But part of his winter has been spent establishing the Catch 25 Foundation, a charitable organization he hopes will help people in New York, Florida and Illinois. Girardi works in New York, lives in Florida and is from Peoria, Ill.
The Foundation will raise money and awareness for ALS, Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer and for couples with fertility issues. As you probably know, Joe’s dad is a victim of Alzheimer’s and lives in a facility in Illinois.
I had a chance to speak to Joe about this last month and he seems committed to it. “We have a lot of things we’d like to do to raise funds. Golf tournaments, dinners, things like that,” he said. “I’m fortunate enough to be a position to do this and it’s close to my heart.”
My late grandmother had Alzheimer’s and it was hard on our family. I wished Girardi well with his foundation after we talked about our shared experiences. To whatever degree that this blog can be of assistance to his efforts, that will be the case.
From my standpoint as a journalist, Girardi is an interesting person to cover. He’s obviously an intelligent person. He was an accomplished player and he did well as a broadcaster despite having little experience. It was surprising how accommodating he was to us in spring training last year.
That changed once the season started and it got tense on a few occasions. There also have been reports about some of the players and coaches not being crazy about Joe’s personality.
It’ll be interesting to see if Girardi changes his approach a little based on those experiences or tries to bend others to his will. But as we talked about his foundation and our families, I got a sense that Girardi is earnest about trying.
Tom Coughlin is certainly a good example of what can happen. Remember when he was an inflexible dictator, hated by his players and at war with the media? It looked like his time was short. Then he won over the roster, worked on building a relationship with the press and next thing you know he was holding up a trophy.
Girardi is a Bears fan. But if he’s smart – and he’s supposed to be – he will have a talk with Coughlin. They have a lot in common and could have even more.