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Girardi Will Perish If He Doesn’t Embrace the NY Media

By Mike Silva ~ August 25th, 2011. Filed under: New York Yankees.

The firestorm of Saturday’s Joe Girardi/A.J. Burnett/Jack Curry confrontation has been put on the backburner. It will take a lot more than Burnett cursing at a home plate umpire to derail the Yankees title aspirations in 2011. The frustrating part about the aftermath, even 5 days later, is that Girardi doesn’t understand why the incident became a story.

Bob Klapisch, Joel Sherman, and Ian O’Connor have all been critical of Girardi’s actions on Saturday. O’ Connor spoke to Girardi in a recent column, and the manager lamented media demands to hold players accountable publicly. I am not in the clubhouse on a consistent basis. I do not have the ability to eavesdrop on conversations between Girardi, his players, and Brian Cashman. What I do know is that Girardi created this firestorm by how he reacted to the question, not how he handled Burnett; The fact that he doesn’t understand the reaction shows a clear lack of understanding about how the media works in this town.

“I’m not sure why a player needs to be held publicly accountable,” Girardi said to O’Connor. “I think things of that nature should be taken care of inside the clubhouse. As long as the guys in that room know what you’re doing, that’s all that matters.” That is all he had to say on Saturday night. He didn’t need to be phony, sarcastic, or obtuse. All he had to do is address the question, but instead he decided to get angry over the fact it was being asked.

For someone that played in 4 years in New York  and has managed here almost 4 more, he hasn’t learned a damn thing about how it works here. Media and fans will understand most situations if you are honest and transparent. It’s the same thing that players want from their manager. There is no reason to believe the players dislike Girardi, and none of the aforementioned writers have a quote from someone saying otherwise. I do know by watching Girardi in action he isn’t honest or transparent with the media. He created a foundation of dishonesty in 2008, improved in 2009, but has regressed since. Once you establish a foundation of distrust you will always be viewed with a doubting eye.

The media is laying low with Joe Girardi. The Yankees are winning, but the minute this thing turns sour you can bet the knives will come out. Girardi didn’t learn one thing watching Joe Torre survive in this town. Even when the job passed him by the media treated him with reverence. Torre was always good at managing the press, and it helped him stay employed longer than any New York coach or manager the last 30 years.

I may not know how Girardi treats his players. I also don’t know what they think about his handling of the A.J. Burnett situation. I do feel comfortable saying he won’t make it to 11 years like Joe Torre unless he starts to accept what the media in this town is all about. It’s a war that every predecessor has lost. It’s one that Girardi will lose as well.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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7 Responses to Girardi Will Perish If He Doesn’t Embrace the NY Media

  1. Brien Jackson

    Look, for the millionth time, there is no such thing as winning with the New York media. They write what they want to write, they unethically hold grudges and insert themselves into the story, and create controversy out of whole cloth to sell papers. There’s no secret strategy for dealing with them (short of feeding them salacious clubhouse gossip like Torre did, I guess) and in the long run it’s always a no-win proposition.

    The secret to surviving in this organization right now is a pretty simple two-step plan:

    1. Get along with the front office.

    2. Win a lot of baseball games.

    I’m far from the world’s biggest Girardi fan, but right now he’s clearly on exceptionally solid footing on both counts, so his job is safe at least for the remainder of his current contract, and really for the foreseeable future.

  2. Ralph C

    You don’t have to be a “media darling” to succeed in New York and a good organization will ignore the writers. A good example of this is the NY Football Giants with Tom Coughlin, particually before the 2007 Super Bowl team. In regards to Girardi, he should have answered Curry’s question but, to be frank, many of these writers (especially Joel Sherman and Mike Lupica) are so annoying that if Girardi wants to play mean with the media, I have no problem with it.

  3. Don Bozini

    Girardi = overrated.

  4. Chuck Johnson

    Girardi’s an idiot, that said, Curry was trying to set him up to make himself look good.

    Curry was in the YES booth during the game and got “inside” information from Kay and Flaherty to what was going on with Burnett, both on the mound and after he came out.

    Then he went downstairs and tried to throw Girardi under the bus.

    I admire Girardi for not punching his lights out.

  5. Joseph Triola, Jr.

    Silva, who the hell are you, and why do you think you are so damn important?

    The sports media long ago lost what little use they had to the public when they exchanged integrity for power, so don’t pontificate to me.

    As far as I’m concerned, you’re a useless pile of verbiage.


  6. Count Zero

    You guys still don’t get it do you? The clubhouse reporter has already been marginalized, and won’t even exist 10-20 years from now. The only people who still get their sports news from these guys are either marginal fans or over 50 years old.

    Lupica, Curry, Klapisch, Sherman — they’re all idiots. I know at least 40 people who know more about baseball than those four combined. Personally, I couldn’t care less if the Yankees front office revoked their passes. And most of the real Yankee fans feel the same way. The reporting on River Ave. Blues, Pinstripe Alley and numerous other blogs that don’t even have clubhouse access is so far superior to anything these guys produce they should be on their knees thanking Girardi for talking to them at all. Without the Yankees sufferance, they would all be on unemployment where they belong.

    Really — all of you guys have a hyper-inflated sense of your own importance. Every Yankees manager eventually gets fired –as soon as they stop winning enough. The notion that you guys have the power to effect this sooner by your uninformed commentary is delusional.

  7. Mister D

    So it doesn’t mater if Girardi handles his players well, earns their respect, has the backing of the front office, successfully juggles the bullpen every year, and continues to lead the team to the post season, he won’t be able to succeed if he doesn’t embrace the ****ing reporters? You have to be kidding me.

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