Joseph Elliot Girardi (born October 14, 1964, in Peoria, Illinois) is the manager of the New York Yankees, and a former Major League Baseball player. During his playing career, he was a catcher for the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies, the New York Yankees, and St. Louis Cardinals. He was also manager of the Florida Marlins in 2006, where he was named National League Manager of the Year.
He began his major league playing career in 1989 with the Chicago Cubs, staying with them through 1992. He was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the expansion draft before the 1993 season. Girardi played for the Rockies through 1995. He was traded in 1995 to the New York Yankees for pitcher Mike DeJean.
Girardi served as the Yankees’ regular catcher from 1996 through 1999, earning three World Series rings in 1996, 1998, and 1999. In 1996, Girardi caught Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter and in 1999, he caught David Cone’s perfect game. When the Yankees promoted Jorge Posada, a 25 year-old prospect, to serve as his backup, Girardi served as Posada’s mentor. The two catchers split time for the Yankees through 1999.
In 2000, Girardi left the Yankees and returned to the Chicago Cubs, where he was named to that year’s All-Star team, his only All-Star appearance. He played with the Cubs again in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, Girardi played for St. Louis Cardinals.
As a Cub, Joe Girardi announced to the fans at Wrigley Field that the game on June 22, 2002 versus the Cardinals had been canceled, though he did not announce that the cancellation was prompted by Darryl Kile’s death. Girardi tearfully gave the news at 2:37 p.m. CDT, broadcast nationally on FOX: “I thank you for your patience. We regret to inform you because of a tragedy in the Cardinal family, the commissioner has canceled the game today. Please be respectful. You will find out eventually what has happened, and I ask that you say a prayer for the St. Louis Cardinals’ family.”
New York Yankees (2008-Present)
In June 2007, Girardi was interviewed for the Orioles vacant managerial position (left vacant by the firing of Sam Perlozzo). On June 21, Girardi’s agent informed news outlets that Girardi would be passing on the Orioles’ offer to become their next manager. Many opined that Girardi would be the next Yankee manager. On October 22, Girardi was the first to interview for the Yankees manager job. Girardi was reported to be the Yankees’ managerial choice on October 29, and he officially accepted the deal on October 30 beating out Tony Peña and Don Mattingly for the job. The contract is a 3-year deal, reportedly worth around $7.5 million.
Girardi chose to wear number 27 as the new manager of the Yankees to signify that he wants to lead the Yankees to their 27th world championship.
On April 1, Girardi won his first game as manager of the Yankees, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 3–2. On August 2, 2008, Girardi participated in his first Old Timer’s Day, the last Old Timer’s game played at the original Yankee Stadium. Girardi participated in Old Timers day the next year, on July 19, 2009, the first in the new Yankee Stadium.
Girardi’s first year as Yankee manager was met with disappointment as it was the first time in 14 years the Yankees did not reach the postseason. In his second year as manager, he led the Yankees to a 103-win season and the Yankees’ first AL East title since 2006. [via]