Joe Girardi Fired as Phillies Manager; Rob Thomson to Be Interim

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 3, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 24: Joe Girardi #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)
Adam Hagy/Getty Images

Joe Girardi did not last three full seasons as the Philadelphia Phillies manager.

The team announced the 57-year-old's firing Friday, and bench coach Rob Thomson will take over on an interim basis.

Philadelphia Phillies @Phillies

The Phillies have relieved Joe Girardi of his duties as manager today. Bench coach Rob Thomson has been named interim manager for the club through the end of the 2022 season. In addition, coaching assistant Bobby Meacham was also relieved of his duties. <a href="https://t.co/lVL60RrSnJ">pic.twitter.com/lVL60RrSnJ</a>

Girardi talked about the move during his weekly appearance on MLB Network Radio, per Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Alex Coffey @byalexcoffey

Joe Girardi is doing his regularly schedule appearance on <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBNetworkRadio?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLBNetworkRadio</a>. Here's what he said about his firing: "I think you understand it better as you go through it more times. And we underperformed, and that falls on me. So this is what happens."

The Phillies hired Girardi ahead of the 2020 season after he previously managed the Florida Marlins for one season in 2006 and the New York Yankees from 2008 through 2017. He won a World Series with the Yanks in 2009 and helped guide them to the postseason six times.

Philadelphia went just 28-32 and finished in third place in the National League East in the shortened 2020 season during his first year at the helm.

It took a step forward in 2021 at 82-20 and second place but still missed the playoffs.

That did nothing to temper expectations heading into the 2022 season. The Phillies have the fourth-highest payroll in the league and added sluggers Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to a roster that included Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

Those elevated expectations are why Girardi's job security was such a topic of discussion following a May 29 loss to the New York Mets. The Phillies were swept in the three-game series and fell to 21-27 and 10.5 games back in the division.

"I don't worry about my job," Girardi told reporters at the time. "I've never worried about my job. I don't worry about my job. I've got to do my job. It's the business of being a manager. I don't worry about it."

Castellanos also turned heads when he said, per Coffey: "I don't know how to describe the energy now, but it's obviously not where it needs to be. Because we're not playing like we should be."

Perhaps the front office believes changing the manager will provide the energy that Girardi didn't for a franchise that has consistently underperformed.

Girardi finishes his run as Phillies manager with a record of 132-141. Their 22-29 mark this season is tied with the Chicago Cubs for the fourth-worst record in the NL.

Philadelphia's last playoff appearance was in 2011, and Girardi won't be the one to snap the drought.