Sunday, August 21, 2011

Girardi wrong to lash out at media over AJ

Joe Girardi thinks the media’s incessant criticism of AJ Burnett is ridiculous. I think that Girardi’s rant yesterday was ridiculous.

Girardi accused the media of trying to stir up trouble when he was asked about Burnett’s inappropriate behavior after being taken out of last night’s game. Girardi may be sick of answering questions about AJ, but that’s just too bad. These are legitimate questions and a large part of Girardi’s job as the manager of the New York Yankees is answering these types of questions from the media, something he has never been good at. He can’t fly off the handle when the questions come. Instead of being mad at reporters doing their jobs, he should be livid with AJ Burnett for not doing his job and putting his manager in such a bad spot.

I’ve given Girardi the benefit of the doubt in previous situations (including the Jorge Posada mess). But it’s really impossible for me to believe him when he says Burnett was not angry with him in stalking off the mound and into the dugout. And I don’t believe for a second that the manager walked into the dugout to look at a previous pitch when the Yankees were in the middle of a crucial moment that could make or break the game. Perhaps Girardi’s frustration simply got to him and he snapped at the wrong people, but everything he said seemed like a cover story. The good thing about pulling Burnett after 1 2/3 innings is that they had plenty of time to get their stories straight.

I really felt bad for Jack Curry, who bore the brunt of Girardi’s postgame anger. As a journalist, it is often your job to ask really tough, uncomfortable but important questions and that is all Curry was doing. I’ve been on the wrong side of a source’s anger and there is really no recourse other than maintaining your composure and vowing not to speak to this person ever again if it can be avoided. Curry, of course, doesn’t have that option. Girardi is the Yankees manager and Curry will have to speak to him on a daily basis in his role in covering the Yankees. The Yankees manager owes Jack Curry an apology.

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