Those who believe managers really only influence 1-2 games a year are possibly overlooking one important thing...the credibility that a solid manager brings to the organization, which can ultimately bring solid players to the team. I think this will happen with the hiring of Girardi.
As someone who goes back to Gene Mauch [though I was still a tiny tot when he was hired and have no memory of it] I can honestly say that this hiring is the most credible hire in my memory. Oh, a case can be made for Charlie Manuel, who had lots of success in Cleveland, but many of us, yours truly included, wanted Jim Leyland instead and felt disappointed and not excited.
Look, I have no idea if Girardi will succeed but I will say that for the first time since the heyday of Manuel [2008-2011] most Phillie phans will not question whether or not the Phils truly have a skipper that has not one whiff of Peter Principle in him. He is a very qualified manager and should do well.
I admit it...Kapler drove me nuts. I understand, even better now than ever, that his methods seem to be the 21st Century way of doing things but I still do not believe that he managed those methods well. I know it can't be proven and as such is merely theory but I believe his misuse of his bullpen early on caused many of the arm woes that this group suffered.
I also believe his attitude of letting players have so much freedom in the clubhouse was a mistake...you simply do NOT let the foxes run the hen house. Oh I know the players said they appreciated the trust but come on...anyone who has been in a baseball clubhouse KNOWS you simply cannot let the players establish the rules.
Girardi has credibility, Girardi has power and Middleton has Girardi's back. I like this trio of circumstances and think he is going to be very successful.