When the Yankees hired Joe Girardi over Don Mattingly, Hank Steinbrenner said the Yankees weren't looking for just a manager for next year or the year after, they were interested in hiring an all-time great.
That was in the winter of 2007. Now, five years and one world championship later, both Girardi and Mattingly are having success as managers.
Girardi is a very prepared leader. He consistently uses his bullpen well and, even if you don't agree with his lineup choices, he always has sound reasoning behind his decisions. He nurtures relationships with his players, but doesn't seem to be that overly close with any of them. That is neither good nor bad, but just is a function of his serious personality.
For all the binder jokes and his lack of style points, Girardi does well in putting his players in the right position. Ultimately, that is the job of the manager. So you can't go wrong with him.
The Yankees chose Girardi over Mattingly because they felt he was more ready on Day 1. Mattingly has proven in L.A. that he is managerial material. The Dodgers overachieved last year, finishing over .500 and this season are fighting for the NL West title. Mattingly has built a rapport with his players that seems to have an impact.
So, it seems, the Yankees back in 2007 couldn't have gone wrong, but here is the question for you: If you had the choice right now, would you rather have Joey Looseleafs or Donnie Baseball?
UP NOW: My column on the Yankees' superiority over the Red Sox.
ON DECK: Hiroki Kuroda (11-8, 3.06 ERA) faces Josh Beckett (5-10, 5.19). Later this morning, Mark Simon will deliver a What2Watch4. Tonight, Ian O'Connor, Ian Begley and I will have you covered. Clubhouse opens around 4:30.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Girardi or Mattingly? Who do you have? Let us know below.