Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Baseball...thank goodness...and Witty dreams of Girardi.

This has been a welcome break from baseball.

But terror hit me when I realized that we are only halfway through this joke of a season.

I keep on trying to work on a trade deadline post...but every time I get near completion of it, I realize that a) I'm completely guessing about what I think might happen and b) am only stating what everyone else already knows...so I go and delete it.

At this point, we do know that this team will look somewhat different come July 31st, but probably not as different as we would like it to look.

And I honestly believe that before much longer, the Rickettses will be making announcements about not only the state of the team on the field, but an announcement about a spring training facility.

The deadline for exclusive negotiation with Mesa has passed, and in theory, a financing plan for a facility has been created by the city of Mesa. This was done without much fanfare which makes me wonder how viable that financing deal actually is.  Supposedly, the city of Mesa is now waiting for the Cubs to approve a site.  If the Rickettses don't feel good about the deal, than Naples could be back in the equation.


But to the reason I'm posting this morning...Gordon Wittenmyer posted a nice story about the possibility of Joe Girardi coming to the north side after this season.

 I like those pinstripes on Joe better than the ones he currently has.

I like Wittenmyer...he's a good writer for the Sun-Times and, unlike many of his co-workers at the Sun-Times (Telander) and his rivals at the Trib (everyone), he doesn't take to sensationalism very much.

But when I initially saw this story, I was a little surprised.  Girardi isn't going anywhere...no way he'd ever leave the Yankees.  It's a dream job, and he's been successful at it.  He has the respect and admiration of Yankee fans.  He works in, perhaps, the best facility in the game.  He's not going anywhere.

Or is he?

So I read the story and while Wittenmyer doesn't say that that Girardi wants to come to Chicago, he outlines how the idea isn't completely wacko.

First off, Girardi, as everyone knows, is an Illinois native and, growing up in Peoria, was a Cubs fan as a kid.  He went to Northwestern University.  He was drafted by the Cubs, and had two different stints as the Cubs catcher.  He has roots with this team.

Second, Girardi doesn't have a contract for next season.  The Yankees have not given him a contract extension.  As is traditional for the Yankees, they don't not talk contract extensions until the season is over.  A number of times we had seen this policy in place with Joe Torre.  They often do this with their veteran players as well.  And the truth is, the Yankees do this because they can do this.  They have the most money, and it is a place that most players want to be, so they have little fear that if a player they want to keep hits free agency, they'll be able to retain him.

Third, Girardi hasn't said the idea is out of the question.  From Wittenmyer's story, here is a quote from the manager:
"That's not something I would talk about now. I grew up in Peoria. I grew up a Cub fan. But right now, I'm extremely happy where I'm at."
As the same time, that often is the polite brush off type of statement.  You know, the "oh, I love you guys, but look, this is a better situation...thanks for asking," type of thing.

But there is more...
"Every job in the majors as a manager has its challenges.  I enjoyed playing there. I enjoyed playing day games. And I loved it."
"You're asking me hypotheticals, and I don't deal in hypotheticals. I am under contract. I love what I do. And I love managing."
So what can we conclude from this?

Well, it would appear to me that Girardi could be the Cubs manager in the future, but until the Yankees are done with him, I doubt we'll see him commanding Cubs.

But if there is any possibility of Girardi coming to Chicago next year, the Ricketts family should do everything in their power to get him in here. He has shown that he is one of the good young managers in the game.  There is not risk that he can't do the job (ala Sandberg). 

But the truth is, we'll probably end up with an old and withered Girardi being the Cubs manager in 20 years as his last stop in his managerial career looking to go out in a blaze of glory, only to fall flat like so many managers before him.

If that isn't optimistic....(*snort*)