Time for Joe to go?

YANKEES
CUBS

Equity in the bank

Marchand By Andrew Marchand
ESPN.com
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Joe Girardi would be wise to stay with the Yankees, if he wants to keep managing.

If he's grown tired of missing his children's events and his family really wants him home more and then, of course, he should do just that. But if Joe has their blessing to continue in the dugout, then he should not go to Chicago. He should stay in New York.

Girardi has a lot of equity with the Yankees.

He has won a championship as a manager. This past season, he probably did the best job he has ever done. He has all that in his back pocket if he stays.

Now, everyone is all about doom and gloom when talking about the Yankees. Perhaps they'll be right.

But if the Yankees had had one or two fewer injuries this season, or if Phil Hughes or CC Sabathia had pitched better, the Bombers may have claimed a wild card.

So with a few "ifs" going their way next year - beginning with Sabathia and ending with David Robertson, with a little Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira in between - the Yankees may be back in the postseason.

The Cubs? Their farm system is rated better at the moment, but they certainly aren't about to win a championship.

Girardi played down the idea of returning to Chicago the other day, but it would seem to be intriguing to be the guy to finally deliver another ring to Wrigley.

Three years down the road might make more sense for Girardi if the Cubs look to be on the verge of winning it all.

Right now, there is only one move for Joseph Elliott Girardi - if his family is on board - and that is to stay in the Bronx.

Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com

Nowhere to go but up with Cubs

Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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When outlining the requirements for the next great Chicago Cubs manager, team president Theo Epstein said they need someone with "leadership, energy and creativity."

I'm surprised he didn't go all Ralph Tresvant on us and say, "We need a man with sensitivity."

Oh wait, he kind of did.

"There has to be love before there's tough love," Epstein said.

Is Joe Girardi the sensitive warrior that the Cubs need?

I'd say he fits about every category Epstein laid out in his nearly 600-word press release and ensuing half-hour news conference. But why would Girardi pick the Cubs over the New York Yankees? He's played for both teams, so he knows firsthand the differences between the organizations. Good, and, in the Cubs' case, bad.

The Cubs' recent results are familiar, actually worse than ever, but Epstein is attacking a historical challenge with atypical solutions.

The Cubs have a highly touted farm system with impact prospects a year or two from coming up. With Wrigley Field renovations will come more money for the major league team. There is nowhere to go but up.

Provincialism aside for the Peoria native and Northwestern graduate, let's face it: The Cubs job is the last great challenge in sports. Girardi likely would think about the managers he played for who couldn't get it done, along with Lou Piniella, the only one to win back-to-back playoff spots.

The difference is Epstein knows what he's doing and he has sacrificed two seasons to build for the future. Talent is coming, and unlike the Cubs of the 1980s, when Dallas Green embarked on a similar task, ownership is committed to creating a strong foundation.

The talent is much more important than the manager, who is the celebrity host of a good baseball team. But if Girardi has some faith -- and we know he does -- this job could be his true calling.

Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com.

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