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Manager puts rumors of rift with Loria to rest


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WASHINGTON - Joe Girardi doesn't understand what all the fuss is about.

 

Not only did Girardi dismiss the suggestion of a growing rift between him and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, but also said that he plans on remaining the team's manager for the duration of his contract.

 

''I'm still the Marlins manager, and I plan on being the manager for a long time,'' Girardi said Tuesday.

 

And Loria agreed.

 

When the owner was told of Girardi's comments, Loria told reporters: ``You got your answer.''

 

''I don't know where all this frenzy is coming from,'' Loria said while watching the Marlins take on the Washington Nationals from his front-row seat behind the Marlins dugout.

 

Girardi and Loria downplayed Sunday's well-publicized events, with Girardi saying Tuesday that there was nothing to them despite information to the contrary. Loria, who was irate over a call made by home-plate umpire Admin Vanover, exchanged angry words with Girardi from his dugout-side seat.

 

Immediately after the loss, Loria and other front-office executives met with Girardi behind closed doors inside the manager's office. Girardi later conducted a team meeting with players.

 

At one point, Marlins employees began preparing for a news conference, leading to speculation that Girardi was either about to resign or be fired. But no news conference was called and, on Tuesday, Girardi and Loria said everything was fine.

 

''I think if there was tension, he wouldn't be here,'' Girardi said of Loria.

 

Girardi said he was angry after Sunday's loss.

 

''The situation is I was upset we had lost three games to the Dodgers,'' Girardi said. ``We had some internal discussions. Internal means it stays in house.''

 

Girardi said he, like Loria, also was upset with Vanover's call, in which the umpire called Ball Four on a Taylor Tankersley full-count pitch that looked to be a strike. But he said he wasn't upset with anything Loria might have said to him.

 

''I threw a cup, and if people want to look at me and say I threw a cup against the wall and I'm a raving maniac, they can say what they want,'' Girardi said.

 

Girardi said he chats with Loria during games every now and then and doesn't have a problem with it. Loria has a box seat located next to the team's dugout.

 

''Jeffrey's talked to me many times in the dugout,'' Girardi said. ``Sometimes I go stand over there. Jeffrey likes to talk about baseball. That's his personality.''

 

Girardi said he also intends to fulfill his contract. He is signed through the 2008 season and said he has no ''out'' clause or handshake deals that would enable him to get out of the contract in order to manage another club.

 

''I signed a three-year deal,'' Girardi said. ``There was no handshake agreement, no elbow rubbing, no kissing. Nothing. Why would any club hire someone that had a handshake agreement that they could get out of? You know their heart's not into it. I think the one thing you know about my heart is my heart is about winning.''

 

Girardi also put to rest speculation that he would be a logical candidate to manage the Chicago Cubs if Dusty Baker is fired after the season. Girardi said he sold his Chicago-area house when he took the Marlins job and likes it in South Florida.

 

''My kids are enrolled in school in South Florida,'' Girardi said. ``I love jumping in the pool every day. It's a nice life.''

 

 

 

LINKAGE

 

If this doesn't put to rest the rumors, nothing will.....

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Great news about him having no out clause and no plans to leave for the Cubs job. Not surprising to me though, I said it recently here I don't expect him to leave early. He has to want to see what he can do with this team since he's building it from the ground up basically.

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Hopefully Girardi will be back next year and in 2008 (when we return to the NLCS).

 

The team is a work in progress and they will only get better and Girardi clearly has the competitive spirit and leadership skills to keep the team improving.

 

 

If the Marlins finish the year strong (within 3 games of .500), Girardi wont get Manager of the Year but Im sure his name will come up many times in those circles.

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