Report: Yankees manager Joe Girardi ripped into his team before Derek Jeter’s home finale

35 Comments

Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday nothing short of perfect, as he ended it with a walk-off RBI single against the Orioles, but the night apparently began on a sour note.

According to Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Yankees manager Joe Girardi ripped into his team in the clubhouse before Thursday’s game to express his disappointment about missing the playoffs for the second straight year. In what can best be described as awkward, Girardi reportedly took a break during his speech for the team to present some retirement gifts to Jeter.

According to clubhouse sources who were present for the critique, and backed up by interviews with more than a half-dozen players, most of whom spoke to ESPNNewYork.com off-the-record for fear of angering the manager, Girardi chided some players for being overweight, and others for not being “hungry” enough.

One source described Girardi as “angry,” and said he even took a brief timeout to allow the players, led by CC Sabathia, to present Jeter with the original painting of The New Yorker magazine’s Sept. 8 cover depicting the shortstop waving goodbye, and an expensive watch, before returning to Part Two of his tirade.

“It was a speech the likes of which I’ve never heard him give before,” said the source, who was in the room during the meeting. “It’s something he probably should have said back in spring training.”

Some are overweight while others aren’t hungry enough. Talk about your mixed messages. Anyway, Girardi confirmed that the incident took place, but he characterized it as a “team meeting” and said he was more “disappointed” than “angry.” However, he was clearly peeved that details of the meeting leaked out.

“I’ll tell you what really bothers me, and I’m not blaming you,” he said to the reporter who confronted him about the meeting. “It’s that you know. It’s not right that the meetings you have in the clubhouse get out of the clubhouse.”

The Yankees were officially eliminated from postseason contention on Wednesday night. You could certainly quibble with the timing of the speech, as it felt out of place with the overall tone of the night, but Girardi said that he wanted to address the team at Yankee Stadium and not on the road.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

Getty Images
2 Comments

PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.