Yankees general manager Brian Cashman met the press today and talked a little about outgoing manager Joe Girardi, a good bit about what he’s seeking in a new manager and the process by which that man will be found.
Cashman started by throwing a bit of shade on Girardi, it seems, by saying that part of the reason he is not being brought back was his displeasure with how Girardi would “engage, communicate and connect with playing personnel.” Which is a fancy way of saying that the players weren’t listening to him or he wasn’t making as big an effort to reach them as necessary.
As I said in my post following the news of Girardi’s departure, that’s a valid reason to move on from Girardi, especially given that the most important players on this team going forward are the younger ones, but I’m rather surprised that Cashman actually said this publicly. You’d figure after a decade of service, Girardi — who says he wants to manage again — may have felt he was owed a standard “we just wanted to go in a different direction” comment from his old boss, but now he’s been labeled as a guy with poor communication skills. Tough thing to do.
Cashman then talked about the search for the next Yankees manager. He said that, while Girardi was a former Yankees player, he is not prioritizing any preexisting relationship between candidates and the club. He said he wants someone who is open to new ideas and outside-the-box thinking, though he also said he did not have a problem with Girardi in this respect. Perhaps most interestingly, Cashman said that any candidates he brings in to interview will be made available to the media afterward. While this may strike some as odd, Joel Sherman of the Post makes a good point when he says that, in doing so, Cashman will be able to get a sense of how the manager will handle the press, which is a pretty important part of the job these days, especially in New York.
Cashman said there is no time frame on the managerial search, but he has only two full weeks before the week of Thanksgiving, and then one full week after that before the Winter Meetings, when teams almost always have a guy in place.