It was the 36th win of the 2014 season and the New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s 600th career win with the team.
Tuesday night’s victory against the Toronto Blue Jays had multiple wins to it. Masahiro Tanaka is now 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA and is now leading the majors in wins. It was also a personal victory for Joe Girardi.
Now I’m going to be bias when I say this, but I really like Girardi. I’ve said it before in one of my previous articles, but I like his coaching style and approach. And aside from being a manager, he also has some personal attributes that lead me to like him and relate to him. For instance, he played in the Big Ten (Northwestern), he’s a health nut (doesn’t allow sweets in the clubhouse), and he was into sports broadcasting for a few years.
After he ended his baseball career as an athlete in 2004, Girardi became a commentator for the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. He hosted the youth oriented show, Yankees on Deck through 2005, until he became the Yankees bench coach in 2006. But during the 2006 World Series, Girardi also worked games three, four and five as part of Fox’s pregame and postgame show.
In 2007 he returned to the broadcast booth for YES Network as a Yankees analyst and co-host of the show Behind the Plate. He was also briefly a color commentator wtih MLB on Fox.
Sorry for the lapse in his broadcasting background, but that’s one of the reasons I like him so much. He basically had my dream job in sports broadcasting, so I kind of look up to him in that aspect.
Anyways, Girardi began his career as manager of the Yankees in 2008 after being fired from the Florida Marlins in 2006. Yet he still won National League Manager of the Year Award, as well as the Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 2006.
In October 2007, Girardi signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract to be the new manager of the Yankees after Joe Torre. He took the number 27 to signify his motivation in leading the Yankees to the 27th world championship (which happened in 2009). He then took the number 28 (which he had to switch out for 14 after newbie Curtis Granderson took his number).
600 wins later and I must say Girardi has done a pretty fine job. He is now the 6th manager in Yankee history to win 600 games, and he’s only been there since 2008. Part of his ability to earn so many wins in such a short amount of time is that he has never had a losing season.
“It means I’ve been fortunate,” he said. “I’ve been blessed. I’ve had a great opportunity here, with some really good teams.”
He signed a four-year contract in the October 2013 to remain as Yankees manager, which makes me really happy. I believe he has a lot more he can do for the team. Hopefully, another jersey number change to 29 within the next four years.