How many times in your entire life can you remember a major league manager missing a game because he was sick?
I am sure it has happened a few times in history, but it is so rare, that I honestly can’t think of a single case. Last night Yankees manager Joe Girardi missed the Yankees-Rays game because of an “upper respiratory infection” which in my book sounds a awful lot like a “common cold”.
Is it a coincidence that Girardi was ill on the night in which the Yankees and Rays were to meet for the first regular season contest since the bench-clearing incident in spring training? Maybe…
Is it also a coincidence that Girardi got a cough on the same day that Shelley Duncan and Melky Cabrera had their 3-game suspensions reduced by a game without even an appeal hearing with Major League Baseball?
Or is it more likely that Major League Baseball agreed to reduce the suspensions of Cabrera and Duncan, if in return, Girardi would serve a one game suspension himself?
Remember, it was Girardi’s comments to the media immediately following the Elliot Johnson home plate collision that led to the bad blood in the first place.
So, if Girardi was suspended for one game after-the-fact, why not just make an official announcement? Simple. Major League Baseball does not want to set a precedent in which other teams try to negotiate the reduction of suspensions for on-field incidents.
Please keep in mind that there is absolutely no evidence for any of this. Just a series of really strange coincidences involving the most powerful organization in sports. But in the end, I find it really hard to believe that Joe Girardi would miss just his third game as Yankees manager because he had a “cold”.