Regardless of what transpires throughout the remainder of this MLB offseason, and no matter how hot the stove sizzles, the New York Yankees moving on from Joe Girardi will go down as the most confusing move.
Even more puzzling will be the manner in which the organization handled it, making it clear that the decision had been made prior the team’s youth-driven, magical, thumbs-down-inspired run to Game 7 of the ALCS, yet being transparent in its opinion that another Joe Girardi would be welcomed.
Nevertheless, Thanksgiving has come and gone, Christmas is 25 days away and, if Brian Cashman and company wanted to schedule an exhibition game tomorrow, the players would have to vote on a lineup.
Five candidates (Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, Hensley Meulens, Aaron Boone, Chris Woodward) had already interviewed for baseball’s most prestigious managerial job and the sixth interview took place yesterday, featuring an awfully familiar face.
Carlos Beltran, who finished his illustrious career with ring number one, will take his crack at the gig, and he checks off every box on Cashman’s hypothetical clipboard.
First, let’s put an end to the chatter that the Yanks are looking for a seasoned skipper. Aaron Boone’s name gaining an ounce of traction (which it has) silenced that noise.
Cashman wants a stellar communicator, which Beltran has proven time and time again with the veteran leadership he has taken to each clubhouse he’s resided in.
Not mentioned, but undoubtedly true, he wants a puppet. The Yankees are an analytically-driven organization and, while Girardi followed that trend far enough to be nicknamed “Binder Joe,” often made feel-based moves that most definitely contributed to the growing tension near the end of his stint.
New York’s GM wants someone he, along with all of the number-crunchers, can control, and who better than a first-year manager with no previous coaching experience?
Familiarity? How about a guy who has played under the New York spotlight, even carrying a subpar Yankee team through the first half of 2016, making the shortened rebuild possible and nullifying the idea of empty seats down the stretch.
Yes, much attention has been drawn to Beltran’s ability to mentor youth — with fans and media alike citing the instance when the vet placed his 2016 Spring Training locker next to a young kid by the name of Aaron James Judge, helping him through the transition — and rightfully so.
Cashman is looking for a young, steady hand to build on the club’s recent surge back into perennial contention, while carrying the ability to relate to the imperative youngsters that will experience ups and downs which Beltran triumphed not too long ago.
Beltran has handled the New York media and, as one of the greatest postseason performers in the history of sports, fans can rest assured that the Judge’s, Sanchez’s, Severino’s, Torres’, Montgomery’s, and Frazier’s of the world will, at the very least, be receiving proper advice when the lights shine brightest.
If Cashman is confident enough in hiring an empty résumé, Beltran is the safest bet.
Taking all previous indications into account, he could be the surest bet by the time his interview concludes, lining him up to call the shots in the Bronx in 2018 and beyond.