Report: Girardi offered Yankees job
NEW YORK ” he New York Yankees reportedly have offered Joe Girardi the job to succeed Joe Torre as manager.
Girardi beat out Yankees great and bench coach Don Mattingly, the early favorite, and first-base coach Tony Pena, who had the most managerial experience of the candidates. Girardi spent this season as a Yankees TV announcer after he was fired by the Florida Marlins last year.
“The Yankees have offered Joe the opportunity to become their next manager,” Steve Mandell, Girardi’s agent, told ESPN.com. “Discussions are ongoing.”
Radio station 1050 ESPN New York first reported the development and said Girardi is expected to take the job.
Representatives for Mattingly and Girardi didn’t return phone calls or e-mails. Messages left for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman were not immediately returned. A receptionist at his office said Cashman was in a meeting.
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Hank Steinbrenner, one of owner George Steinbrenner’s sons, said Monday he wasn’t sure when an announcement would be made. He added there would be more discussions during the day concerning the candidates.
“These guys were put through the wringer,” he said from Tampa, Fla. “I think we’re ready to make an informed decision.”
Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for George Steinbrenner, said: “We have nothing to announce right now.”
The 43-year-old Girardi caught for the Yankees from 1996-99, served as a bench coach in 2005, then managed the Marlins the following year and was NL Manager of the Year. He kept a young team in contention until September, then was fired, apparently for clashing with owner Jeffrey Loria and others above him.
Girardi was the first person to interview to replace Torre, who managed the team to the playoffs in each of his 12 seasons with the team. He spent about five hours with the Yankees’ baseball operations staff last week, and an hour with George Steinbrenner and sons Hank and Hal, son-in-law Felix Lopez and team president Randy Levine.
Girardi said his departure from the Marlins was discussed during his interview last Monday. Hank Steinbrenner said he wasn’t concerned.
“I don’t want to get too much into that, but, we’re not stupid,” he said after the interview.
Girardi stayed quiet as Mattingly and Pena got their shots at the job.
“The only thing I’m going to comment about the Yankees situation is what I said a few days ago,” Girardi said at a charity dinner Wednesday. “I had a great interview. And it’s an honor for whoever gets that job.”
He turned down the Baltimore Orioles’ managing job last summer, choosing to spend time with his father, who had health problems.
He gets the unenviable task of following Torre, who led the Yankees to four World Series titles in his first five years ” but none since ” and was one of the most celebrated sports figures in the city.
“I wouldn’t expect anything else from the players in New York or for myself but to be the best,” Girardi said last week.
The Yankees offered Torre a one-year contract featuring a hefty paycut and performance-based bonuses, and he turned it down Oct. 18. The result was a messy departure that split Yankees fans into camps of Torre supporters and proponents for change.
Spurning the popular Mattingly could spark more criticism.
The search for Torre’s replacement offered a sneak peek into how the Yankees might be run in the future. Hank and Hal Steinbrenner and Lopez all enjoyed more prominent roles, with Hank the most public face of the search.
AP freelancer Mark Didtler in Tampa, Fla., contributed to this report.