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Girardi named new manager of Yanks

Ronald Blum, Associated Press

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Joe Girardi has agreed to a three-year contract to manage the New York Yankees.

The agreement to take over as Joe Torre’s replacement is worth an average salary of at least $2 million annually, a baseball official said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had not yet announced the deal.

Girardi was the 2006 NL Manager of the Year with Florida, plus he has a pinstriped pedigree.

The hard-nosed catcher played on three Yankees teams that won the World Series, served as their bench coach and was a TV announcer this year.

“Joe Girardi is a good man,” Torre said Monday on “Late Show with David Letterman.” ”He’s got a feel for this organization.”

Once he was informed Monday that the Yankees had chosen Girardi, Don Mattingly told the team he had no interest in returning next year as bench coach or in any other coaching position.

“Don was extremely disappointed to learn today that he wasn’t the organization’s choice to fill the managerial vacancy,” Mattingly’s agent, Ray Schulte, said in an e-mail. “Instead, he was informed the organization offered the position to Joe Girardi.”

Still, spurning Mattingly – who always receives one of the loudest ovations on Old-Timers’ Day – was sure to be compared to another famous Yankee snub: Babe Ruth was never offered the manager’s job he so desperately wanted.

Girardi kept a young team in contention until September and then was fired, apparently for clashing with owner Jeffrey Loria and others above him.

The 43-year-old Girardi often told many in the Marlins about how the Yankees did things, reinforcing the winning ways he learned in New York. Now, he’ll get a chance to try them out himself.

Girardi was the first person to interview to replace Torre, who managed the team to the playoffs in each of his 12 seasons.

Mattingly also interviewed for the Yankees spot last week, telling team management how much he wanted it.

Earlier this month, he said replacing Torre would be quite a challenge.

“It’s pretty much a no-win situation for someone coming in here to be able to live up to the expectations or live up to what he did. It’s not going to happen. So as far as someone coming in and taking over this job, it’s not necessarily a great situation.”

Girardi gets the unenviable task of following Torre, who led the Yankees to four World Series titles in his first five years – but none since – and was one of the most celebrated sports figures in the city.

The Yankees offered Torre a $5 million, one-year contract featuring a $2.5 million paycut and $3 million in performance-based bonuses, and he turned it down Oct. 18.

The result was a messy departure that split Yankees fans into camps of Torre supporters and proponents for change.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Girardi named new manager of Yanks