Wow, talk about taking a walk down Phillies memory lane! Bob Dernier, Gary Mathews, John Vukovich, John Kruk, Charlie Manuel, Ryan Howard and the teams current player, Rhys Hoskins. All mentioned by Girardi within a 30 minute conference.
I agree that Girardi is quite likeable...and very genuine sounding. Look, Gabe Kapler may be the most genuine guy in the world but there was always a prevailing belief that he exhibited a bit of phoniness. And sadly for him, perception becomes reality, even if its not. I still recall what a key player [many thought it might be Arrieta] said about Kapler after only 5 games at the helm, as the Phils came home after a 1-4 road trip.
"We will be fine once Kapler gets out of the way and lets us play our game." My point, since I am certainly not saying that this opinion was correct. Even early on I never sensed that the players bought into Kapler and I don't believe they ever did. Oh, they liked him well enough, its hard not to like a manager who allows you to run a clubhouse and almost never speaks negatively about you publicly. But I believe the professional respect was never there.
This will certainly not be the case with Girardi and its one of the reasons that I believe Rothschild would be a good selection IF Girardi wants him. The pitchers are likely to buy into a program that is instructed by a manager that hand picked him and has had the battle scars together of playing championship baseball.
I think the biggest take I have on Girardi is this...FINALLY I believe the Phils got a guy other teams wanted and respected. No Nick Leyva, no John Felske, no Bob Skinner, no Frank Luchessi [though I liked him personally!] Joe Girardi is a guy that almost ANY team in baseball would consider for a managerial job and be able to defend their selection to an oft times skeptical fan base.
To me, this means something because it means credibility and while credibility won't get you top free agent signatures, credibility and money will.
And for once, the Phils finally have both.