Few managers this season have had to deal with the kind of adversity that New York Yankees manger Joe Girardi has. Losing your starting center fielder, starting shortstop, starting third baseman and starting first baseman before the season even starts is a huge hit to a roster. Yet, Girardi has somehow managed to field a first-place team.
This 2013 New York Yankees squad reminds me a lot of Girardi’s 2006 Florida Marlins team; with both teams, he’s done a lot with a little. The Yankees may not be as young as the 2006 Marlins were, but I think the small payroll is comparable. Many of the Yankees most highly paid players are injured, and this has somewhat lessened the impact that such a large payroll might normally have. They are in effect a small market team at this point in time, and Girardi has put together an impressive 30-18 record with mostly backups.
I think Girardi has competition within the division in first-year Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. Boston has gone from dysfunction to title contender this year, in large part due to strong management on the part of Farrell. I think the Detroit Tigers‘ Jim Leyland is also in the mix, as well as the Texas Rangers‘ Ron Washington and the Cleveland Indians‘ Terry Francona.
All of these mangers have done very well with their teams, but I don’t think any of them have overachieved as much as Girardi has with his current roster. If the Yankees continue their current success, don’t be surprised if Joe Girardi earns his second Manger of the Year Award.