By Jon Lane
Jerome Preisler eloquently comes to Joe Girardi’s defense by sharing a volley and serve with a reader. The manager cannot hit, run, throw or field, and – be fair – anyone would have asked Mariano Rivera for a four-out save Friday night. If a decision works, the manager is a genius. If it fails, he’s a moron. That’s the nature of the beast.
The biggest knock on Girardi is the Yankees, playing under supreme expectaions, failing to avoid the slow start that dogged them in the past and finally caught up to them last season. Just like last year, injuries have been, to steal a line from Tom Coughlin, a cancer. Let’s see where we’re at by the All-Star break.
What the Yankees have done, despite looking horrendous at times, is play hard, as Preisler points out here:
Without rehashing the entire weekend, this team is playing hard. If it wasn’t, or if Girardi had made some really serious managerial blunders, then, yes, you can say he shows a failure of leadership.
Want proof? Look at John Tortorella’s New York Rangers. Given two chances to bury the Capitals, they’ve played dead both times and are already being declared dead before tonight’s Game 7. That team is choking literally and figuratively. Their coach, hours after benching Sean Avery for being stupid, trumped that stupidity by throwing a water bottle and waving a stick at a fan.
The Rangers’ brain trust fired Tom Renney because his heartless team stopped playing for him. The Yankees haven’t stopped playing for Joe Girardi. Team Tortorella’s offensive game, especially on the power play, still stinks. Here’s what effect a managerial change would have on the Yankees at this time: None.