Girardi returning to Yankees broadcast booth

NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi's next move is back into the broadcast booth with the New York Yankees -- rather than seeking another managing job.

Fired by the Florida Marlins after one season as their manager, Girardi will rejoin the Yankees' broadcast team on the team's YES Network, apparently content not to be in a major league dugout next year.

"At this time, I thought this was the correct move for my family and I," Girardi said Monday on a conference call to announce his return to YES.

Girardi was a Yankees broadcaster in 2004 before becoming Joe Torre's bench coach the following season. After taking over in Florida, he guided the rookie-laden Marlins to a surprisingly competitive 78-84 finish this year, keeping them in playoff contention deep into September and making him a leading candidate for the NL Manager of the Year award, which will be announced Wednesday.

But he was fired by the Marlins last month following a rift with owner Jeffrey Loria, and it appears as though Girardi won't have a managerial job next season.

Girardi, replaced in Florida by Fredi Gonzalez, said he spoke to
the Washington Nationals about their vacancy, but it wasn't a good
fit. New York Mets third-base coach Manny Acta is expected to be
chosen as Washington's new manager this week.

"We had a lot of discussions with the Nationals and I felt it
just wasn't the right timing for me and my family," Girardi said.
"That's all I care to go into on that."

The Oakland Athletics also have an opening for a manager.

Girardi has a one-year deal with YES to work as an analyst on
60-plus Yankees games. He also will team with another ex-Yankees
catcher and current broadcaster, John Flaherty, on a new show
called "Behind The Plate."

"I loved my time with YES in 2004 and I'm sure I will love it
in 2007," Girardi said. "I will approach it the same way I did in
2004 and try to get better."

And if Girardi gets an enticing opportunity to manage again
before the end of next season, he doesn't think his contract with
YES would stand in the way.

"Everyone always wants to know about out clauses," he said.
"You can't predict what jobs are going to open up. ... I don't go
into a job looking to be something else."

Girardi also said he wouldn't hesitate to criticize Torre, a
longtime mentor, on the air if it was warranted.

"That's not a concern for me. Joe Torre knows the respect that
I have for him," Girardi said.

A former major league catcher, Girardi won three World Series
rings with the Yankees from 1996-99. He also played for the Chicago Cubs, Colorado and St. Louis during his 15-year career.