Daily Times (Primos, PA)

Girardi thinks USA Baseball made smart choice

- By Jack McCaffery jmccaffery@21st-centurymed­ia.com @JackMcCaff­ery on Twitter

PHILADELPH­IA » Originally set to manage the USA baseball team through qualifying obligation­s and into the 2020 Japan Olympics, Joe Girardi instead chose to manage the Phillies.

By the time those Olympic games are contested a year behind schedule, that job will belong to Springfiel­d High grad Mike Scioscia.

Girardi is convinced the team will be in more than capable hands.

“Mike Scioscia is a brilliant man,” Girardi said Tuesday, before a game against the Mets. “I always enjoyed competing against him. He’s a great man. He had great teams in Anaheim. So I think it’s a really good move.”

Scioscia, 62, was hired Tuesday by USA Baseball. He will manage players not currently on any 26man major-league roster through complex qualifying rounds with the hope of reaching for the Olympics.

Delayed a year by the effects of the conovaviru­s pandemic, the Olympics will be held July 28

through Aug. 7.

“I remember another ex-Dodger who took a USA team in Mr. Tommy Lasorda,” Girardi said. “So maybe this is also good luck.”

Lasorda managed the United States to the Olympic gold medal in 2000 in Australia. He also managed a player named Mike Scioscia for his entire 13-year major league career in Los Angeles.

“Good luck to Mike,” Girardi said. “I am happy for him. He’ll do an unbelievab­le job.”

• • •

Despite the Phils’ 4-0 start, Girardi disrupted his lineup Tuesday.

He rested Andrew McCutchen against right-hander Marcus Stroman,

starting left-handed hitting Matt Joyce in left. Also, lefthanded-swinging Brad Miller started at first in place of Rhys Hoskins.

“I just wanted to make sure that everyone played in this first week,” Girardi said. “So, except Ronald Torreyes, they will. I think that’s really important.

“Left-handers sometimes have a little more success against Stroman. So I thought today was the day to do it.”

Girardi also considered that the Phils and Mets would play again at 4:05 Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s not really a ‘quick’ turnaround,” Girardi said. “But I just thought it was the right time.”

• • •

In a day-to-day saga that figures to continue for a while, Girardi started switch-hitting Roman Quinn in center over Adam Haseley, who was 0-for-3 Monday.

Haseley pinch-hit in the fifth Tuesday and grounded out, his early average dipping to .222. He remained in the game in left behind reliever Vince Velasquez

“His at-bats have been OK,” Girardi

said. “They’ve definitely been OK. So I’ll give Q a night tonight. And Adam is coming off that injury, so we are a little conscious of that.”

• • •

Miller, who has hit the ball hard in his early pinch-hitting appearance­s, chipped a single into the five-run, eighth-inning rally Monday.

The utility man was hoping to soon use his new, red infielders’ glove. Instead Tuesday, he needed a first-baseman’s mitt with a story.

“It’s Paul Goldschmid­t’s,” said Miller, of his 2020 teammate in St. Louis. “He saw mine and said it was trash. So he was like, ‘This isn’t going to work.’ I said, ‘It’s my only one.’ So I have a Goldie firstbasem­an’s glove.”

• • •

The Phillies were aggressive on the basepaths during their 4-0 start. But Bryce Harper was caught twice trying to stretch, and Hoskins was nabbed once.

“You don’t want to take away their aggressive­ness, but you need to remind them that we can’t be too aggressive,” Girardi said. “There’s a

fine line. Sometimes in the beginning of the season, there’s a little too much excitement.”

• • •

Aaron Nola (0-0, 2.70 ERA) will face Mets’ left-hander David Peterson in the Wednesday afternoon game. The Phillies are off Thursday.

 ?? SUBMITTED PHOTO ?? Former Angels manager and Springfiel­d High graduate Mike Scioscia will manage Team USA as it attempts to qualify for the Olympics this summer in Japan.
SUBMITTED PHOTO Former Angels manager and Springfiel­d High graduate Mike Scioscia will manage Team USA as it attempts to qualify for the Olympics this summer in Japan.

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