Joe Girardi’s Bryce Harper injury lie calls for MLB change

What do Joe Girardi and Francisco Lindor have in frequent?

Both are responsible, throughout this 2021 baseball season, of an an identical transgression: overcomplicating issues.

Lindor, confronted with the fact that he skilled some type of disagreement along with his Mets double-play companion Jeff McNeil on May 7, fabricated an inane story — in regards to the teammates arguing over whether or not they witnessed a rat or a raccoon within the tunnel connecting Citi Field’s residence dugout with its residence clubhouse — quite than acknowledging the apparent in a tactful method. To be honest, the story might represent Lindor’s most memorable contribution to his new team so far.

Girardi, dwelling the proof {that a} leopard can’t change its spots, offered this dandy on Monday about sitting the Phillies’ clearly hurting Bryce Harper: “You know, I went to bed last night, woke up this morning and said, ‘You know what? I’m going to give him another day.’ And that’s the reason.” The subsequent day, when Philadelphia positioned Harper on the injured record with a left forearm contusion, Girardi summoned Gabbo from “The Simpsons” (“I’m a bad widdle boy!”) by admitting he lied to be able to deceive his opponent, the Marlins, into pondering that Harper is perhaps obtainable to pinch hit.

Both completed baseball males win Silly Awards for taking one thing straightforward and making it tough. In Girardi’s case, although, perhaps we will flip his horrible messaging into one thing good for the sport.

With playing now such a significant income stream, shouldn’t Major League Baseball generate a day by day injury report for higher transparency?

Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi (left) and Bryce Harper
Philadelphia Phillies supervisor Joe Girardi (left) and Bryce Harper
AP

First, although, some ideas on Girardi: The former Yankees supervisor, catcher and bench coach has been on fairly a roll recently, even for him. First got here a May 16 dugout skirmish with his second baseman, Jean Segura, which led to a testy postgame information convention through which he repeatedly declined to have interaction on the matter in any method. Then got here the Harper nonsense, which very a lot certified as nonsense as a result of everybody on the planet knew that Harper hadn’t been the identical since he was hit on April 28 by a fastball from the Cardinals’ Genesis Cabrera that related with each the outfielder’s face and his left hand — and since, as a number of Philadelphia reporters identified, Harper didn’t even hassle to put on a jersey within the dugout.

Then, on Thursday, when requested about utilizing Segura solely as a pinch-hitter towards his previous pal Derek Jeter’s group, Girardi mentioned: “Just so you guys know, we’re going to approach this different. 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.”

His level isn’t horrible within the normal sense. No skipper needs to surrender any aggressive benefit. Far higher methods exist, nevertheless, to string the needle, to bounce round a participant’s availability on a selected night time with out resorting to outright untruths or the hostile, Jimy Williams-esque “Manager’s decision.” That problem will increase on this period of Zoom calls, with audiences of 30 or so media varieties quite than, say, the handful of reporters who would’ve been with Girardi in particular person for a recreation in Miami throughout non-pandemic occasions. It however stays attainable.

What’s wonderful is how Girardi nonetheless struggles with the “spokesman” a part of the job, in his thirteenth 12 months at this. After his maiden voyage with the Yankees in 2008, his employers instructed Girardi the world through which he wanted probably the most work was media relations, and he did enhance en path to profitable the 2009 World Series.

While he will be affable on a day-to-day foundation, although, he nonetheless hasn’t found out how you can show enough grace below stress throughout moments of adversity. His preparation and seriousness of function seem inextricably linked to his irritability (and consequently questionable press-conference decisions) in powerful occasions. It’s a bundle deal.

Joe Girardi with the Yankees in 2017.
Joe Girardi with the Yankees in 2017.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Yet what if Girardi confronted no selection within the matter? What if MLB compelled all of its golf equipment, within the identify of wagering consumption, to reveal all injury info just like the NFL and the NBA? As per the NBA’s official injury report, “NBA teams must report information concerning player injuries, illnesses and rest for all NBA games. … [T]eams must designate a participation status and identify a specific injury, illness or potential instance of a healthy player resting for any player whose participation in the game may be affected by such injury, illness or rest.”

Surely Girardi and his fellow managers nonetheless would search for aggressive edges inside such a framework. However, this might largely remove questions on why Player A isn’t beginning and so forth. It in all probability would grease the skids for extra playing, which in flip ought to assist everybody’s incomes energy, together with the managers.

To date, MLB has not significantly contemplated such an initiative. Like many such endeavors — wouldn’t it’s cool if the umpiring crew chief introduced replay rulings on the sector like an NFL referee explains penalties to the group? — it bought sidetracked by the pandemic. As we return to some stage of normalcy, right here’s hoping that baseball will get round to this earlier than later. If nothing else, it may add years to Girardi’s life.

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