On Thursday, the speculation of Joe Girardi potentially not returning as the manager of the New York Yankees started to ramp up as he declined to commit to a return to the team following the 2013 season.
Girardi has been the team's manager over the last six seasons and has made the postseason in four of them and is hoping for a fifth trip this season, but the Yankees are 3.5 games out of the Wild Card race and could be staring at a second missed trip to the postseason as Yankees skipper under his watch.
Despite that, with everything the Yankees have encountered this season with the injuries suffered to a great deal of their roster, Girardi could be in line for the American League Manager of the Year Award, but there could be a few different managerial jobs available next season; such as the Washington Nationals or the Chicago Cubs; where there is less media pressure, but equal opportunity for Girardi to win in the big leagues.
If Girardi, who is a free agent after this season, steps away from the Yankees manager job, who would the team look to replace him with? Lets look at the potential possibilities at who could take the manager's seat in the Bronx if Girardi were to bolt out of town.
Tony Pena, (198-285 career managerial record); Pena was a candidate for the manager job after Joe Torre left the Bronx in 2007, but lost out to Girardi. Pena has been Girardi's bench coach since the 2009 season, but has been with the Yankees since the 2006 year as the first base coach and is a player favorite in the clubhouse. Pena has experience as a manager with the Kansas City Royals from 2002-2005 and won the 2003 American League Manager of the Year Award. Pena was a candidate for the Boston Red Sox job after the 2011 season, but the job was eventually given to Bobby Valentine. If the Yankees were to look internally for their next manager, Pena would be the most obvious choice.
Willie Randolph, (302-253 career managerial record); Randolph is an extremely popular choice among fans and would be a popular choice if given the manager duties. Randolph knows all about New York, as he played for the Yankees from 1976-1988 and then was a coach from 1994-2004 before getting his first ever manager's job in 2005 with the New York Mets, where he held for nearly four years. After being fired in the middle of the 2008 season, Randolph has bounced around as a coach with the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers, but is currently out of work right now, but would likely love to get back into baseball, and what better way then with the Yankees.
THE WILD CARDS:
Mike Scioscia, (1229-1029 career managerial record); Scioscia isn't on the market yet, but he could be after the 2013 season as looks like it will either come down to him or general manager Jerry Dipoto being let go from the team due to friction between the two. With Dipoto just getting to Los Angeles, Scioscia may be the one shown the door after 13 years with the Angels, which includes the organizations one and only World Series championship from back in 2002. Mnay consider Scioscia to be the best manager in baseball today, even though management has spent a lot of money to bring in high-priced talent but has under-performed over the last couple of seasons. If Scioscia is let go from his current contract, which runs through the 2018 season, he will definitely be a favorite by a lot teams, which could include the Yankees.
Don Mattingly, (256-220 career managerial record); Back in May, when the Los Angeles Dodgers were in last place of the National League West, Mattingly was almost sure to be a goner and be fired by Los Angeles management, but the Dodgers went on one of the most memorable runs in the sport, going from worst to first and have captured the National League West and will have a chance to manage the Dodgers to the World Series. Mattingly has yet to be given a contract extension though, and will be a free agent at season's end. Mattingly may have been one of the most popular Yankee players in history from 1982-1995 and also interviewed for the Yankees job in 2007 after Joe Torre left, but lost out to Girardi and then followed Torre to Los Angeles. If Mattingly doesn't re-sign in Los Angeles, the draw of coming back to New York will certainly be calling him.
Dave Miley, (125-164 career managerial record); A lot of fans might not know who Miley is, but he's currently the Yankees Class-AAA manager at Scranton and has been since the 2006 season. Miley does have some managerial experience in the major leagues, as he was the Cincinnati Reds manager from 2003-2005, but was let go during the middle of the season and went down to the minor leagues, which is where he has been ever since. Miley has won the Manager of the Year Award in 2007 and 2012 and also won the championship in the minors back in 2008. If the Yankees wanted to look to the minors and reward someone for their loyalty, Miley could be considered a name to consider, but given the names around, he could get overlooked.
Jason Giambi (0-0 career managerial record); Giambi is the ultimate underdog, but could sneak up as a potential managerial candidate because he is interested in getting a job in the majors. The former Yankee interviewed with the Colorado Rockies and nearly won the job, but lost out to Walt Weiss and was offered their hitting coach job, but chose to play another season with the Cleveland Indians. Giambi could always serve as a player/coach if he feels like he can still play and serve as a pinch hitter off the bench, but his value has been being a mentor to young players as an older and experienced player. Giambi might not seem like an overwhelming choice for the Yankees job, but he could be a dark horse given that he was a former Yankee player from 2002-2008.
If you were to look at a potential favorite now, Pena makes the most sense since he has managerial experience and is the next in line as the Yankees bench coach. However, the Yankees could always look outside the current coaching staff and look at either Randolph, Scioscia or Mattingly as the next manager for the team. But until then, Girardi has to say he's officially not coming back next season, and we're still a long ways away from that happening. Until then, let the speculation continue.
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