Yanks get another cup of Joe

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Joe Girardi is back in pinstripes, taking over as New York Yankees manager from his mentor.

Girardi was hired Tuesday, agreeing to a three-year contract to replace Joe Torre in New York's dugout.

Girardi will sign a three-year contract worth approximately $7.5 million, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports.

"I think any of us would be somewhat surprised to get the job because it's such an honor," Girardi said. "I'm extremely excited and thrilled."

According to Olney, one person Girardi would want on his staff would be former Cubs pitcher Mike Harkey, perhaps as pitching coach.

Paul O'Neill told 1050 ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand he "wouldn't rule out" joining Girardi's coaching staff. O'Neill said he and Girardi are longtime friends and they spoke a lot during the season; both worked for YES, the Yankees' television network.

"I will probably talk with him at some point [about a coaching position]," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said he will wait to call Girardi, because he doesn't want to be a nuisance during Girardi's decision-making process.

Girardi was a catcher for the Yankees from 1996-99, served as a bench coach in 2005, then managed the Marlins the following year and was NL Manager of the Year. He kept a young team in contention until September, then was fired, apparently for clashing with owner Jeffrey Loria and others above him.

The 43-year-old Girardi last summer turned down an offer to be the Baltimore Orioles' manager, choosing instead to spend time with his father, who had health problems.

"Joe Girardi is a good man," Joe Torre said Monday on "Late Show with David Letterman." "He's got a feel for this organization."

Torre declined a one-year offer to return at a reduced salary after leading the team to four World Series championships and 12 playoff appearances in as many seasons.

Girardi was the first to interview on Oct. 22, followed by bench coach Don Mattingly on Tuesday and Tony Pena on Wednesday. Pena won AL Manager of the Year in 2003 after the Kansas City Royals (83-79) posted their first winning season since 1994 -- Hank Steinbrenner told The Times that Pena was "definitely under consideration."

Beloved as team captain, Donnie Baseball was the early favorite to replace Torre and openly coveted the spot. Instead, the Yankees picked experience over popularity, choosing Girardi even at the risk Mattingly would walk away from the franchise.

"I think Joe is a good baseball person and totally will be a great manager there in New York," Mattingly said.

Still, spurning Mattingly -- who always receives one of the loudest ovations on Old-Timers' Day -- was sure to be compared to another famous Yankee snub: Babe Ruth was never offered the manager's job he so desperately wanted.

Mattingly was the Yankees hitting coach for three years before moving next to Torre this season.

Sources say the Dodgers are expected to fire Grady Little and would like to hire Torre as his replacement.

If Torre is hired, Mattingly would likely move with him to Los Angeles as a coach -- joining the organization that selected his son, Preston, in the first round of the 2006 amateur draft.

Girardi inherits a team in transition and one without Alex Rodriguez. He also is not assured of getting back pitchers Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera or catcher Jorge Posada.

Rivera and his agent, Fernando Cuza, were at Legends Field in Tampa on Tuesday, to talk with Yankees officials. The ace reliever, who has filed for free agency, said only, "We've got to see something."

Afterward, Cuza said they had a good meeting but wouldn't speculate as to whether Rivera will be a Yankee next season.

"I don't know," Cuza said. "It's up to them."

Rodriguez informed the Yankees on Sunday that he was terminating his contract and becoming a free agent. The Yankees have repeatedly said they wouldn't negotiate with A-Rod if he hit the open market.

souricon.gif News Source: ESPN

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Well it doesn't matter, Torre should have stayed on, but good ole George the Boss had to go and screw that up.

12 seasons, 12 playoffs. 3 (or is it 4, I forget) World Series championships. Yeah, Torre sucks right George? Started off horrible this season, made the playoffs anyway. Yeah. Oh look, now your boy A-Rod left also, that's because of Torre also Georgie. Good job.

I hope A-Rod goes to the Red Sox.

Oh and for the record, I think Girardi will be great for the Yankees. I mean he took the Marlins (who SUCKED) and took them to a World Series championship (and then the Marlin's got rid of everyone who didn't suck the next year hahaha!) but Mattingly SHOULD have gotten the nod here. But alot of people believe Mattingly isn't ready to take the lead at this point yet, and maybe he isn't. But by god I love Mattingly, and Dave Winfield!

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