Joe Girardi’s connection to the Chicago Cubs traces to his childhood.
While rising up in Peoria, his father, Jerry, introduced Girardi and his siblings to Wrigley Field about 5 occasions annually. He would snack on Ron Santo’s Pro’s Pizza on the ballpark and watch the Hall of Fame third baseman and outfielder José Cardenal, his two favourite gamers. Decades later, these recollections nonetheless resonate. The annual journeys instilled Cubs generational fandom that additional deepened when the group drafted him out of Northwestern in 1986.
This weekend Girardi returns to the group with whom he started his skilled baseball profession and spent seven seasons on the North Side.
Girardi is becoming a member of Marquee Sports Network as a sport analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Jon “Boog” Sciambi and analyst Jim Deshaies within the sales space when the Cubs play the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Girardi, who lives within the Miami space, additionally will probably be a part of the published for the Cubs’ three-game collection in opposition to the Marlins on Sept. 19-21 at LoanDepot Park.
“It’s kind of like life has come full circle in a sense for me,” Girardi advised the Tribune on Thursday. “Because I think about all the good times that we had as kids coming up to the ballpark with my father. … It brings back a lot of fond memories. My belief is my father will be in heaven laughing at me doing a game knowing how many we used to listen to.”
President of enterprise operations Crane Kenney reached out to Girardi via his agent in July to gauge curiosity in Girardi becoming a member of the TV broadcast and getting him concerned once more within the Cubs group. Girardi made clear he completely was on board, and the edges recognized these two collection through which Girardi, 57, will probably be a part of the Marquee broadcast.
The pivot to the published facet comes after the Philadelphia Phillies fired Girardi on June 3 solely two months into his third season as supervisor. Although he’s embracing this chance, Girardi desires to handle once more.
“But I understand that these jobs are precious,” Girardi mentioned. “And being let go is disruptive for households, so I hope it doesn’t occur to anybody. This is an fascinating enterprise as a result of you must transfer round so much. It’s troublesome.
“So if I broadcast for the rest of my life, I’m good with that. I’ve been fortunate I’ve gotten a chance to manage 14 years, and I feel really good about that. But if the opportunity came, yeah, I’m definitely interested, but I understand that it may not too.”
After the Phillies dismissed Girardi, he caught across the Philadelphia space as a result of his daughter, Lena, performed on a neighborhood 15-U AAU basketball group. He additionally twice drove to Burlington, N.C., to go to his son, Dante, who was taking part in within the Appalachian League. Girardi wished to attend till Lena, a highschool sophomore, and Dante, a junior at Florida International, have been again at school this week earlier than making commitments.
Girardi additionally has taken time to replicate on what went flawed with the Phillies. They posted a 132-141 document below Girardi and missed the postseason in his his first two seasons. Girardi desires to be taught from his experiences, making self-assessment a part of the method. This isn’t the primary time he has had to deal with shedding his job. The Marlins fired him after one season in 2006, and the New York Yankees dismissed him in 2017 after 10 seasons and a 2009 World Series title with the group.
“You try to think about all the good things and what you love about the game and how precious it is to have one of these jobs, and you reflect on things that maybe you would have done a little bit different,” Girardi mentioned. “But then you must begin to transfer on in a way as a result of it could eat you.
“When a manager gets let go, no matter what time it is, it’s disruptive, not just to you but to your family too. You’ve got to get things back to normal where there’s consistency, especially when you have kids at home, and that’s what I focus on.”
Girardi’s earlier broadcast expertise contains working for YES Network, MLB Network and Fox Sports. He has been watching numerous Cubs and Brewers video games in preparation for the weekend collection. The Phillies didn’t play both group earlier than he was fired. Girardi is wanting ahead to seeing Keegan Thompson and Justin Steele pitch in opposition to the Brewers.
“It’s a great opportunity for these young players to prove, ‘Hey, I’m part of the puzzle next year as we continue to improve,’ and they are acquiring minor-league talent, which I think is important for the depth of the organization,” Girardi mentioned. “It’s important that some of these guys come up and be a big part of this, and other guys may be traded to get that one or two pieces that you need to get you over the top.”
At the second, Girardi’s dedication to Marquee is for less than two collection. But he would like to do extra video games subsequent season, although that probably relies on whether or not a managing alternative arises within the offseason. The group and metropolis, the place nephews and his mother-in-law reside, stay interesting to Girardi.
“I’ve been a Cubs fan my whole life, that has never changed,” Girardi mentioned. “The only time I didn’t cheer for them is when I played against them. Obviously Chicago is a fantastic city, so yeah, I hope it works out.”