Can ya blame him?

ESPN – Not for the Birds: Girardi turns down Orioles job – MLB

Joe Girardi declined an offer Thursday to become the new manager of the Baltimore Orioles, saying the timing wasn’t right “for the Girardi family.”

The discussions with Girardi began quickly after Baltimore fired Sam Perlozzo early Monday after his two-plus seasons as manager, and there were indications over the last 48 hours that Girardi was poised to take the job. He interviewed with the Orioles on Tuesday and offered the job the same day, ESPN’s Peter Gammons reported.

By Wednesday night, the Orioles and Girardi had agreed to work on an agreement, ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney reported. But by early Thursday, Girardi’s agent, Steve Mandel, said a marriage wasn’t going to happen.

Girardi reiterated Thursday that he intends to manage in the majors again.

“I’ve made my feelings pretty known that I want to manage again,” he said. “I absolutely love what I did last year. I think I’ll know when [the right opportunity] comes and I’ll say, ‘This is the right time for the Girardi family.’ “

The last quote is interesting. When he finds the opportunity that’s right for him, he’ll say it’s right for the Girardi family. So does this mean that this opportunity isn’t right for him and he’s using his family as an excuse?

And who can blame him for feeling this opportunity isn’t right. (The Orioles are, so far, denying this report.) You’ve got a team that is:

  • working on its 10th straight losing season
  • a farm system that seems bare
  • doesn’t do a good job developing the prospects that do come up
  • a meddling owner
  • an owner who likes to sign past their prime players for undue amounts of money
  • and scapegoats your predecessor for their inability to build a team

The Orioles have a long way to go before they’re competitive, even setting aside the fact they play in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox. A hot managerial prospect like Girardi would be foolish to take this job. he can have his pick of teams; a better opportunity will come.

This, if true, is especially embarrassing for the Orioles, as it just highlights their reactive nature reminding their fanbase that, once again, they don’t work from a plan. They fired Sam Perlozzo, their Plan A, without having lined up Plan B. A smarter team would have had their Plan B waiting in the wings, much like the Phillies do with Jimy Williams and Davey Lopes currently coaching for the team. If they decide to fire Charlie Manuel, they announce his permanent replacement at the same press conference instead of twisting in the wind the way the Orioles are. (It’s sad when the Phillies are a better run organization than you are….)

Andy MacPhail, the team’s newly hired President of Baseball Operations, is supposed to have total control, being able to shut Angelos out beyond budget discussions. This is hopeful, as he does have a history of success with the Twins (not so much with the Cubs), but given Angelos’ past record, I’ll believe it when I see it. I can only hope Angelos sticks to that commitment. his way hasn’t worked in a decade. It’s time for him to step aside and try try another way. Until it’s proven that a new way has taken effect in Baltimore, no sought-after managerial prospect would step foot in the home dugout in Camden Yards.

UPDATE: Right after I posted this, it was confirmed that Girardi did, in fact, turn the Orioles down.