Joe Girardi will be back in a Major League Baseball dugout in 2020.
To no one’s surprise, Girardi was one of the most highly sought-after managers this offseason, and he eventually took the Phillies job. Girardi interviewed a few times with the Mets, but the organization decided to go with Carlos Beltran.
On Friday, Girardi joined WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts live from Philadelphia and the Army-Navy game. Girardi spoke to the guys about his interviews with the Mets, his time with the Yankees and his appointment with the Phillies.
Despite not getting the job, Girardi says he thought the Mets were very interested in him when he was going through their interview process.
“I thought they were very interested. I interviewed three times, and had a fourth one set up,” said Girardi. “No, I thought they were very interested. They chose to go a different direction. I’m really happy where I’m at, and I chose to go a different direction. That’s how it kind of ended up.”
The Mets ultimately went with Beltran, who was the more familiar face. Girardi had spent years in New York with the Yankees both as a player and as a coach, but he didn’t have the in-house familiarity with the Mets that Beltran did.
“I just have always loved Didi, not just what he does on the field, because I think that’s special, but what he did in the clubhouse," Girardi said. "I thought that Didi was one of the real leaders in that clubhouse … this guy played needing Tommy John, and no one really even knew about it. He’s tough too. And I think the experience of having to replace Derek Jeter helped mold who Didi is today.”
It seems like so long ago these days, but Girardi also briefly touched on his dismissal from the Yankees after the 2017 season.
“I was there a long time, and Brian (Cashman) just thought it was time for something different," he said. "And that happens in this game. I mean, it happens all the time.”