In a further sign that George Steinbrenner has further seceded control of the Yankees, conflicting reports about who will be replacing Joe Torre are filtering out Sunday. This much seems clear: Tony Peña will not be selected.
Beyond that one set of sources to The Biz of Baseball says that bench coach Don Mattingly will land the spot, while the NY Daily News reports that it may be Joe Girardi will get the nod:
The Yankees apparently have reached a decision on a new manager, which they are prepared to announce Sunday or Monday, and there were increasing signs Saturday night pointing to Joe Girardi.
As has been stated by Yankee ownership, GM Brian Cashman is the one who will make the recommendation to ownership based on his interviews with all three candidates - Girardi, Don Mattingly and Tony Peña - along with advice from all his baseball people.
The recommendation then would need to be given final approval by the Steinbrenner family.
If Girardi does indeed land the job, then it marks a move that places Cashman in complete control of baseball operations, something that has not been the case prior with George Steinbrenner exerting a high degree of control.
The article offers no sources as saying that Girardi was the selection, simply that Giardi posed characteristics that Cashman has said to prefer: “an analytical approach, organizational skills that come from having already managed (the Florida Marlins) and a proven ability to handle a pitching staff.”
As for Mattingly, his selection might be a political move used to ease the leaving of Torre with notable players such as Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. Mattingly would offer a connection to the Torre era – a known quantity.
The NY Times, however, is covering the story from a more neutral perspective:
Hank Steinbrenner stressed that he would offer no clues. But his father’s admiration for Mattingly has long been known, and this may be the last major decision in which George Steinbrenner is involved. If the son is in lock step with the father, then Mattingly could be leading as the race nears an end.
“As far as myself and Brian, there’s always been a slight favorite, but only a slight favorite,” Hank Steinbrenner said. “Me and Brian have always agreed on who that is. Is Brian’s job on the line depending on who the manager is? The answer is no, because we’ve always agreed on who is the favorite. The final decision hasn’t been made.”
Cashman is known to admire Girardi, but with a Yankees career dating to 1986, Cashman also has a sense of Mattingly’s importance to the organization. The two weak points for Mattingly were presumed to be his reputation as being quiet and his lack of managerial experience. But neither is an issue with Hank Steinbrenner.
While neither selection would be a surprise, word from several other sources over the weekend seem to point to Mattingly as the selection, showing that George Steinbrenner’s opinions still hold weight with his sons.
As to when the selection would be announced, it will depend on when the World Series is completed. If the Red Sox win tonight and sweep the Rockies, the announcement could come as early as Monday, but most likely Tuesday, even if the Red Sox were not to win tonight.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus.and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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