Sources: Developing opportunity for Girardi in L.A.

Updated: October 26, 2007, 1:15 AM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

Joe Girardi may have an opportunity to manage in the majors in 2008 -- even if he doesn't get the Yankees' job.

Officials familiar with Girardi's job prospects said Thursday if the Yankees do not hire him to succeed Joe Torre, then Girardi could have a developing opportunity with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The agent for Girardi, Steve Mandel, was asked if Girardi had been approached about a job opportunity with the Dodgers, and Mandel would not comment.

Dodgers manager Grady Little is under contract for next season after the team picked up his option for 2008 on March 7. Little also has a club option for 2009.

"Grady Little is our manager," a Dodgers spokesperson said Thursday.

Dodgers executives could not be reached for comment about Little's status.

Girardi and Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti have known each other for almost two decades. Colletti came to know the former catcher as media relations director for the Cubs; Girardi was selected by Chicago out of Northwestern as a fifth-round pick in the 1986 amateur draft.

Meanwhile, a Yankees executive told 1050 ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand on Thursday that the team will resume its meetings Tuesday to discuss hiring their next manager.

He added that GM Brian Cashman and team president Randy Levine planned to return to New York from Tampa on Thursday.

Teams are not allowed to make major announcements during the World Series unless commissioner Bud Selig grants permission. There is a chance an announcement could come Friday, an off-day for the Series. The earliest end to the Rockies-Red Sox would be Sunday; if the Series goes seven games, Game 7 would be next Thursday.

"There has been widespread speculation about who the next manager of The New York Yankees will be. The evaluation process is continuing and there will be no immediate decision or announcement," said Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for owner George Steinbrenner.

The Yankees said their interviews will stop at Girardi, bench coach Don Mattingly and first-base coach Tony Pena. Girardi interviewed on Monday, Mattingly on Tuesday and Pena on Wednesday.

Girardi, speaking at a charity dinner Wednesday, refused to answer any questions about the Yankees' search.

"The only thing I'm going to comment about the Yankees situation is what I said a few days ago," Girardi said. "I had a great interview. And it's an honor for whoever gets that job."

Mattingly, who has no managerial experience, spent three seasons as New York's hitting coach before he became Torre's bench coach last year. A six-time All-Star, Mattingly is among the most beloved players in Yankees history.

Mattingly's agent, Ray Schulte, told 1050 ESPN New York on Thursday: "At this time we haven't heard any news from the Yankees organization nor have any expectations of when they will inform Don of their decision."

Pena has the most managerial experience of the three candidates, having led the Kansas City Royals for more than three seasons. Girardi managed the Florida Marlins in 2006, his only season in that capacity, and was named NL manager of the year. Mattingly spent the three seasons before becoming Yankees bench coach as the franchise's hitting coach.

"We haven't made the final decision yet, really," Hank Steinbrenner told the Associated Press. "We've got a lot of brilliant baseball people going over this process and interviews they did with the candidates. We're taking it all in."

Torre took over for the 1996 season and led the Yankees to four World Series titles in his first five years but none since. He left after 12 seasons -- and 12 postseason appearances.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, are coming off what is considered to be a disappointing season in which the team collapsed in September. Los Angeles lost 11 of their final 14 games to finish 82-80, and there was griping among younger and older Dodgers during the last weeks of the season.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from 1050 ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine