I am down on Joe Girardi this season.
After 2 years of deftly handling a bullpen of movable parts and evolving roles, he has buckled to the ownership pressure to make Soriano the 8th Inning Guy (TM). The Yankees' bullpen and the Yankees odds of winning the division have suffered for it. If David Robertson, or Hector Noesi, or Luis Ayala had performed the way Soriano has, they wouldn't still be slotted into that role in September.
Girardi has shown similar veteran loyalty to Jorge Posada. As the DH labored through the worst year of his career, Girardi could have done any number of inventive things to rotate the DH position through the Yankees' veterans. But instead, Joe G. kept filling out the same lineup card day after day.
And then there's Jesus Montero. The Yankees' treatment of their superstar in training was meant to be the point of this post, but the red light seeps in around the edge of my vision and then I can't see the screen to type, I can only smash thing.
The Yankees kept Montero in the minors until September; this doesn't use up any of his service time, so next year will be his rookie year. Fine. Cool.
But he's here now. Let the kid catch. If you're willing to punt games by holding starters out of every game for the rest of the season, if you're willing to use Scott Proctor in extra innings, if you're willing to use Rafael Soriano in a save situation, then why can't the kid catch?
I know Joe's answer- he's not familiar with the pitching staff.
Bull. If the Yankees had traded for a catcher, he would have gone in the lineup. How familiar is Francisco Cervelli with Scott Proctor and Aaron Laffey? We know and understand Girardi's love affair with defense-first catchers. I don't expect him to change; I know that he is an average to above average manager.
But the Yankees need a manager suited to get the most of this team, this season.