I hate to address this topic at this point in the season. But every newspaper in the area is running an article about it today.
At a most inconvenient time, here goes:
For starters, there's a misperception that Loria's problems with Girardi are mostly the result of the manager telling Loria not to yell at the umpires during a game in July. Loria was livid at the time, and had to be convinced to change his mind about firing him.
But if Girardi -- who obviously has done an exceptional job -- is fired in October, that won't be the reason. The fact that Girardi suggested some questionable personnel moves in spring training (such as moving Miguel Cabrera to first base) also won't be the reason.
Baseball officials close to the situation say the main issue has been this: Loria likes his organization run collectively, with the front office having input beyond player procurement. And too often, Girardi has resisted those suggestions, causing a significant strain between him and the front office, including GM Larry Beinfest.
''It has been a constant fight,'' one of the officials said.
I have been sitting on this story for about two months, in hopes that everything would workout. And may be it still will.
Disclaimer: I'm reporting a rumor and have no personal knowledge of the situation. Therefore treat it accordingly - you know, the grain of salt thing.
The problem wasn't between Loria and Girardi, at least initially. It was between Girardi and Beinfest.
The rumor is that Joe has been stubborn, loud and rude when dealing with front office.
Since Girardi was hand picked as manager by Loria, when the problems started he was acting as referee to try and smooth over the conflicts.
When Girardi told Loria to sit down and shut up at the game when the owner was barking at the umpire. Well, he hollered at the ref and the ref wasn't even going to pretend to be neutral after that.
Hopefully it won't come to this, but if it is a one stays and one goes situation: Girardi will be looking for a new job next season.
Beinfest and his scouts are gold to this franchise.
There is some hope that conditions are improving. Beinfest had this to say yesterday:
"Joe and his staff instilled that from Day One. Whether we were 11-31 and 73-71 it hasn't changed."