Over the next two days I want to address why Joe Girardi, who is a hot topic these days, IS and IS NOT a good choice for this team next season. In case you have been living in a cave over the last few days, the Florida Marlins have said in a round about way that Joe has “zero chance” to return to Florida next season. He has already said on numerous occasions that he wants to be in Florida. Keep in mind that I will argue both sides so please don’t tear me down after one day. Wait and hear both sides.
Let’s begin today with the three reasons why Joe Girardi is the manager we need.
1. He is a hometown favorite
Growing up in Peoria and attending Northwestern University, Joe has major ties with the city and the state of Illinois. Because of that, it would be a great PR move by Hendry to bring in a guy like Girardi to replace Baker next season. Fans have pretty much fitted him for a uniform and to not hire a favorite like Joe would be a major risk with a fan base that has begun to show signs that sellouts are not the norm for a club that loses close to 100 games in a season.
Joe spent seven seasons as a member of the Cubs and was beloved during that time. He has always been one of my favorite Cubs, especially due to the class and poise he showed the day the picture to the right was taken. The day Darryl Kile died in his hotel room was a day I’ll never forget. Watching Girardi deliver that message to the fans while still maintaining composure and privacy for the family was very inspiring.
Girardi would do wonders toward lifting the spirits of weary Cub fans and give them something to look forward to watching next season. An off-season of uncertainty is in the works and adding a guy like Joe would ease that burden immensely.
2. He has shown he can get the job done with young talent
Let’s be honest for a minute. Who in their right mind picked Florida to finish any higher than 5th in the NL East? I certainly didn’t, as evidenced by my picks for the NL East this spring. Joe has taken a team of nobody players and instilled confidence and determination into them. He’s groomed his pitchers into reliable starters. About the midpoint of the season, I looked to see who the leader in wins on the Marlins was. To my surprise, Dontrelle was not even in the top 3. Instead, we’ve seen the arrival of guys like Anibal Sanchez, Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, and Ricky Nolasco. Aside from the last one, those names would probably be unknown in spring training to the common Cub fan. Now, their names you know.
Dan Uggla? If you would have asked me in March what sport Dan Uggla played, I probably would have told you he was a character in the Caveman Games video game I used to have on my Commodore 64 computer. I just didn’t know. Now, names like his and Hanley Ramirez have emerged as budding players in the league. Joe Girardi has helped make these guys the players they are. If Florida isn’t able to see that, we need to show them.
3. He is young
Sure, a lot of people will tell you that youth brings inexperience, but it also brings fresh ideas to the table. Joe Girardi brings a perspective on the game and the players playing today that a guy with more experience can’t. Players change and sometimes, the older you get, the less and less you relate. Girardi has fresh ideas on how to run a team and has received some experience this year that should count for something.
Because he’s young, Joe is a guy that could be around and a part of this team for the long haul.