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#pounditSunday, April 21, 2024

Phillies players share 1 big difference since Joe Girardi firing

Joe Girardi in Phillies gear

Feb 26, 2020; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi (25) walks in the dugout during the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies have won seven consecutive games since manager Joe Girardi was fired last week. That may not be purely coincidence if you listen to their players, either.

Younger Phillies players said interim manager Rob Thomson has communicated much more than Girardi did, in ways they feel has been beneficial. Phillies infielder Mickey Moniak specifically cited how Thomson is more forthcoming in explaining why certain players are or are not playing, giving more confidence that they will continue to get chances even if they struggle.

“It started once Topper got here,” Moniak said, via Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “And that’s a big thing for us. Not to knock Joe for not doing it. It’s all stylistic, and every person is different. There’s not one manager who is the same.”

Another rookie, outfielder Matt Vierling, also suggested Thomson’s style helped him more than Girardi’s did.

“I think he just communicates really well. As a young guy, you really appreciate it,” Vierling said. “I’ve experienced it a little bit; it’s easy to overthink on things. He’s just open and honest with you. It makes it easier for all of us to be ourselves. It gives you more clarity.”

The more one sees how the Phillies are playing, the clearer it seems that Girardi just did not fit what the players needed. The team seems energized under new management and it is helping them on the field. That may fade as time goes on, but for now, it’s working well.

Thomson still has an interim tag, and the Phillies have been linked to other experienced managers since Girardi’s firing. If this continues, Thomson will probably have that tag removed at some point.

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