With the surprising firing of New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman has opened up one of the most coveted, yet stressful jobs in sports. With no shortage of suitors, Cashman may have his pick of coaches. But being the New York skipper isn’t for everyone—if the players or fans don’t eat you alive, the media will. As a result, the Bronx Bombers are instituting a new step in their interview process: All candidates will meet with news media after being interviewed by the team.
While no doubt good for off-season ratings on the Yankees’ YES Network, this move is something that more teams are doing as they look for the best fit to lead their teams. The thought is that it takes a certain kind of person to manage in cities like New York, and if candidates can’t take the heat during the hot stove season, there’s no way they’ll survive baseball’s dog days of summer.
It’s also representative of a broader, cross-industry trend in management. From Richard Branson to Elon Musk, and all business leaders in between, handling the press is becoming just as important as putting out products, whether your company’s objective is to fly to the moon, maximize returns for investors, or get its name engraved on the World Series trophy.
But despite this new box on the job requirements, it’s not like Girardi has handled the New York media poorly, says Cashman. If anything, the team executive said, Girardi’s firing was was more about his ability to communicate inside the clubhouse than outside of it.
As for who could do it better, that remains to be seen. Brad Ausmus is reportedly currently near the top of the Yankees’ list. Though seemingly a long shot, it’s possible the next Yankees manager could be Alex Rodriguez. Cashman didn’t discount the theory, and some Yankee players think he’d be a good choice. As for his media savvy credentials, A-Rod is currently an analyst on Fox Sports. So, he ticks that box, for sure.