Trouble in Paradise

On his blog today, LoHud Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham wrote about the interview WFAN’s Mike Francesa did with SI’s John Heyman. The subject of the interview was….


We’ve heard rumblings about unrest in the clubhouse before now, but Peter describes how Girardi and his players, particularly the veterans, didn’t always see eye to eye – to the point where performance on the field might have suffered.
Yikes. The players are paid to do their jobs, whether they like the manager or not. On the other hand, managers are paid, in part, to motivate their players. What good will it do to sign Sabathia or Burnett if Jeter and Posada can’t stand Girardi? 
For those who aren’t familiar with Peter and his blog, he’s a no-nonsense source for what really goes on inside the Yankees’ inner sanctum. He’s not an alarmist. If he says there’s trouble, there’s trouble. But hopefully the situation is solvable. If not, we could be looking at Cashman begging Mattingly to put the pinstripes back on.


  1. PAUL

    I heard that. Girardi was in a no-win situation when he took the job with everything involved in replacing Torre to begin with; but he also played with these guys as a teammate and Torre was pretty much the only manager that Jeter and Rivera knew (other than a brief time with Buck Showalter); Girardi’s reputation as a micro-manager, his tightness and that he’s NOT Torre, plus the Yankees not making the playoffs just as Torre may be heading to the World Series with the Dodgers must be making Jeter nuts.
    I’m not gonna feel sympathy for Derek Jeter. He had the power to dictate (to a point) if he wanted the laid back Don Mattingly to replace Torre; the Yankees veterans had to hear from friends and acquaintances with the Marlins what playing for Girardi was gonna be like. One thing about Jeter is that he doesn’t throw his weight around like stars have in the past (I would think because his parents would disapprove) and now he’s stuck with a manager he apparently doesn’t like.
    I’m inclined to give Girardi a break because he’s the new guy, but the Yankees vets aren’t gonna want to hear about a transition team as they’re eight years away from their last championship, they’re entering their mid-to-late 30s, and the window for more titles (or A title in A-Rod’s case) is starting to close. If Jeter and co. have a problem with Girardi, they’ll have to go to management and tell them to do something about it if they want the problem fixed, otherwise this isn’t going to go away.

  2. Jane Heller

    I knew there were issues between Girardi and the media, particularly around injuries to players. As Stephen Colbert would say, Joe lacked truthiness. Jeter has never been a guy who stirs things up. Remember when he didn’t stand up for Torre after Sheffield essentially called Torre a racist on HBO? Derek never wants to make himself the story. But I think he’ll have to speak up this time. As you point out, he can’t feel too great sitting out his first postseason. I’ll be interested in how Posada handles the situation when he comes off the DL next year. He’s never been shy about speaking his mind.

  3. Kylie

    Huh. That’s interesting. He is their boss, but if he’s not doing well in his own job how can he be expected to conduct a team to do well?
    I’m sure a big part of it is that he isn’t Torre and Torre is definitely in the playoffs this year and the Yanks aren’t. I could see how that would cause a lot of stress.
    Speaking of Girardi, I bought a book called Baseball 365 Days and there is a really cute picture of Rox-era Girardi pointing something out to a little girl. It might actually be the most adorable picture I’ve ever seen.
    Kylie —

  4. pinstripepride3

    I’d be interested in knowing specifically which veterans have a problem with Girardi. Is it Jeter/Posada/Rivera or is it A-Rod/Abreu/Giambi? I can’t see Jeter causing a problem with any manager. I believe that Posada’s relationship with Girardi (Girardi was Posada’s mentor when he first came into the league) had a lot to do with Jorge re-signing with the Yankees. Girardi was Rivera’s catcher and I also believe they have a good relationship. I think the problem may lie with the veterans who did not win championships with Girardi.

  5. Jane Heller

    Kylie, I think it was unrealistic of everyone (me included) to expect Girardi to walk right in and take Joe Torre’s place. Not going to happen. There had to be growing pains and adjustments. Girardi’s a good guy and well liked. But being a teammate of a player and being that player’s boss are two different things entirely. Hopefully, he’ll figure it all out.

    Pinstripepride, I can’t see Jeter openly having a problem with Girardi. But he calls Torre “Mr. T” whereas Girardi is “Joe.” Torre was a father figure. Girardi is the teammate who became the boss. As for Posada, yeah, Girardi was his mentor but when Posada got hurt, Girardi didn’t handle that situation very well. Posada’s got a lot of pride and he couldn’t have enjoyed twisting in the wind while the team told him to rehab the shoulder and Molina took his job. Also, I think Posada and Jeter wanted Girardi to use a firmer hand with Cano and it didn’t happen until the end of the season. Maybe there was frustration over that. Abreu, Giambi and Damon are the most easygoing people around, so I can’t imagine there were problems with them. A-Rod? Who knows.

  6. jboogie

    I think what happened is natural. At least it is in the business world. You always find when a long-term boss gets replaced for whatever reason, that there’s a period of adjustment that takes place, and the people that worked for the old boss the longest have the most trouble dealing with the changes. I see it all the time. Hopefully, the adjustment period is over and done with and they can all get on the same page.

  7. Jane Heller

    It’s true, J-Boogie. I remember when my boss left and I couldn’t stand the woman who replaced her. I ended up quitting and taking a job someplace else!

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