Joe Girardi failed his players, his team, and the entire city of Philadelphia during Sunday night’s loss to the Mets
Joe Girardi stood on the top step of the visiting dugout at Citi Field Sunday night, watching on as the division-rival Mets threw baseballs at two of his best players during the 9th inning of a 10-6 defeat.
The entire Mets crowd could be heard chanting in unison “Hit him, hit him, hit him”…
The pitches weren’t just thrown in Kyle Schwarber and Alec Bohm’s general direction, they were thrown with the intent to harm, with malice intent, and with the intent to send a message. Whatever the Mets’ misguided message was, is irrelevant. What’s important is that after Alec Bohm was hit squarely in the back by a Yoan Lopez 87 mph changeup, Joe Girardi did nothing.
Girardi should have intervened during the previous at-bat when Lopez made a half-hearted attempt at plunking Schwarber in his lower body and instead missed him entirely. Shortly after, the umpire crew gathered in the infield to discuss the Lopez’s intention and despite all evidence pointing to the contrary, decided no warnings would be issued.
Did Joe Girardi leave his comfortable railing to let the umpires know he would not stand by as the Mets pitchers used his newly acquired $100 million sluggers as target practice?
No, Joe Girardi did nothing…
This is the second time in as many weeks that Girardi has failed to protect the guys in his clubhouse. Last Sunday, on national television facing the Milwaukee Brewers, Joe watched on with the rest of us, as home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez decided to revolutionize the concept of the strike zone in real-time. Any self-respecting manager would have been standing side by side with Kyle Schwarber, as he let Hernandez know exactly what he thought of his job performance.
Instead, where was Phillies manager Joe Girardi?
Patiently walking to the plate, with all the chivalry and pomp of an 18th-century British nobleman. He was eventually ejected, but you could contend that it should have happened well before that. Most likely in the 4th inning, when Hernandez called a pitch to Jean Segura a strike, a pitch that was more than a full six inches outside the strike zone.
In both instances, what does Joe Girardi have to lose by getting thrown out of the game? I can tell you what he has to gain…the respect and trust of his players and the clubhouse as a whole.
After the game, Girardi explained that he thought Lopez intentionally threw at Schwarber, but genuinely did not think the changeup directed at Alec Bohm was intentional, thus he decided not to argue.
Was he watching the same game as the rest of us?
Following the loss to the Brewers last week, in what will forever be remembered as the ‘Angel Hernandez Game’, Girardi was asked why he chose to keep remain calm as Schwarber was losing his shit..
“Because it’s not going to change anything,” Girardi said.
That kind of indifference and passivity simply isn’t going to fly in the City of Philadelphia. The fans expect more and the players on the field deserve more. Joe’s leadership so far in 2022 absolutely leaves something to be desired.
The job of the manager is to be the voice of the players and the fan base as a whole. Take the criticism coming from all directions and put it on your shoulders. At this point, I’m not sure the 57-year-old manager cares enough to run out to home plate, kick some dirt on the shoes of an umpire, and get tossed for making his opinion heard.
And that is precisely what this sleepy Phillies team needs.
If I was Dave Dombrowski, I would need to think long and hard about whether his current manager is the correct person to guide this current Phillies team. The Phillies are in their third straight year of producing mediocrity on the field, all while both ownership and the fanbase have their eyes set on more lofty goals.
Reports began to surface last week that the Joe Girardi could potentially be on the hot seat. Tonight’s untimely and lackadaisical response should only increase the calls for his dismissal.
It was only one loss on a night in early May, but in the end, it could up becoming another bullet point on the list of reasons why Joe Girardi is no longer the Phillies manager.
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