Tyler Kepner doesn’t. Not only does he think he will last the season, he thinks he’d be retained for 2010 as well. He did an interview with Steve Lombardi over at WasWatching and had this exchange:
WW: True, $23 million for 15 wins would be an interesting scenario in terms of the fan reaction. If I recall correctly, the Red Sox have a policy that says you should only pay $1 million per expected win from a starter. And, there’s no way that CC is going to win 23 games this season. Since you’ve brought up Girardi, I have to ask: If the Yankees win less than 90 games this season and do not make the post-season, do you think General Joe will he return to manage New York in 2010? Why?
Tyler Kepner: My guess is he’d still come back. The Yankees always take measures to shake things up in a very obvious way each off-season. The way to do that next year will be to bolster the offense with Matsui, Damon and Nady all leaving. If Matt Holliday has a great year in Oakland, chances are they’ll sign him to a monster deal, sign someone else (plus maybe a pitcher) and feel as if they’ve fixed everything. To fire Girardi, someone would have to be really motivated to get rid of him, and I don’t see who that would be. Hal Steinbrenner runs the team, and he’s not rash and impulsive the way George was. My guess is Hal would defer to Cashman, who is signed through 2011, and I doubt Cashman would blame Girardi if the team doesn’t win. That’s not the way Cashman thinks.
Fans might be calling for his head, thinking that someone is listening. But they’re not, and anyone who’s been paying attention should know this already. George isn’t running the team anymore. Hank, who’s closer to George in temperament, can’t make a move without Hal and by all accounts is barely involved in the day to day running of the team. Hal’s the one actively running the team, and as a guy who attended Culver Military academy, Williams college and has a masters degree in business administration, he’s not exactly the knee jerk type. His approach to making decisions is analytical, rational and disciplined. Just like Girardi’s. There’s a reason they liked him enough to hire him.
Firing a manager a year and a month into his contract would be the kind of thing George would do at his worst, back in the 1980′s when the team was in constant disarray and the franchise was a laughing stock. Even George learned that was no way to run a team, and Torre’s 12 year run (and Buck’s 4 years prior) was evidence of this.
A Baseball season is like a 6 length Horse race. Calling for a manager’s head in April would be like firing the Trainer or Jockey after the first length. It’s foolish, based on momentary frustration, and would do more harm than good. It also lacks the perspective that many of the other horses will tire and/or break down over the course of the race. Many in the media are fostering this notion, spinning the sports narrative to generate controversy and hopefully garner attention and ratings for themselves. While its a good story, like many good stories it is light on truth and accuracy. But the media isn’t all that interested in giving you the whole truth, just the part that generates newspaper sales.
If you believed in this team in Spring Training, then you should believe in it now. Nothing has changed, its not like Alex, Bruney and Wang are lost for the season. Wang isn’t even hurt, and A-Rod and Bruney will be back in about a week. If you want to buy into the narrative the local sports media is selling you, be prepared for disappointment.
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