Is Joe Girardi the Manager of the Year so far? - TiqIQ Contest

USA TODAY Sports

It's early in the season, but Girardi's control over a tough injury situation should be remembered.

December 2012

Alex Rodriguez needs hip surgery and will miss at least half the season. Annoying, but the offense is still good and there's time to look for a replacement! Hey, Kevin Youkilis might work as a reclamation project!

February 2013: First day of Spring Training games

Seriously? Curtis Granderson broke his arm in his first at-bat of the Spring on a J.A. Happ pitch. His dingers will be missed, but there is time to hope a decent outfielder pops up on waivers.

March 2013: Team U.S.A. World Baseball Classic workouts

What? Mark Teixeira hurt his wrist in batting practice? Annoying, but it seems to be just a sprain. It's not like Jose Bautista's wrist injury from last year.

A couple days later

Shit. It seems very similar and Tex is going to be gone for a couple months. Might hve to find another first baseman since Juan Rivera's first base defense makes me vomit and Dan Johnson apparently has no pulse. At least Derek Jeter looks to be on target for Opening Day!

A few days before Opening Day

Situation bleak. Jeter won't be ready in time, the corpse of Vernon Wells is now another Yankee with an ugly contract, and over-the-hill Lyle Overbay is the starting first baseman. Even Derrek Lee turned the Yanks down and he's been out of baseball since 2011.

April-early May 2013

Well the Youk plan didn't work so well since his back locked up after a hot start, Francisco Cervelli broke his hand, Ivan Nova left his start in the same game with pain in his elbow, Joba Chamberlain hurt his oblique, and even Eduardo Nunez has a rib cage injury. The Yanks' replacements are getting hurt. Becoming convinced that Brian Cashman disturbed an ancient burial ground...

Lineups in series vs. Colorado Rockies

Lineup

GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3
Ichiro Suzuki - CF Brett Gardner - CF Brett Gardner - CF
Jayson Nix - SS Robinson Cano - 2B Jayson Nix - SS
Robinson Cano - 2B Vernon Wells - LF Robinson Cano - 2B
Vernon Wells - LF Lyle Overbay - 1B Vernon Wells - LF
Ben Francisco - RF Ichiro Suzuki - RF Ben Francisco - RF
Lyle Overbay - 1B Jayson Nix - SS Chris Nelson - 3B
Chris Nelson - 3B Chris Nelson - 3B Lyle Overbay - 1B
Chris Stewart - C David Phelps - P Chris Stewart - C
Hiroki Kuroda - P Austin Romine - C CC Sabathia - P

It's been a rough several months for the Yankees on the health front and they are still deploying lineups like the ones in the Rockies series, albeit with a DH. (Oh and their regular DH Travis Hafner is injured, too. Casual.) Yet despite the tribulations, the Yankees enter play tonight with the second-best record in baseball at 25-14.

The majority of the credit goes to the players on the field performing and exceeding expectations, but the guy on the bench using them so effectively deserves some credit as well. Although Joe Girardi can be irritating to fans at times, he has frequently pressed the right buttons in choosing his players this year. One could argue that the only real mistake he's made is playing Ben Francisco too much. If a part-time player is the only problem, then the manager is doing a damn fine job.

I personally think the Manager of the Year Award is unnecessary since I don't think even the best managers have that much of an effect on a ballclub. We don't have player-managers anymore; he's not hitting, pitching, or fielding to help the team win. Arm-killer Dusty Baker has won the award three times. Nonetheless, the award exists, so perhaps Girardi deserves some early consideration for the AL Manager of the Year Award.

Obviously, there's a ton of games left in the season. The Yankees won't even pass the 25% mark until Friday. Say the season ended today though. (Boy, that year went quickly!) Would you pick Girardi for Manager of the Year? Going by won/loss record, only the Rangers and Ron Washington have matched the Yanks' 25-14 record, and they haven't had nearly as many injuries. Both John Farrell and Terry Francona of the Red Sox and Indians are exceeding expectations with the Red Sox and Indians, respectively, at 22-17, but the same principle of "not as many injuries" can be applied.

So what do you think? Is Joe Girardi the Manager of the Year so far?

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