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Pinch hitting: Michael Ogle

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Today’s Pinch Hitter is Michael Ogle. He’s from Asheville, N.C. and currently lives just outside Chattanooga, TN, but Michael says he hasn’t missed a Yankees game in years thanks to MLB.TV. When he returned to school a few years ago to finish a degree in network management, Michael discovered that he actually enjoyed writing, so here he is.

For his post, Michael is taking a look at the future of Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Sure, Girardi’s locked into a four-year contract. But does that actually mean he will still be here in four years?

Alex Rodriguez, Joe Girardi [2]The 2014 season presents many questions for the Yankees. Questions like, how much will Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran contribute? How productive will Mark Teixeira be? How much will a 40-year-old Derek Jeter contribute, and how often? The luxury tax issue alone presents several questions.

And that’s not to mention the Alex Rodriquez issues the team will have to deal with at the start of the season, which include finding a third basemen.

Obviously there are many unanswered questions surrounding the 2014 Yankees. One question I haven’t heard anyone ask or speculate on is one concerning Joe Girardi. That question is, how long will the Yankees give Joe to turn the team around?

As any Yankees fan knows, championships are what matters in New York. Finishing over .500 and securing a few playoff appearances alone are good enough for a lot of teams but not even close to acceptable for the Yankees. When does Girardi start feeling the heat in New York? He signed a deal in October for four years. I think he is safe for two of those years, but a lot can and will happen for the Yankees in those two years. It is not hard to look at this Yankees team and see who will be gone and who will be past his prime in two years. These are all the things Girardi has to deal with and find some way to win or, I believe, he will start feeling that heat from the front office and maybe the fans as well.

If the Yankees are serious about the luxury tax, and if there is only minimal help in the minors, it is hard to see how he will it around quickly. Not to mention the AL East is as tough as it gets. I would like to think the Yankees know what Girardi has to work with and leave him in place for those four years, but we all know any manager is only a season away from getting a new deal or getting fired.

In the end, chasing wins by firing and hiring managers never seems to work. In the last 22 years, the Cubs have had eight managers, and in those years they have four playoff appearances and no championships. Teams like Cincinnati and Milwaukee and several others have similar records during the same time. The Yankees have more World Series championship rings than any of those teams have playoff appearances in those 22 years.

Many people will say money is the biggest factor. Maybe it is, but money is a positive factor only when it is spent correctly, and that includes hiring and firing managers. Continuity in managers is a glaring difference between those teams and the Yankees. I believe the Yankees made a smart choice in signing Girardi to another four years, and I hope he gets all four years to prove it.

Associated Press photo