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Thoughts on the Mets and "autonomy" and Joe Girardi's future

I had big thoughts for this entry when I threw this headline on last night, but alas, I just petered out. Now I'm sitting on my plane, about to take off. So, extremely quickly...

--Here's my column off the Wilpons' news conference yesterday.

--Regarding the whole notion of "autonomy" with the Mets' next general manger, what I think sometimes gets missed is that no GM has absolutely full autonomy. In July 2009, as Joel Sherman has reported, Brian Cashman made a trade for Milwaukee's Mike Cameron, only to be told by Hal Steinbrenner that he wouldn't authorize the budget increase.

When Omar Minaya first took over, he enjoyed a good deal of freedom. As the disappointing seasons mounted...less so, undoubtedly. Jeff Wilpon fully ran the Mets' pursuit of Jason Bay last winter. It wasn't like Wilpon targeted R.A. Dickey last winter, though, or Gary Matthews, Jr.

I guess my point is, it's a little murkier than "full autonomy" or "no autonomy at all." And I certainly expect the new GM to enjoy some liberties at the beginning. The key, once again, is hiring the GM that will bring the best process and ideas to the utilization of those liberties.

--I've heard many questions tying in Joe Girardi's future to the Yankees' postseason results, and I don't see such a correlation from either side.

Sure, Girardi would help his leverage with another World Series title, and another World Series title would make the Yankees happier with Girardi. But this Yankees management group isn't going to do anything drastic if, say, the team loses to the Twins. The Yankees want Girardi back.

On the flip side, there's no real evidence that Girardi is unhappy with the Yankees. Might he use the Cubs' interest as leverage? Sure, but the Yankees already are prepared to give him a very generous raise.

I know Girardi often looks miserable after a tough loss, but Girardi himself has acknowledged that's sort of who he is. He doesn't regard his job as "fun" as much as "work." The fun comes in appreciating it later.

OK, I'll check in later from Target Field.


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