4, 988, 3. These numbers are part of the reason why Joe Girardi is being announced the new Phillies Skipper as I type this. A career baseball man spending 15 years playing in the big leagues and 11 years as a manager. He is your classic “blend” manager using both analytics and his gut feel for a situation. The big difference between Girardi and other managers who use analytics is he was using them long before other managers. Girardi draws off of his degree in Engineering to use math skills in life. He used these skills early on as a player to determine when a batter is most likely to swing and miss. As a catcher, he has a real feel for the game. The catcher is the on-field coach and Girardi spent 15 years doing it and has a true feel for the game.
FOUR – WORLD SERIES WINS.
Girardi has 3 World Series wins as a player and 1 as a manager that all Phillies fans should remember in 2009. In 26 years in the majors, Girardi won the big show 4 times. A very impressive feat. All of these wins, 3 as a player and 1 as a manager, came with the Yankees. This experience provides the winning attitude the Phillies have been missing for some time. Girardi knows what it takes to get to the big show and wouldn’t take a job if he didn’t think there was a chance of winning right away. After a 1 year stint with the Marlins, where he earned manager of the year honors with a 78-84 record, he turned down the Orioles job.
988 – WINS IN 11 YEARS.
988/11 comes out to just under 90 games a year but if you take out the 78 from the Marlins, that leaves 910/10 or 91 wins a year. This is just more proof that he knows how to win. He uses his analysis of opposing pitchers to make an educated guess as to the next pitch. He gives roles to his pitchers in the bullpen, no outfielders in the bullpen. He keeps the lineup the same. But most importantly, Girardi blends the numbers from his analysis with the situation on the field to give his team the best oppurtunity for success. We sure could use some of that in the summer in Philly.
3 – ACADEMIC ALL AMERICAN AWARDS AT NORTHWESTERN
To achieve the honor of Academic All American at any school is an accomplishment worthy of praise but to do it 3 times at a school like Northwestern with a Bachelors of Science in Engineering, is like batting .400 with 45 Homers and 135 Rbi’s. It doesn’t happen that often. The amount of mathematics and discipline needed to achieve a degree in Engineering is astronomical. This is where Girardi learned the discipline to keep records on all players and use the information to help him make the right choices in game situations. I am a math person and I don’t see that as the hard part. The hard part is, watching hours of tape to see what pitch was thrown to a batter and how batter responded, over and over again. That is true discipline. Not many people would do that. But then again not many players would win 4 World Series titles in 13 years as a player and manager.
Welcome to Philly, Joe Girardi. Remember we clap loud but boo louder. Keep your winning ways here and you won’t here many boos.