Joe Girardi should be the next manager of the Yankees. While Don Mattingly may be the sexy pick, and the most popular with the fans (he was my favorite player growing up), Girardi is the man for the job for the following reasons:
1. He was a major league catcher. Catchers have always made for good major league managers. The decisions they make on the field prepares them for the decisions they may someday make from the dugout. Joe Torre, Bob Brenly, Bruce Bochy, and Mike Scioscia, were also catchers.
2. Related to the first point, Girardi's experience as a catcher will help him manage the Yankee pitching staff. This is especially important considering the Yankees have such promising young hurlers on the horizon: Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Dellin Betances. I'm not so sure a former first baseman (Mattingly), who has no managing experience at any level, can adequately manage these young pitchers.
3. Finally, he has successfully managed in the big leagues. In 2006 he managed a young Florida Marlins team and developed youngsters such as Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Josh Willingham, Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez, and Josh Johnson. This, to me, is the most appealing aspect of Girardi's resume. As Brian Cashman has refocused the Yankee vision from free agent spending to player development, it is crucial that the manager at the apex of the Yankee system can get the most out its players. Girardi has a track record, Mattingly doesn't.
The X-factor in all of this will be how Girardi, or whoever is chosen, handles the New York media. Joe Torre's strength, as Buster Olney points out, was not necessarily his tactical brilliance, but his ability to navigate the gauntlet that is the New York media. A legend like Don Mattingly, who regularly receives standing ovations in Yankee stadium, or a strategic player developer like Girardi both could be swallowed whole by those reporters. So, in the end, the Yankee job just might come down to survival of the fittest, in which case resumes can be thrown out the window.