Who's To Blame? Part 2

As I've stated before there are many factors that led to this disappointing 2008 season. Offense, defense, pitching, manager, general manager. Today we focus on Joe Girardi.

"I take responsibility for it, that's the only way I know how to do it," Girardi said. "Obviously, my job is to get the most out of everyone."

Well it appears he didn't. Somewhere along the way I believe he lost his players. Melky Cabrera had a good April, then disappeared. Robinson Cano forgot that he was the second coming of Rod Carew in the first half, and even at times in the second half. Those are two players that played well under Joe Torre, oops, I shouldn't have mentioned that name. More on him later. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy were absolute busts. Kennedy didn't seem botheres by his last performance in Anahiem where he was rocked again and thought he pitched well. That got him a first class ticket back to the minors. Even through the let downs, Girardi has done well with the hand he was dealt.

Andy Pettitte
, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Mike Mussina and Brian Bruney were asked about Girardi's performance and praised him. Others on the team chose not to comment. Hmm. Not good. That right there shows you how the clubhouse seems divided. That was never the case under Mr Torre. Girardi's biggest mistakes might've been trying to mix and match the lineup too much. Also his always optimistic attitude has come off as a joke. He's told the media his players are fine and then those players magically get hurt within days, if not hours.

That guy in L.A. Joe Torre is sitting pretty at the top of the NL West while Girardi's Yanks sit in fourth place. Had Torre delivered a fourth place team in September he would surely be out the door by now, but since Girardi is handpicked by Brain Cashman and given the ok by the Steinbrenner family, his job is safe.....for now.

"Joe has done a good job, he had to deal with a lot," Cashman said of the Yankees losing Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui and Chien-Ming Wang for extended stretches. "He never used excuses and has always looked to solve the problem. He has handled our pitchers very well, he and (pitching coach) Dave Eiland have done a good job."

I agree but I also think if Torre was here the Yankees wouldn't be in this position. It's a debate that will linger all winter long because the bottom line is this: Torre got the Yanks to the playoffs every year he was here. Girardi failed in his first try. Can't blame Girardi for it, but it does show how effortless Torre made the job seem. Now that the Dodgers look to be playing in October while the Yanks sit at home, Torre's laughable State Farm commerical about his new life in L.A. isn't so funny. He looks like a genius for walking away from the Yankees. What happens if the Dodgers win the World Series? How will that affect Girardi's job? Time will tell.

I think Girardi did what he could this season and I don't hold him accountable. I wanted him as the manager so I have to accept the fate that came along with it. He showed me some fire this season and I liked it. The night he got thrown out and threw his hat to the ground and put on a Lou Pinella like tantrum I got all fired up. It was what I wanted to see, it's what many fans wanted to see. For that night it worked as the Yankees made a 9th inning comeback. Since then, we've got a toned down Girardi, that I don't like. Let the man do his job the way he sees fit. I think he's trying too much to be a media's manager. Let him scream, curse, shove. Whatever gets the job done. Maybe then, ALL of his players will respect him and then ALL of them will play with some pride. While I can't say poor Joe, I can certainly say shame on those players who gave up on him and the team. The lesson we learned here....Joe Torre is a sure genius!
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