The New York Yankees have advanced to the ALCS – so perhaps all will be forgiven – but things were not looking good for Joe Girardi after Game 2 of the ALDS.
With the Yankees up 8-3 in the sixth inning, Indians pinch hitter Lonnie Chisenhall pulled one over the umpire, acting as though he’d been hit by a pitch when, in reality, the ball hit the knob of his bat. New York catcher Gary Sanchez immediately turned toward Girardi and told him to review the call.
Only Girardi didn’t.
Chisenhall was awarded first base, which loaded the bases, and Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam to pull Cleveland within 8-7. The Indians won, 9-8, in 13 innings.
Girardi is in his tenth season as Yankees manager – and guided the franchise to a World Series title in 2009 – but calls for his firing came fast and furious.
It was ugly.
“I was appalled by that whole situation,” former MLB player and manager Bobby Valentine said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It seems that it’s somebody else’s job to look at the replay and tell the manager whether or not he should challenge. If the guy in the dugout is just challenging every time he thought that what he saw wasn’t right, you’d use up your challenges in the first inning. But that was a really weird situation. I’m glad there were a couple of guys on the team there who seem to be new guys – but they were bold guys – (who stepped) forward and got Joe’s back. I was really happy to see that.”
Valentine, who led the Mets to a World Series appearance in 2000, last managed in 2012. He was asked if he would ever manage again.
“I don’t think that that’s the job for me at this time,” the 67-year-old cracked. “I’m trying to clean up my life, not mess it up.”