Joe Girardi

Chicago readers of the B.B.B. will recognize the name Joe Girardi as the catcher for the Cubs from 1989-1992 and 2000-2002. (Irish readers: I’m writing about professional baseball in the US.) I knew the name as a child, because he was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. And his high school, Spalding, was my chosen high school (among the two Catholic high schools in Peoria, which consolidated my fresher year, but let’s not get into all that).

Furthermore, I was inculcated with a reverence for Joe Girardi by my grade school, Father Sweeney School. While I attended Father Sweeney (1983-1988), the school was perpetually in financial straits, and the Girardi family was a patron of the school in some mysterious way that my naive mind could not grasp.

It’s all the more remarkable that Joe Girardi was a kind of hero to us when you consider that he didn’t make it to the Show until April 1989, almost a year after I graduated from Father Sweeney. After doing a little research for this post, I see that I may have heard his name for the first time when he was just 19 and playing for Northwestern.

When he was big news for all of Peoria, during my high school years, the Father Sweeney alumni relished the notion that we’d known about him all along. That kind of pride is surely the most delightful feeling for a sports fan, and perhaps in the whole of life.

The long-term result of all this is that I feel warm, fuzzy emotions whenever I hear about Joe Girardi — a man who certainly made good on the Father Sweeney Weenies’ faith in him. I was especially glad to hear his voice during last year’s World Series. After that, his fate and the Cardinals’ are connected in my mind. And now he’s in the news again, according to the Daily News:

Joe Girardi was on the hot seat last night, and you could see him squirming. That’s the way it is when your name has surfaced as a possible successor to Joe Torre.

Well-embedded TV moles said Girardi made it clear to Fox execs that he was “extremely uncomfortable” about addressing the Yankees’ managerial situation.
Dan Bell, a Fox Sports spokesman, declined to confirm nor deny what Girardi may have told Fox brass, but said: “We have too much respect for Joe Torre and Joe Girardi to enter into that kind of speculation. It’s a no-win situation for everybody involved, especially when the Yankees have not made a decision.”

Well, Mr. Girardi, whatever you decide, I’ll wish you all the best. There’s no way I’m going to root for the Yankees, though. I just thought you might want to take that into account, and the people at Fox won’t let me leave a voicemail.

8 Comments to “Joe Girardi”

  1. Keely said...
    19 October 2007

    Amen to that!!! We loved Joe when he was with the Cubs and I love listening to his commentary during the playoffs, but I don’t know why he’d want to step into the hot coals of Yankee baseball. except, maybe, to win???

  2. Laurie said...
    20 October 2007

    This Cards fan would welcome him downstate if/when TLR decides to part ways…

  3. Dave said...
    22 October 2007

    A guy I work with pitched batting practice to Girardi when he was in high school. That’s his claim to fame.

    Joe might have a black mark on his resume in that he told his owner in Florida to “Shut the Bleep Up” during a baseball game. Steinbrenner isn’t going to take that from a manager… That it, if Steinbrenner is alive and all.

  4. Cleo said...
    22 October 2007

    Okay okay…. I’m the guy who pitched bp to Joe in high school. Dave said I needed to post so that he can be something something about a fortnight. Whatever. When Joe was a senior, I played sophomore baseball and was a pitcher. We had the pleasure of pitching bp to the varsity team before games. As you can imagine Joe was a pretty good high school athlete and would hit most pitches back up the middle. Terrifying!!!!!!

  5. Dave said...
    25 October 2007

    Alright, I got someone to post during my commenter of the fortnight period. I request a post on your experience at the Fulham soccer match in London. European soccer seems like college football on steriods, with fan the way fans sign and support their team, and I’d like to hear how it was from an American.

    Did you get in touble with the Fulham firm? Does Fulham even have a firm? Did Anita think Carlos Bocanegra was dreamy?

  6. abby said...
    31 October 2007

    Go cougars! Or when you scratched out the “her” and the “s” Go Fat Weeney Cougars!

  7. Will said...
    31 October 2007

    You heard it here first, at The Irelandwide Leader in Baseball: The AP reports today that Joe Girardi agreed to a three year contract to manage the Pr***s in Pinstripes.

    “I can’t be Joe Torre, because I’m made up different, Girardi said. “I’m a different character. I’m just worried about being myself and getting the most out of the guys.”

  8. Will said...
    8 November 2007

    I have a report, from a reliable source (my mom), that Joe Girardi was, in fact, a Sweeney Weeney. The staff suspected this to be the case when this story was first published, but the editor waited for corroboration.

    To New York reporters looking for a human-interest piece: You’re welcome.