlins, Tigers, and Red Sox, he’s constructed nine postseason squads, including four pennant-winners and two championship teams. He drafted and signed several of today’s biggest stars, including Justin Verlander, Nick Castellanos, and Miguel Cabrera, who just joined the prestigious 3,000 hits club over the weekend.
However, Dombrowski also just convinced Phillies ownership to exceed the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history. He needs this team to win in order to prove that the spending spree was worth it.
Between Hernandez and Girardi, the former should get canned first. But Girardi doesn’t seem to be a good fit for this Phillies club, especially with the way he manages, or rather mismanages, the younger players. Developing young talent and helping prospects transition to the majors has been one of the Phillies’ biggest issues for a long time, and Girardi seems to be part of that problem, rather than the solution.