“I’m really excited to join MLB Network and to have a chance to talk about the game that I love so much,” said Girardi, who had a 15-year career as a player including two stints with the Cubs, and is scheduled to make make his MLB Network debut at 5 p.m. Wednesday alongside fellow commentators Mike Lowell and Bill Ripken, and host Greg Amsinger.
Girardi, 53, led the Yankees the 2009 World Series championship over the Phillies, his second season as their manager. Yankees management decided not to renew his contract after his 10th season, following the Yankees' Game 7 American League Championship Series loss to the Astros, who went on to defeat the Dodgers in the World Series, also in seven games.
Replacing Girardi as manager is Aaron Boone, a former Yankees infielder, whose spot on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" was subsequently filled by Alex Rodriguez, who played for the Yankees under Girardi. The New York Post said Girardi was "a fringe candidate" for Boone's ESPN job.
Girardi, who managed the Marlins in 2006, winning National League manager of the year honors, has experience as commentator on the YES Network, the Yankees' cable outlet, as well as for ESPN Radio and Fox.
His name is often mentioned whenever there’s a Cubs managerial opening. Besides his own ties to the area, his wife, Kim, grew up in a North Shore suburb.
Born in Peoria and an alumnus of Northwestern University, Girardi broke into the major leagues with the Cubs in 1989, but was picked by the Rockies in the expansion draft after the 1992 season. The Yankees acquired him in trade after the 1995 season. He returned to the Cubs in 2000 and closed out his playing career with the Cardinals, appearing in 16 games in 2003.
Girardi won three World Series championships with the Yankees, caught Dwight Gooden's 1996 no-hitter against the Mariners and David Cone's perfect game in 1999 against the Expos. He was a National League All-Star for the Cubs in 2000, replacing injured future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza
“Joe has spent more than 25 years on the field and in the dugout as part of some of the greatest teams in major league history, and we’re excited for him to join MLB Network's expert lineup,” MLB Network President Rob McGlarry said. “Having just stepped off the field with success as a player and manager at the highest level, we know Joe will bring insightful analysis to his work at MLB Network.”