The Friday Night Rumor Mill–August 11, 2006

Rumors out of south Florida indicate the Marlins may still fire Joe Girardi after owner Jeff Loria came perilously close to letting the axe slip earlier in the week. (According to Hall of Fame writer Tracy Ringolsby, Loria actually did fire Girardi but reconsidered before an official announcement could be made.) Upset that Girardi told him to stop yelling at an umpire from his seat in the stands, Loria felt that his manager had publicly embarrassed him. If Loria does fire Girardi, he’ll have to dig up all the excuses in the world for what will likely be a public relations director. Florida fans will want some serious explaining as to how the owner could fire one of the best young managers in the game. Loria might point to player complaints that Girardi is a micro-manager and too much of an old-school disciplinarian for their liking. Well, those arguments are week. Girardi’s attention to detail, enthusiasm for the game, and knowledge of pitching have all helped the Marlins become one of the biggest overachievers in either league in 2006. Girardi doesn’t deserve to be fired; he probably deserves the National League Manager of the Year Award…

According to at least one report, Girardi wouldn’t mind being fired since it would give him an opportunity to take the more appealing job that will likely be opening up with the Cubs. Here’s the rub. The Cubs supposedly don’t want Girardi, which is surprising given that he was a fairly popular player in Chicago and has now amassed an impressive track record in Florida. Girardi might just be the perfect antidote to Dusty Baker. Whereas Baker glosses over player mistakes and doesn’t discipline his floundering team, Girardi will take players to task and make them accountable for repeated errors. Heck, he’ll even call the owner out…

With the possibility looming that Francisco Liriano’s elbow injury could sideline him for the rest of the season, the Twins may have to re-enter the trade market and change their focus from hitting to pitching. Unfortunately for them, the pitching market is even weaker now than it was prior to the July 31st deadline. Only fringe pitchers—or ones with costly contracts like Livan Hernandez—will make it through waivers now, leaving the Twins in a bind. Still, they might be able to make a deal for someone like Bruce Chen, who could benefit from a chance of scenery and a departure from hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Other pitchers who might be available include Glendon Rusch of the Cubs and Tony Armas, Jr. of the Nationals…

Expect the Mets’ Omar Minaya to continue to be aggressive in staking waiver claims on players who might be trading candidates. Having already made a shrewd move in claiming Ricky Ledee to fill a much-needed role as a lefty pinch-hitter, Minaya remains on the lookout for another relief pitcher. He’s also hungry to add another outfielder, especially with Xavier Nady having been traded and Cliff Floyd back on the disabled list.

1 Comment

Wherever Girardi goes will only last until Torre leaves the Yankees. He’s the only obvious choice for managing the Bronx Bombers …

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