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Joe Girardi isn’t trying to win any friends in Philadelphia.
So, he better win games.
The Phillies manager is taking the Bill Belichick and New England Patriots approach to keeping all things secret. The strategy has been often imitated but never duplicated.
Asked on Thursday why he pinch hit Jean Segura but then used Nick Maton instead of Segura as the replacement at second base, Girardi escalated an ongoing feud with the media.
“Just so you guys know: We’re going to approach this different,” Girardi said, according to The Athletic, after his team’s 3-2 win over the Marlins.
“I’ve talked to people in our organization. Just a manager’s decision. And I’m not going to share anything — who’s available, who’s not available — because I think it’s somewhat unfair to us. Just like if you were to do something, you’re not going to necessarily share it with a rival reporter. So, that’s the way we’re going to handle it. Just a manager’s decision.”
Fans might be OK with secrecy if the Phillies (25-26) start winning.
But if the Phillies keep muddling along and Girardi is not explaining his decisions, he is going to become a target on the talk-radio waves. The passionate fans of Philadelphia – like most great sports towns – want answers and accountability.
This is the third leg of the new closed-off Girardi, who spent 10 years as the Yankees manager and is no stranger to passionate fans and hard-pressing media.
The initial issue came earlier this month after Girardi and Segura had a heated exchange in the dugout.
“That’s a bench conversation, meant for the bench,” Girardi said at the time. “You can ask all you want. You got everything you’re going to get about it. Alright? I’m done with it. I know you’re doing your job but that’s it.”
Girardi then said “next question” to a couple follow-ups.
More recently, Girardi outright lied about the health and availability of Bryce Harper before he landed on the injured list.
“There is a distinct advantage to the other manager if I tell you a guy’s wrist is hurt,” Girardi said. “And the idea here is to win games. … I understand you want to know. But there are distinct advantages that I can give another club if they know everything that’s going on over here. So I’m sorry that I had to do that.”
Not too sorry, based on the subsequent new team policy.
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