Cincinnati Reds: Joe Girardi has to be the first choice for manager

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 31: Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout during the sixth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 31: Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout during the sixth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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Mike Shildt just had the interim tag lifted and is the unquestioned manager for the St. Louis Cardinals. Now, the Cincinnati Reds must make Joe Girardi a priority to become their next manager.

Mike Shildt has the Cardinals in contention for a playoff run after leading St. Louis to a 26-12 record since taking over for Mike Matheny. Shildt had the interim tag lifted and is now the permanent manager for the Redbirds. The Cincinnati Reds must take advantage and hire Joe Girardi to be their next manager.

Okay, the Reds have been a decent team under interim manager Jim Riggleman. While Cincinnati has struggled of late, only winning 5 of their last 15 games, Riggleman is 54-60 since taking over for Bryan Price. A lot of the recent struggles can be attributed to the team not being 100% healthy.

The idea of bringing in Girardi has nothing to do with the success or failure of Riggleman as a manager. It has everything to do with the fact that Girardi is the best manager available, and it’s honestly not even close.

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The New York Yankees, for reasons I still can’t wrap my mind around, let Girardi go after leading the Bronx Bombers to 10 consecutive winning seasons. Girardi was at the helm for 6 postseason appearances and a World Series title in 2009.

Joe Girardi is 28-24 (.538) in his postseason career as a manager. During that same span, the Cincinnati Reds are 3-6 (.333). In case you were wondering, Jim Riggleman is 0-3. His only appearance in the playoffs was 20 years ago with the Chicago Cubs.

Hiring Joe Girardi makes too much sense. The Cincinnati Reds have a talented roster and a Top 10 farm system. Yes, they need better pitching, but the Reds have said they’re going to increase their payroll next year and have a lot of trade chips in the minor leagues if they wanted to go after a big name starting pitcher.

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The Cardinals made a lot of sense for Girardi as well. But, with St. Louis naming Shildt as their permanent manager, the door is wide open for the Reds. This is an opportunity they can’t screw up. Girardi should be the unquestioned leading candidate for Cincinnati, and they better hurry up before another team scoops him up.