The Phillies’ competition to land Joe Girardi narrowed by one on Wednesday morning, as the Chicago Cubs reportedly hired David Ross to be their manager after interviewing Girardi earlier this month.
Ross’ hiring was first reported by Chicago’s ESPN-1000 AM.
Girardi, according to a source, remains the leading candidate to replace Gabe Kapler. But Girardi also appears to be in the crosshairs of the rival New York Mets. The Phillies, to land their preferred candidate, might be motivated to move quickly and outspend the Mets. A decision could be announced Thursday, which is an off-day for the World Series. But there is nothing stopping the Phillies from acting sooner.
Girardi, in an interview Tuesday on New York’s WFAN Sports Radio, said he expected “some clarity with it pretty soon.”
“I feel really good about the interviews I’ve had,” Girardi said. “But, as I told my son, it’s not how I feel. It’s how they feel."
Girardi, 55, was one of the first candidates to interview with the Cubs. He grew up in Illinois as a Cubs fan, played at Northwestern, and spent his first four major-league seasons as a Cubs catcher before returning for three years at the end of his career.
Instead, the Cubs chose Ross, another former catcher, according to multiple reports. Ross was a fan favorite on the Cubs team that won the 2016 World Series. He has since been a special assistant to the club and worked as a broadcaster for ESPN.
“I think they’re all good jobs,” Girardi said of the Phillies, Cubs, and Mets. “They’re all great markets. They all have passionate fans that want to win. They have ownership groups that want to win, so I think they’re all good jobs.”
The Phillies hosted Girardi on Monday at Citizens Bank Park for a follow-up interview, followed by dinner with ownership in Center City. Like the other candidates -- former managers Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter -- Girardi met with everyone from the traveling secretary to the general manager. Girardi seemed to leave everyone impressed, a source said.
Girardi interviewed earlier this month with the Mets, who can offer him the chance to manage again in New York after spending 10 years leading the Yankees. But the Mets’ search seems to be behind the Phillies, who have trimmed their list to the three candidates and have hosted each of them twice. Girardi was expected to meet this week with the Mets for a follow-up interview.
Asked whether if he had a pecking order among the jobs he has interviewed for, Girardi said: “To me, the big thing is the relationship and the ‘comfortability’ factor of everyone working together.”