Following Thursday night’s trainwreck against the New York Mets, it is safe to say Joe Girardi’s time in Philadelphia should end.
After being swept home by the struggling Texas Rangers, the Phillies needed to come out to a hot start against their bitter rivals. The Phillies did just that, and scoring four runs in the first and then tacking on more and more as the game went along, the Phillies offense did their job. The Fightin’s took a 7-1 lead into the ninth, and Manager Joe Girardi made a move to put veteran James Norwood in the game to send the fans home happy.
That did not occur, and after Norwood gave life to the dormant Mets’ offense, the Phillies had to rush closer Corey Knebel into the game. Knebel didn’t have his best stuff, and the Phillies blew their 7-1 lead, losing 8-7 in nine innings.
Following the game, Girardi made the following statement:
Less Than Impressive Resume
The Phillies are 121-127 during Joe Girardi’s tenure as manager. The Phillies have failed to make the postseason in the previous two seasons. In 2020, where eight teams from each league qualified for the playoffs, the Phillies could not muster enough at the end to sneak in. Say what you will about the COVID year, but each team dealt with the same issues, and no team had a “normal season.”
Then in 2021, a normal and full baseball season, Girardi was unable to lead the Phillies to the playoffs once again. While the bullpen was one of the worst in baseball, Joe’s tendencies to use pitchers like David Hale in pivotal moments shows that it’s hard to manage a bullpen when Mariano Rivera isn’t penciled in for the ninth. Much like 2018 and 2019, the Phillies were in the hunt late, and as September rolled around, they had an opportunity to win the division. This was the time for Joe Girardi to use his experience and managerial prowess to guide the club to October baseball. Like the Gabe Kapler regime, Girardi failed to push the Phillies over the hump.
This brings us to 2022. The Philadelphia Phillies front office made the proper moves to improve the ballclub. Adding Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Corey Knebel, Johan Camargo, and others should have been enough to mold a winning club. Through 26 games of the 2022 season, the Phillies sit at 11-15. The team has been no-hit and blown a six-run lead, and that is within the last week. They have only won two series in 2022. The first was the opening weekend against the Oakland Athletics, a team that traded any real talent to other clubs. The second was against the Colorado Rockies, a group that struggles to put together wins on the road. The Phillies are 2-5 against their rivals, the New York Mets, and sit seven games behind in the NL East. It is time to panic.
A New Manager is Needed
The Phillies should terminate Joe Girardi from his post as manager of the club. The team plays an uninspired, inconsistent, and often pathetic brand of baseball. This Phils needs a manager who will light a fire under them and a skipper who has their back. Girardi waits for his players to get emotional before he does, and in the case of Kyle Schwarber’s ejection, Joe has shown he doesn’t even care enough to get tossed himself.
This team is flat, and day in and day out, you never know what squad will show up at the ballpark. The Phillies had the city behind them, ready to support them all season long. Only 16% of the season has played out, and this team has already lost favor in Philadelphia. The fans shouldn’t care about winning more than the one man whose responsibility is to give his club the best chance of victory.
The inconsistent lineups, the poor bullpen usage, and underwhelming results have all led to this. The Phillies can still turn this season around, but Joe Girardi is not the man to right the ship. The day the Phillies signed Joe Girardi, the fanbase believed in him to bring playoff baseball back to the city of Philadelphia. As of May 5th, 2022, it is clear that our faith was blind and that Girardi’s success in New York was not brought with him to Philadelphia. It is time for the Phillies to move on, and it is time to wake this team up.
Third-base coach Dusty Wathan would be my choice to take over the team. Wathan was one of the finalists for the manager position in 2017 when the team ultimately chose Gabe Kapler. Dusty has coached at each level of the Phillies minor league system and has been around some of these players their entire professional careers. Give Dusty Wathan a chance to play the Nick Foles role, where the hero was once overlooked but given an opportunity to come back and shock the world.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire