The historic differences between the Phillies and New York Yankees are many and great, starting with the number of World Series titles won by the team in the Bronx. The Phillies are down 27-2 on that scoreboard and two of New York’s titles came at the expense of the Phillies, in 1950 and 2009.
Now, however, the Phillies have Joe Girardi, the last manager to lead the Yankees to a World Series title. New York general manager Brian Cashman believes Philadelphia got “a great one” in Girardi, who will be introduced as the team’s 55th manager at a Monday news conference inside Citizens Bank Park.
“I played against the great Phillies players of the early ’90s – from Dutch Daulton to John Kruk to Dave Hollins – and I managed against their teams during the incredible run they had from 2008 to 2011,” Girardi said in the team statement announcing his hiring. "To have my name now associated with this great franchise is something that I couldn’t be happier about.”
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Joe Girardi’s hiring an historic one for Phillies
It is well known that the Phillies have won only two World Series and that Dallas Green (1980) and Charlie Manuel (2008) were the managers of those teams. Now, for just the third time in franchise history, the Phillies have hired a manager who previously had won a World Series as the manager of another team.
Joe Girardi, of course, beat Manuel and the Phillies in six games during the 2009 World Series and Thursday he became the first manager since Steve O’Neill in 1952 to join the Phillies as manager after winning a World Series elsewhere. O’Neill won the World Series as the Detroit Tigers manager in 1945 and replaced Eddie Sawyer, manager of the Phillies’ 1950 Whiz Kids team, in the middle of the 1952 season. He had a lot of success, too, leading the team to a 59-32 record over the final 91 games of the season after the Phils had gone 28-35 under Sawyer.
The only other manager to join the Phillies after winning the World Series elsewhere was Hall of Famer Bucky Harris. At the age of 27, he won the World Series in his first season as a manager with the Washington Senators in 1924. Nineteen seasons later in 1943 he became the Phillies manager, but Harris was fired and replaced by Freddie Fitzsimmons after a 39-53 start. Interestingly, the Senators’ 1924 title was the last and only title ever won in the city of Washington until possibly this season.
Girardi, 55, will also become the sixth man in history to manage both the Phillies and Yankees and only the second to work for the Phillies after first working for the Yankees. Bill Donovan managed the Yankees from 1915 through 1917 before becoming the Phillies manager in 1921. He was fired after 87 games with a 25-62 record.
George Stallings managed the Phillies from 1897 through 1898 before becoming manager of a New York Highlanders club with zero World Series titles in 1909. Art Fletcher managed the Phillies from 1923 through 1926 and replaced the legendary Miller Huggins as manager with 11 games left in the Yankees’ 1929 season.
Four years after being fired by the Phillies, the aforementioned Harris led the Yankees to their 11th World Series title in 1947 and remained in New York for one more season before being replaced by Casey Stengel, who would lead the Yankees to seven titles over the next 10 years.
The last man before Girardi to manage both the Yankees and the Phillies was Dallas Green, who was hired by George Steinbrenner to replace Lou Piniella before the 1989 season but only lasted 121 games before feeling the wrath of The Boss.
Girardi will attempt to become the first manager in history to lead the Yankees and Phillies to a World Series title.
Joe Girardi’s first order of business as Phillies manager will be hiring a pitching coach and hitting instructor. My column lists some potential candidates, including Dave Eiland, Larry Rothschild and Mike Harkey, all of whom worked with Girardi in the Bronx.
Now that Girardi is in charge, the Phillies players are going to discover that they’re not in Gabe Kapler’s clubhouse any more. Scott Lauber explains how and why Girardi is the anti-Kapler.
“Joe (Girardi) brings high character and a tremendous work ethic to his position, and he is a proven winner," general manager Matt Klentak said in a statement Monday. Our Matt Breen also explains that Girardi also gives managing partner John Middleton the manager who took away the Phillies’ “bleeping” World Series trophy in 2009.
Joe Girardi is an Illinois native who attended Northwestern. Here are some other fun facts about the new Phillies manager.
Tonight: The World Series resumes in Washington with the Nats up 2-0 on Houston, 8:07 p.m.
Tomorrow: Patrick Corbin pitches for Washington in Game 4 at Nationals Park, 8:07 p.m.
Sunday: Game 5 if necessary at Nationals Park, 8:07 p.m.
Monday: Joe Girardi introduced as Phillies manager at Citizens Bank Park, 1 p.m.
March 26: The Phillies’ Girardi Era begins at Marlins Park in Miami, 4:10 p.m.
Stat of the day
This is an anniversary of sorts for new Phillies manager Joe Girardi. On this date in 2009, the Yankees rode a strong performance from Andy Pettitte and a two-inning save by Mariano Rivera to win the franchise’s 40th American League pennant with a 5-2 Game 6 ALCS victory over the Los Angeles Angels. The Yanks, of course, went on to beat the Phillies in six games for their 27th World Series title.
From the mailbag
Send questions by email or on Twitter @brookob.
Question: Great news. (Girardi) is the manager I was hoping for. He is the manager I wanted when our guys selected Gabe. I think Gabe gave it his all, but I think what hurt the most was his lack of on-the-field managing experience. I still think J.T.'s eye roll was due to something Gabe was telling the pitcher and team during that pitching change. It is going to be a very exciting offseason as all these new managers and their GM’s try to make an immediate impact by signing one or two of the top free agents. Joe Girardi’s whole life resume is a series of accomplishments. It is going to be very hard tough to move up through the rest of the pack now that the NL East might very well be the most competitive division in MLB. Joe will bring the experience and know-how, but the Phillies are going to have to supply the talent. Do you think they are prepared to do that?
Everett S., via email
Answer: That was a lot of comment to get to the question Everett, but thanks for reading and for the question. Regardless of who the Phillies hired as manager, I think managing partner John Middleton was prepared to be aggressive for a second straight year in the free-agent market. I’d actually be surprised if the Phillies did not sign at least two of the top 10 free agents in this year’s class. As for Girardi’s addition as manager, I think that only helps the Phillies’ credibility as they pursue free agents. Good players want two things -- money and the opportunity to play for a winner. Middleton has lots of the former and Girardi is a proven winner.