NEW YORK — Joe Girardi has an idea what Aaron Boone will face when the Yankees and the rookie manager open their spring training schedule on Feb. 23.
Girardi was a first-time manager with the Florida Marlins in 2006, leaving after a single season, a 78-84 record and repeated disagreements with owner Jeffrey Loria and the front office.
For a big league manager, the job is more than dugout decisions.
"We had some things happen with the Marlins that I was not prepared for, and it was like a crash course in handling things that you don't expect to have to handle," Girardi said Wednesday when he started work for the MLB Network.
Girardi had experience handling pitchers because of his catching career. Boone, a former third baseman and ESPN analyst, takes over from Girardi with no manager or coaching experience at any level.
"I think the harder thing for me that you have to take the crash course in is learning your players and understanding what makes them tick, in what situations they're uncomfortable," Girardi said, "and if it's a young player learning to make sure that they have success and build on."
Girardi was fired after 10 seasons as Yankees manager, even though New York went 91-71 for its best record since 2012, earned an AL wild-card berth and advanced to the AL Championship Series before losing to Houston in seven games.
He has watched from afar as New York made the splashiest move of the
"I think they're going to be very good," he said. "We finished up last season really strong — went through some injuries in the middle of the year that we kind of treaded water for a while.
"But I think it's a very talented club. Obviously health is always an important factor in being successful, but if they are able to remain healthy, I think you are going to see them in the
Girardi, who managed the Yankees to the 2009 World Series title, was to make his MLB Network debut Wednesday night. He said he considered other broadcast jobs before deciding on the MLB Network. He worked for ESPN Radio during the 2003 NL Division Series, for the Yankees' YES Network in 2004 and 2007, and for Fox in 2007.
Not working was not considered.
"As far as taking a year off, I think my family would have kicked me out of the house at some point," he said. "I think as men we're called to work, and I love the game of baseball."
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Ronald Blum, The Associated Press