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Joe Girardi contemplates a change in uniform number

Nov 6, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

Girardi famously selected number 27 to serve as championship inspiration when he was hired last year. Yesterday he said that he may make a move to 28:

That’s something I talked to Brian Cashman briefly about today. I think I will. I’ve got to talk to Shelley Duncan to see if he allows me to wear it.”

It’s cute that anyone cares what Shelley Duncan thinks in all of this.  More to the point, however, Girardi should probably ask whoever speaks for Sparky Lyle, Spud Chandler, Charlie Keller, Al Leiter, Tommy Byrne, David Justice, Melky Cabrera and Chad Curtis, all of whom have a stronger claim on the number than does Duncan. If the Yankees repeat and Girardi wants to change again, he’ll have to go through Mike Stanton and the estate of Catfish Hunter for number 29.  Willie Randoph checks in at 30 and Dave Winfield at 31.

It’s all a matter of negotiation until he gets to 32. That was Elston Howard, and his number is retired, so there’s probably not a chance of him taking it.  Of course if the Yankees win four more titles before Girardi is done managing he’ll have the juice to demand just about anything he wants. Not that it will matter. If that happens every non Yankee fan in the world will have killed himself by then, and baseball will probably cease to be.

(thanks to Bronx Banter for the historical Yankee uniform numbers).

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Nov 6, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    Yo Craig…. Duncan is the CURRENT owner of the #28. Not a prior owner.
    Just sayin’…

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 6, 2009 at 10:34 AM

    I stand by my comment.

  3. smokehouse - Nov 6, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    So he wants Charlie Kellers old number. I knew Keller and Girardi ain’t no Charlie Keller.

  4. jonny5 - Nov 6, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    Isn’t that Kinda…….. How do I say it???? “Douchebaggish” of him to do?

  5. Mike Z - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Change the number to 2, as in Jeter. He is the one calling the shots on the field and does not listen to a word 27 or soon to be 28 says when he is in the box.
    Really though, change his number to 28? So lame.

  6. mark1 - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    I hope the little egomaniac changes numbers and it’s another 9 years before they win again never mind some of baseballs biggest chokes this decade.They have spent 1.5 billion on payroll since the Skanks last won, that Cashman is a real genuis.

  7. Scott - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    Damn Mark. You sure sound bitter about the Yanks winning the WS. It’s over; move on my friend.

  8. Steve - Nov 6, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    “I’ve got to talk to Shelley Duncan to see if he allows me to wear it.”
    As if Duncan is going to antagonise his boss by not letting him have his shirt number. “No, this is mine! Go away you strange superstitious man!”
    Either that, or Girardi actually takes Duncan’s counsel for all major decisions. Maybe Duncan was secretly the evil genius behind the Evil Empire this season?

  9. Robb - Nov 6, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    Would it be possible for him to just wear the same number he did when he was a player? If it’s available, that would make more sense.

  10. Simon DelMonte - Nov 6, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    I could make a crack about this being typical Yankee exceptionalism, and about how Girardi is a decent manager but not more than that. But that would be sour grapes from a Mets fan who suspects he would then have to admit that Jerry Manuel would have to change his number to 3.

  11. jrsportsfan7 - Nov 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Gerardi should wear #5 so every time they play for the world series, he can always predict to win it in game 5, just like Rollins prediction. By the way, where is “Phils in 5 Mark My Words”? I wanna hear what he is going to Mark this time.

  12. Pilothawkeye - Nov 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    I think it was ‘cute’ for Joe G. to pick 27 when he first came on board. IMHO, incrementing his uniform number by 1 for each championship he wins from this point forward (assuming, of course, that there are more championships), will get very old very quickly. As Robb suggested, if Joe’s old number when he was a player is still available (I do not know what that number was), that would be an intelligent thing to do. Like I said, my opinion only.

  13. Mike Z - Nov 6, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Wore #25 as a Yank

  14. Grant - Nov 6, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    I’m thinking dinner at Peter Luger will probably get the deal done. Maybe throw in a nice watch or something.

  15. Old Gator - Nov 6, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    What’s the fixation with whole numbers? Why not wear fractions, decimals or Roman or Mayan numerals on your jersey (the latter, especially, with 2012 coming up – whatever the hell that’s all about anyway)? Come to think of it, why doesn’t Girardi wear a differential equation on his jersey? That way, he could represent not only the number of the next championship, but also the probability of winning it – all at the same time!
    Might not be a half bad idea if Jimmy Rollins wears one as well….

  16. Spice - Nov 6, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    Or MAYBE he was being light hearted and polite?

  17. Steve - Nov 6, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    Wow, earth shattering news! Thank God somebody was right on top of it for us!

  18. DEE - Nov 6, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    That wouldn’t work either. DiMaggio would come vback and the living crap out of for trying to wear his number.
    Great job Yankees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. dee - Nov 6, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    That wouldn’t work either. DiMaggio would come back and beat the living crap out of Girardi for trying to wear his number.
    Great job Yankees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Cru11 - Nov 6, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    Im glad Im not the only one who thought this. Lame, Joe.

  21. sayitaintsojoe - Nov 7, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    Please keep 27. Changing to 28 would be classless and obnoxious. Savor the 27 — it was magical and well-deserved. Donning 28 would be blatant in-your-face. Everybody knows the Yankees goal is to win every year. Let the #27 on your back serve as an inspiration to the team for what they accomplished after nine years of drought and what they can do in the future.

  22. Mike Dennis - Nov 7, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Nicely put, Sayitaintssojoe,
    Good Samaritan Girardi should be happy to wear #27 and not push his luck. His over-managing nearly cost the Spankees when they should have been a lock for the WS title.

  23. Osmodious - Nov 7, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    ‘classless and obnoxious’? Have you watched any of the games this season? They played “We Are the Champions” instead of “NY, NY” after the game! The play an air-raid siren when a Yankee hits a homerun! They play incredibly loud rock far more than organ music (at the ballpark it is eardrum shatteringly loud). They have a SPONSORED STRIKEOUT SOUND (PC Richards)! They copied Baltimore and Tampa Bay and play the Star Wars theme when their lineup is announced (whereas they should have embraced the ludicrous ‘evil empire’ sobriquet and played the Emperor’s March for the Yankee lineup, if they were going to be silly enough to evoke Star Wars).
    They have sold out the ghosts and their legacy and treat their new stadium like a minor league park…doing all the silly shenanigans that the bush-leaguers do to ‘keep the crowd interested’. They are the Yankees, they shouldn’t need that garbage.
    I’m ecstatic that they won, I’ve just been constantly disappointed this season as bits of their soul have been sacrificed to the almighty dollar when it’s not even necessary (the fans will spend without all that crap).

  24. Ditto - Nov 8, 2009 at 8:42 AM

    While I agree that the “Evil Empire” music should be played tongue-in-cheek, I believe Joe is right to change his number.
    You are only as good as your next accomplishment. Especially in New York. Lest he be the next Bob Lemon….
    Do what you wish, Joe. You earned it.

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