NEW YORK (AP) -Perhaps this manager won't be greeted with the headline ``Clueless Joe.''
Joe Girardi knows his way around Yankee Stadium. He's played, coached and broadcast for the team. And now he gets the big office off the clubhouse, hoping he's the last occupant before the ballpark closes after next season.
``I think any of us would be somewhat surprised to get the job because it's such an honor,'' Girardi said this week, after he was hired by the Yankees.
type by: ``TORRE HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE'S GETTING INTO.''
Torre went on to lead the Yankees to four World Series titles in his first five seasons, joining Miller Huggins, Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel - Hall of Famers all - as the most successful managers in team history. But Torre didn't win the World Series in the following seven seasons and rejected a one-year contract with a paycut, leading the team to replace him with his former catcher.
Girardi received a $7.8 million, three-year contract, nearly four times the $2.1 million, three-year deal the Florida Marlins gave him before the 2006 season for his first managing job. That agreement called for annual salaries of $600,000, $700,000 and $800,000, but Girardi was fired after one season when he clashed with management.
He led a young Florida team to a 78-84 record and earned the NL Manager of the Year award. His Yankees contract includes a signing bonus of $300,000 payable over three years, annual salaries of $2.5 million and the chance to earn performance bonuses.
Girardi pushed his Marlins hard. Will he have to alter his style in a clubhouse filled with veterans used to Torre's laissez-faire approach?
``There's different techniques with every player, whether they're young or old, because every guy is motivated a different way,'' Girardi said. ``Every guy you can get to a different way.''
He isn't concerned about public pressure or interference from owner George Steinbrenner, who has receded from the team's operations.
``I don't think the expectations up above are going to exceed our expecations, so I'm ready to deal with that,'' Girardi said. ``I didn't ask for reassurances because of my expectations, so I don't necessarily worry about that.''
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