Joe Girardi still wants to be a manager — and he “absolutely” still wanted to manage the Yankees.
In his first interview since being dumped by the Bombers, Girardi explained to The Athletic how disappointed, surprised and hurt he was when GM Brian Cashman told him in a “fairly quick” converastion that his decade-long run was over.
“I was surprised. With the year that we had and the progress the team had made, I thought I would be back,” said Girardi, who’s been spending a lot of time with his family. “Obviously, there is a ton of talent there, a ton of great young talent. I was excited about that. I thought I’d be back.”
He added: “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.”
The skipper — who is still “really thankful” for his 10 seasons with the Bombers — said he didn’t sense that the Yankees’ commitment to him was wavering toward the end and that he fully intended to return after he got his family’s blessing. Mentally, he said, he was ready to go.
But on Oct. 26, the Yankees told Girardi, whose contract was up, that he wouldn’t be asked to return.
Some criticism followed, everything from speculation that he wasn’t a great communicator to he wasn’t warm enough. But Girardi told The Athletic he gets his demeanor from his parents, who were tough and didn’t always show a lot of emotion, but when they did it was “really impactful.”
“Some people might say I’m not fuzzy and warm all the time. I do like to have fun. I have relationships with all my players,” he said. “It might not come out when I’m talking to the media. But I spend time with my players, do all of those things.”
Although disappointed that the Yankees only won one World Series during his time with the team, Girardi said seeing Yankee Stadium during the final six games of the postseason is a “lasting memory” he will always have.
“You can never get enough of that,” he said. “It was a special environment.”
Giradi wouldn’t say if he spoke to the Phillies or Nationals, but if he can’t manage he’d consider working for MLB and is “definitely interested” in doing TV work. Hal Steinbrenner even told him they’d speak later on if he ever “wanted to do something for the organization.”
“I have other interests in life. I do want to manage again. Time will tell exactly what I do,” Girardi said.
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