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Joe Girardi wasn’t a perfect manager, but he probably deserved better

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The Yankees think they can do better than Girardi, but they can also do a lot worse.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After Game 2 of the Yankees’ ALDS against Cleveland, I was ready to help Joe Girardi pack his bags. Lonnie Chisenhall’s bat was the only thing hit by a pitch with replay upon replay, in addition to Gary Sanchez’s pleading, showing that much as fact. Girardi didn’t challenge the play and everyone knows what happened next.

Had the Yankees gotten swept out of the ALDS, I doubt many people would have been surprised if it marked the end for Girardi in New York. One instance of magnified failure in a sea of other frustrations, yes, but still...Girardi was much more good than bad. His job security moving forward seemed pretty secure as he guided his rebuilding club to 91 wins and one win short of a World Series appearance.

Now we know he’s out, and it was the Yankees’ decision. Even though I was ready to find Girardi real estate in another city in the heat of the moment, this doesn’t really feel fair. Worse, it feels like it could be a mistake depending on who is brought in to replace him. Girardi was far from a perfect manager, and his missteps could be infuriating. However, a lot of times managers fall into the “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” category.

For those of us of a certain age, managerial change within the Yankees is kind of a foreign concept. It’s doubly frustrating when other teams replacing their managers have been at the process for longer, already scooping up some of the better replacement candidates. This makes it more likely that the replacement will come from inside the organization, but not all of those options are ones to be excited about. Hopefully the Yankees have someone in mind that will allow them to skip the Brad Ausmusesque castoffs floating around on the manager market.

It’s going to feel incredibly weird not to have Joe as the manager when we see the Yankees again. I guess it’s possible that the Yankees’ front office feels like they can do better than Joe Girardi, and maybe they can, but they can also do a lot worse. That uncertainty is going to linger well beyond whenever the team names Girardi’s replacement.