Yes, Joe Girardi does want to manage again.
The former Yankees and Marlins manager likes his job as an analyst at MLB Network (disclaimer, we are colleagues there), but in something that should surprise few, Girardi made it clear he still has the managing bug. While he declined to discuss the Cardinals' situation in particular — perhaps because they currently have an interim, Mike Schildt — the fit there with Girardi is so obvious it was speculated by scores of reporters within hours of Mike Matheny's surprise firing Saturday.
RELATED: Jayson Werth retires with no regrets
"Yes I do," Girardi answered succinctly by text when asked by Fancred whether he has interest in managing. (He affirmed this later verbally.)
While Girardi didn't utter a word about the Cardinals, he is seen as a potential match, especially since he and Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak have a long-standing rapport. Girardi also briefly played for the Cardinals after productive years with the Rockies, Cubs and Yankees. And he has strong Midwestern ties; Girardi is a Peoria, Ill. native who played college baseball for Northwestern before later starring for the Cubs.
If Matheny's firing was a surprise, Girardi's dismissal from the Yankees following last season was a shocker. They are two among very few to have managed at least six years in one organization without posting a losing season, and then still be fired. In Girardi's case, the 2017 Yankees came within a game of the World Series, making his dismissal even more surprising.
"I do want to manage," Girardi, whose has a career mark of 988-794 and who guided the Yankees to the 2009 World Series title, said in a phone interview. "I am definitely interested in managing."
While Girardi's name isn't the only one raised in the wake of Matheny's dismissal, it is definitely the most common. Others have mentioned Dusty Baker, who has had four managerial stops and was fired after consecutive first-place, 90-plus-win seasons with the Nats, and Cardinals legend Mark McGwire, currently the bench coach with the Padres after serving as the Cardinals hitting coach.
The interim manager Schildt also can't be discounted, as he has a longstanding relationship with Mozeliak.
Teams have recently moved away from high-priced, veteran leaders in the dugout, but Girardi's record would seem enough to make any team with an opening take a look. Whether the Cardinals follow that logic remains to be seen.