Ken Rosenthal's Joe Girardi Deathwatch

TORONTO - JUNE 6: Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees yells at Umpire Bruce Dreckman at the Rogers Centre June 6, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Girardi was ejected from the game (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Ken Rosenthal writes:

General manager Brian Cashman, not Girardi, put together the Yankees’ older, risk-filled roster. But if the Yankees fail to win the AL East, Girardi would be the one who blew a 10-game lead... The truth is, Girardi is a good manager who doesn’t deserve to be fired. But what if the Yankees decided that they wanted to start anew, wanted someone like say, Terry Francona? Might be a good idea for Girardi to win the division.

If the Yankees fail to win the division, it's on the general manager, period. As with all managers, we can point to specific in-game moves that Girardi has made that were wrongheaded on their face, but this is an old, slow, and brittle roster. During the offseason, Cashman doubled down on that weakness by choosing to supplement the team with the likes of Raul Ibanez, and then, in-season, with Ichiro Suzuki. Shockingly, players that were past it as producers last year have proved to be past it this year.As for pitching, Cashman gambled old again on Hiroki Kuroda and won in a big way, but pitcher aging curves are a lot harder to predict than hitters, who generally don't surprise. Subsequently, he went to the Andy Pettitte well, a sentimental choice that also worked out well.

Underlying all of this is the tolerance of an amateur scouting and drafting operation that has been very poor. There are good managers and bad. Girardi is more the former than the latter, but like all of them, these qualities are not important compared to the basic tools the skipper is given. Rosenthal isn't arguing that GIrardi should be fired, the opposite in fact, but it's ridiculous that we even have to have this conversation, and that's true if the Yankees win or not.

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