Joe Girardi reflects on his dismissal from Yankees
The 10-year Yankees manager discusses his past, present & future in New York
In the decade since Girardi was made manager, the Yankees made six trips to the postseason, won a World Series in 2009 and never posted a losing record at any point.
While the championship drought between 2009 and the present day has left some fans wanting more, Girardi brought what was deemed a "rebuilding team" to the precipice of the World Series, to cap off a highly successful run serving as the 32nd skipper in team history.
Girardi recently spoke with FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal in a piece written for The Athletic, to reflect on his time in New York, and to discuss where his future in baseball might lead.
"In a lot of respects, I'm really thankful," Girardi told Rosenthal of his tenure in New York. "I was there for 10 years. How many managers, head coaches in the NFL, NBA, NHL, college football coaches, college basketball coaches, get to spend 10 years in one place?"
Those 10 years brought 910 wins to the Yankees, good for sixth-most in franchise history. And while the team made a handful of postseason runs after the 2009 title, few were as memorable as the one made by the 2017 Bombers.
"Seeing Yankee Stadium those last six games in the playoffs is a lasting memory I'll always have," Girardi said. "You can never get enough of that. It was a special environment."
Rosenthal noted that Girardi was "not even close" to sounding bitter about his dismissal, and, "rather than brood over his fate, continues to revel in the sport, watching the World Series with avid interest."
"The one thing about the playoffs, and as I watch this World Series, is that it brings the little kids out again, said Girardi. "The jumping up and down, the hugging, the running out of the dugout ... You're sitting on the edge of your chair every inning wondering what's going to happen next."
With just one more victory, it would have been the Yankees competing in the Fall Classic against the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers. Led by longtime veterans like CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner, along with sensational young talents like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Greg Bird and Didi Gregorius, the Bombers took Houston to seven games in the American League Championship Series, but fell just short in the hostile road environment as their World Series hopes were snatched away.
Despite the tough ending, however, this Yankees team was playing with proverbial house money by making it past the reigning AL champion Cleveland Indians in the ALDS rounds, and avoiding anything but a brief visit to the ALCS. Yankees fans were ecstatic to see playoff baseball back in the Bronx, and Girardi played a huge role in helping them get there.
"With the year that we had and the progress the team had made, I thought I would be back," Girardi reflected. "For me, there was disappointment because I kind of wanted to finish what we had started this year. And I was looking forward to the growth of the organization, the young players, the more young players with the veterans we had."
Much of the Yankees' coaching staff and player development personnel have made their way out of New York chasing new opportunities, leaving the front office with plenty to do before the 2018 season. Next year will bring a wave of new, elevated expectations for the "Baby Bombers," whose success has vaulted them from a surprise success story to legitimate championship contenders.
Girardi fully plans to continue working around the game of baseball, saying that he'd "absolutely" consider managing again, or perhaps could work directly for the league, or maybe a return to television. Hal Steinbrenner told Girardi he would "always be a part of this [Yankees] family," and to reach out if he ever wanted to do something for the organization going forward.
But for Girardi, the offseason is too long. He's ready to get back to work.
"I have other interests in life. I do want to manage again. Time will tell exactly what I do," Girardi said.
"Mentally, I'm not worn down. Mentally, I'm ready to go."