Friday, August 10, 2012

Joe Girardi shows some fire

I’ve never seen Joe Girardi as angry as he was yesterday. It was truly awesome.

If you haven’t seen Girardi’s post-game interview, I insist that you immediately stop reading this blog and check out this link to the YES Network website. Not only did the New York Yankees manager rip third-base umpire Tim Welke a new one on the field, he continued his verbal assault in an epic tirade after the game.

We normally don’t see the Yankees manager that worked up, unless he is fighting with a reporter who dares to question him, particularly when it comes to AJ Burnett (come to think of it, with Burnett gone, I can’t remember seeing Girardi fight with any reporters). I know Girardi was still angry about Welke’s stubbornness, but I couldn’t help cracking up as he took shot after shot at him.

But Girardi’s central point is a fair one: that the umpire made a mistake that could have easily cost the Yankees the game, especially with the rain that may have forced an early end. After admitting that he initially called a fair ball foul, Welke should have been more understanding of Girardi’s argument that the runner should be sent back to third base rather than letting the go-ahead run score (he then made the situation worse by refusing to let the Yankees manager protest the game). That’s clearly why Girardi was so angry. With the Yankees struggling in recent weeks, it was an important game for them to win.

Girardi’s outburst on the field may have awakened his slumbering ballclub. Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez hit back-to-back home runs that gave the Yankees a lead that they did not relinquish. You can’t say for sure those homers were related to Girardi’s angry display, but it can only help motivate baseball players who know that their manager completely has their back.

Girardi is clearly going to pay for his post-game tirade, but I’m sure he couldn’t care less about the fine coming his way. I can only hope his fire is contagious and sparks a Yankee winning streak. 

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