Phillies fire Joe Girardi after poor start to season


Phillies fire Joe Girardi after poor start to season

Joe Girardi’s seat went from hot to smoke.

The Philadelphia Phillies fired their manager after a 10:29 start to the 2022 season, the team announced Friday.

Girardi making his weekly appearance on Sirius XM’s MLB Network Radio on Friday morning, seemed to understand where everything was wrong for him and his squad.

“We underperformed and that falls on me,” he said. “That’s what happens.”

In his opinion, it wasn’t just one thing that led to the end of his Phillies tenure.

“I think there are a number of reasons why we didn’t win,” he said. “We gave too many extra outs that maybe cost us 4-5 games? Maybe even more. It seems that our bullpen sometimes had problems. We’ve had some guys that I think have a lot better stuff than the potential they’ve set themselves to, which led to some games. And I think some guys got off to a slow start offensively. And that happens, doesn’t it? But you know, I think sometimes you can overcome one thing, maybe even two, but sometimes when it’s more than that, I think it’s a bit difficult.

Girardi’s time in Philly ends with a 132-141 record spanning more than two seasons. The former Yankees manager spent 10 seasons in the Bronx and led the team to a World Series title in 2009 before being fired in 2017.

Joe Girardi was fired from the Phillies on June 3, 2022
Joe Girardi was fired from the Phillies on June 3, 2022.
Robert Sabo

He joined a Philly team that had already begun upgrading with big-money contracts. Bryce Harper, the reigning NL MVP, inked a 13-year, $330 million deal before Girardi came on board in 2020. Soon after came catcher JT Realmuto for five years and $115.5 million, pitcher Zack Wheeler for $118 million over five years, and big-bats Nick Castellanos (five years, $100 million) and Kyle Schwarber (four years, $79 million). In all, the front office distributed $742.5 million spent over 32 “contract years.”

The $224 million payroll has yet to translate into a hit on the field as the franchise looks to make the postseason for the first time in over a decade. The lack of results was Girardi’s cross to bear.

“I can look back on that last week when we were, I don’t know, 3-7 and I think realistically we should have been 7-3,” he said as the owner of a 1120-935 record over 14 seasons managing one MLB clubs. “Well, that’s going to fall on me because it wasn’t us. I get that. I just pray they get better and make the playoffs.”

This assessment is also shared by the front office, who is already running out of time to put the ship back in order.

“It’s been a frustrating season for us up to this point as we feel our club hasn’t lived up to its capabilities,” Phillies baseball operations president Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. “While we are all to blame for the shortcomings, I felt a change was needed and that a new voice in the clubhouse would give us the best chance of turning things around.”

That new voice will come in the form of Rob Thomson, a longtime cohort of Girardi dating back to their 10 seasons with the Yankees.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and appreciate the trust Dave has shown in me,” he said. “Nonetheless, this is an emotional day for me having worked closely with Joe for so many years. This has been my home for the last five years and I care deeply about this franchise, this city, our players, our coaches, our staff and our fans. I’m ready to lead this team and looking forward to getting to work turning this around.”

Thomson, who spent 10 of his 28 seasons with the Yankees organization as the bench coach and third baseball coach for the big club, becomes the 56th manager in franchise history. He will play his first game on Friday against a struggling Angels team.

“I believe we have a talented group who can get back on track and I’m confident that Rob, with his experience and familiarity with our club, is the right man to lead us into the future,” said Dombrowski.

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