Talk about grinding your axes in your journalism, which Bergen Record/Fox Sports writer Bob Klapisch does a lot of these days, unfortunately. I say ‘unfortunately’ because I was once a big fan of his work. This was in the middle of what was otherwise a pro-Girardi piece:
But an uptight and overly anxious manager can still undermine the talent in his clubhouse. Why else would Sabathia have included an opt-out clause in his seven-year contract? He’d heard about the coup that took down Torre after 2007, heard that Girardi was trying (too hard) to be his own man. In fact, Sabathia had one question for GM Brian Cashman before deciding he could be a Yankee:
“What’s your clubhouse like?”
For a little background, Klapisch was a HUGE Torre supporter (like most of the Mets-friendly media). At Torre’s press conference after he left the Yanks, Klap asked him a question which went something like “Will you ever return to the stadium after the way they’ve treated you?” Not exactly a glittering example of unbiased journalism there.
If CC had any concerns about the Yankee clubhouse, it would be the long standing reputation that it had (under Torre) of being ‘stuffy’. That refers to the way Jeter and Posada ran the place while Torre was distant, usually in his office. Loose, free spirited players like Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon had to tone down their acts when they came here, and at times bumped their head against clubhouse etiquette. Yet somehow, Klap manages to speculate this being some sort of reflection on Girardi, despite almost a decade of prior evidence.
Sabathia’s a west coast guy and a family man, and much of his family lives in California. Most observers took the opt out clause as his way of testing the waters on the east coast, and seeing how he liked it here. That’s the first I’ve ever heard anyone inject “Girardi’s clubhouse” into his decision. Also, even using the term ‘coup’ tells you how irrationally pro-Torre he is. By Torre’s own account in his own book, he was offered a contract, that he declined. Some “coup”.
He concludes the article with this:
Such reflection doesn’t exactly fit with the Girardi’s public profile. To those who deal with him on a daily basis — specifically, the media — he’s seemed guarded, often combative, forgetting that diplomacy-challenged managers don’t last long in New York.
Diplomacy challenged managers don’t last. . . . ever heard of Bobby Valentine (7 seasons)? How about Buck Showalter (4 seasons)? Art Howe might have been the nicest, most media friendly man to ever manage in this town and he lasted just 2 years on a 4 year deal. It’s all about winning, if you win you could go on Tommy Lasorda-like tirades with the press and get away with it. Classic ‘tail wags the Dog’ journalist, who thinks sportswriters are bigger than the stories they cover. Sorry Bob, but nobody cares about you. Especially nowadays.
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