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Girardi Is Still 'Excited' as Marlins Fade Away

 

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By MURRAY CHASS

Published: November 24, 2005

 

THEY didn't tell Joe Girardi there would be days like this.

 

Oh, but they did.

 

In the aftermath of the Florida trades of Carlos Delgado, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, it would be easy to think the Marlins hired Girardi to be their manager, then yanked his team out from under him, leaving him a bunch of young players with whom he doesn't have a chance to win in his first year as a manager. He could have had that experience managing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the other team that pursued him last month.

 

Indeed, the talk among at least two general managers was that Girardi was miffed, that the Marlins had assured him they would compete for the playoffs.

 

Poor Joe. When he was hired, the Marlins were good. Now they won't be, and if they're not good long enough, he will pay the price, like Alan Trammell with Detroit, losing his job and his reputation as a bright young manager.

 

But demonstrating the need once again to go to the source, even at the risk of ruining a good story, Girardi said that representation of his position was 180 degrees from the truth.

 

"I knew they were going to make trades," Girardi said by telephone from his home in Chicago. "We talked about that when I first met with them. They said they had to do some things they felt would make their club better for a long time."

 

David Samson, the Marlins' president, confirmed that Girardi and other candidates for the job were advised of the club's plan to lower its payroll. "Absolutely," he said. "Of course."

 

In fact, Samson said he had spoken with Girardi almost every day, most recently Tuesday, when the Marlins were zeroing in on the trade that will send Delgado to the Mets. "He's aware of every move that's made by this team before it's made," Samson said.

 

Girardi is informed and excited. He used the word excited several times in the space of several minutes.

 

"I knew when I signed the contract that the team was different than what it would be when we took the field in February," he said. "I'm excited."

 

Who wouldn't be excited in Girardi's situation? He is 41 years old, a manager for the first time and he didn't have to spend years in the minor leagues gaining managerial experience or even years as a coach in the major leagues. He was the Yankees' bench coach last season, and that was the full extent of his nonplaying background.

 

Clubs rarely change managers and look for rookies to replace them when they have a team capable of winning a division title or the World Series. There are 30 major league managerial jobs, and no one who gets one for the first time is going to complain.

 

"I'm not ticked off," Girardi said. "I understand the game. I'm excited. I can't wait to meet my prospects and see them take the field. Kids have a lot of energy and motivation. Kids are excitable. It's a long season, and it's great to have their energy."

 

Girardi noted that all players were young when they started playing in the majors, and some of them are talented when they start.

 

"We're getting a lot of good young kids," he said. "Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera were young. Just because you're young doesn't mean you can't play. People shouldn't forget that they won the World Series in 2003 with young kids. There's a lot of coaching to be done with young kids, and I'm excited about it."

 

In exchange for Delgado, Lowell and Beckett, the Marlins will have Hanley Ramirez, who may be a major-league-ready shortstop; first baseman Mike Jacobs, who hit 11 homers in 30 games for the Mets this year; and pitchers Anibal Sanchez, Yusmeiro Petit and Jesus Delgado.

 

"Admin Beinfest has a way of making good trades, getting players who can make an impact before too long," Girardi said of the Marlins' general manager. "Jeffrey Loria, the owner, wants to win. All teams have financial issues they have to address. They're addressing them."

 

And not at Girardi's expense, he might add.

 

"I'm not sure what's coming next," he said. "They're only making moves if they make sense for the long run. They're looking to win. I expect to win this year. I don't care if I have young guys or not. It's a challenge being a manager just because you want to win every day. Talent is talent, and I'm going to have a lot of young talented players. When Derek Jeter came up in '96, he was considered a talented player. Now he's a great player."

 

The Mets are getting a pretty good player themselves in Carlos Delgado. Omar Minaya, their general manager, opted to pursue Delgado over Manny Ramirez, whom he has coveted in the past, because Delgado was more readily available. Ramirez would have had to approve a trade, and he had said he didn't want to play for the Mets. He would most likely have sought an extension to his contract, which is already expensive at three years and $57 million.

 

Minaya didn't want to have to deal with those time-consuming matters. Besides wanting to ensure that the Mets would have the power hitter they needed, Minaya wanted to send a vivid message to Billy Wagner, the free-agent closer the Mets seriously want. The message: We're serious about winning next season, and you can help us win and be a part of the fun.

 

Source: NY Times.

 

He knew about it. Good.

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Guest markotsay7

Love this quote:

 

They're looking to win. I expect to win this year. I don't care if I have young guys or not. It's a challenge being a manager just because you want to win every day. Talent is talent, and I'm going to have a lot of young talented players.

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Love this quote:

 

They're looking to win. I expect to win this year. I don't care if I have young guys or not. It's a challenge being a manager just because you want to win every day. Talent is talent, and I'm going to have a lot of young talented players.

Me too. I like the fact that he is excited to play with young kids. That's very good news,,, :thumbup

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