Girardi meets with Orioles, has offer to manage

Updated: June 20, 2007, 4:12 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BALTIMORE -- Joe Girardi interviewed with the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, and ESPN's Peter Gammons is reporting that the team has offered him their vacant managerial job.

The Orioles are currently negotiating with Girardi to become their next manager, two baseball sources told The Baltimore Sun.

"There is ongoing communication with Baltimore," Steve Mandel, the agent for Girardi, told the newspaper. "There is no done deal, but the dialogue is continuing."

The discussions with Girardi come after Baltimore fired Sam Perlozzo after two-plus seasons as manager.

Joe Girardi

Girardi

"They have a process that they need to get through, and we'll see what happens," Girardi told The Sun after the interview. "They basically told me that they wanted to do it sooner or later, but it is a process. It was a good meeting. I am not sure what their timetable is."

Andy MacPhail, who was officially hired Wednesday as chief operating officer of the Orioles, said at his news conference, "I'm very impressed with Joe," but added he doesn't have a timetable for choosing a manager.

The interview took place in Chicago, a baseball official familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized. The Sun cited two team sources as saying Girardi was the front-runner for the job.

"We met for a couple of hours," Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan told The Sun. "We're not going to get into characterizing how well it went."

The newspaper also stated that the Orioles have not interviewed any other candidates.

In its first game under interim manager Dave Trembley, Baltimore lost its ninth consecutive game Tuesday, 12-6 to the San Diego Padres. The Orioles have finished with losing records in nine consecutive seasons.

Girardi was a first-time manager last season when he led Florida to a 78-84 record last year, keeping the youthful Marlins in contention until late September.

The former big league catcher was fired at the end of the season following a rift with owner Jeffrey Loria, then was voted NL Manager of the Year -- the first to win the award with a losing record.

A former coach for Yankees manager Joe Torre, Girardi returned to New York this season as a broadcaster for the YES Network.

Meanwhile, as first reported on Monday by ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, Andy MacPhail was hired Wednesday as chief operating officer of the Orioles. MacPhail ran both the Cubs and the Twins.

MacPhail and Girardi overlapped in Chicago during MacPhail's tenure as Cubs president, which began in 1994 and ended in 2006. Girardi was a Cub for two stints totaling six seasons, the last from 2000-02.

Girardi told The Sun that his relationship with MacPhail could affect his decision.

"Obviously I have a relationship with Andy and I have the utmost respect for him," he told the newspaper. "It was good to see his face. It is a very familiar face to me. I thought the meeting was good and time will tell."

MacPhail fills a post with the Orioles that had been vacant since Joe Foss resigned this year. He will oversee all baseball operations for the struggling club, which has not had a winning season since 1997. He said he thinks owner Peter Angelos will allow him the independence he needs to run the team.

"If I didn't feel that way, I wouldn't be here," MacPhail said Wednesday, adding that he outlined to Angelos where he thinks the boundaries of the owner's influence are.

MacPhail said he will spend the weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline watching, reading and listening.

"What I'd like to do, what I'd like to achieve ... is to develop a team that has a character and an identity," MacPhail said. He said establishing identity is difficult, but achievable in the climate of modern baseball where players and free agents can quickly change a team's image.

MacPhail was president of the Chicago Cubs from 1994-2006, also serving as general manager from July 2000 to July 2002. He was general manager of the Minnesota Twins from 1985-94, helping the team win World Series titles in 1987 and 1991.

His father, Hall of Famer Lee MacPhail, was Orioles general manager from 1958-65 and also was GM of the New York Yankees and president of the American League. His grandfather, Hall of Famer Larry MacPhail, brought night games to the major leagues while with the Cincinnati Reds in 1935 and was chief executive of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Yankees.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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