December 3, 2023

Joe Girardi is out of Philadelphia, right or wrong decision?


Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

It took just 51 games, but the Phillies have fired manager Joe Girardi.

Bench coach Rob Thomson will be the interim manager for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Girardi was 132-141 in three seasons as Phillies manager.

Girardi, 57, arrived with a winning descent from New York but failed to get the Phillies to the postseason in his first two years on the job. The team was staring at a huge deficit as they’re 21-29, 12 games back of the first-place Mets.

“It has been a frustrating season for us up until this point, as we feel that our club has not played up to its capabilities,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in a statement.

“While all of us share the responsibility for the shortcomings, I felt that a change was needed and that a new voice in the clubhouse would give us the best chance to turn things around. I believe we have a talented group that can get back on track, and I am confident that Rob, with his experience and familiarity with our club, is the right man to lead us going forward.”

After the latest victory over the Giants, Girardi acknowledged how badly the team needed a victory after losing five straight and going 10-18 in May. The Phillies were swept in a three-game series by the Mets earlier in the week, dropping them to 3-9 against their NL East rival. After that game, Girardi was asked if he was concerned about his job status. 

“I don’t worry about my job. I’ve never worried about my job,” Girardi said. “I don’t worry about my job. I’ve got to do my job. It’s the business of being a manager. I don’t worry about it.”

Thomson, 58, is a longtime associate of Girardi’s and a former bench coach of his with the Yankees. He has managed in the minor leagues but never in the majors. After 28 seasons in the Yankees organization, he joined the Phillies as bench coach under Gabe Kapler before the 2018 season. He was seen as a veteran baseball strategist that would be valuable to a first-year manager. Thomson stayed in the same role when Girardi took over as manager before the 2020 season.

Is this the right decision by the Phillies? Probably. The Phillies needed a change, especially being twelve games back at the beginning of June. But, rocking with Thomson may not be the way to go for the rest of the season. The Phils may be down 12 games in the division, but there are still 111 games to go.

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