Joe Girardi said he is “surprised” and “disappointed” that he will not return as the New York Yankees’ manager next season, telling The Athletic that he “wanted to finish what we had started this year.”
Girardi, in his first interview since the announcement Thursday that he wouldn’t be back with the Yankees, discussed a wide range of topics with The Athletic, including his relationship with New York’s front office and his plans for the future.
The Yankees said last week that general manager Brian Cashman would not discuss their decision regarding Girardi during the World Series. Girardi described his conversation with Cashman when the GM delivered the news that he wouldn’t be returning.
“It was fairly quick,” Girardi said. “Brian told me as an organization they had decided to go in a different direction. We talked for a few minutes and we talked later on for a little bit longer. For me, there was disappointment because I kind of wanted to finish what we had started this year. And I was looking forward to the growth of the organization, the young players, the more young players with the veterans we had.
“I was very excited about 2018. But in a lot of respects, I’m really thankful. I was there for 10 years. How many managers, head coaches in the NFL, NBA, NHL, college football coaches, college basketball coaches, get to spend 10 years in one place?”
The Yankees came within one game of playing in the World Series for the second time during Girardi’s 10-year stint with the club, losing to the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
Girardi, whose four-year contract expired at the end of this season, also confirmed that he “absolutely” wanted to return to the Yankees.
“I think sometimes people perceived that I didn’t want to come back, and that’s not the case,” Girardi said in the interview, which was published Tuesday.
Girardi described his relationship with Cashman as “good,” saying that he thought “we were on the same page most of the time.”
Girardi said that he does want to manage again but acknowledged that he has interest working in Major League Baseball operations or returning to television. He worked for the YES Network in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
“I truly love this game — the strategy of the game, the relationships in the game, the pbadion I have for getting the most out of people,” he said. “I want everyone who has an opportunity to be able to experience what I’ve experienced in this game, all the good things that have happened to me because of this game.”