Astros discriminate against Yankees’ Joe Girardi over clubhouse entry

Inna Zeyger
Friday March 29, 2024

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Opening Day between the Yankees and Astros promised fireworks on the field, but pre-game drama erupted around a familiar face – former Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

In a surprising turn of events on his first day back with the YES Network as an analyst, Joe Girardi reportedly faced an unexpected hurdle. Just before the 4:10 p.m. ET season opener in Houston, the ex-Yankees player and manager encountered difficulty gaining access to the Astros’ clubhouse.

According to Yankees insider Erik Boland, Joe Girardi was initially denied entry to the Astros’ clubhouse. The reason for the denial remains shrouded in mystery, but speculation points to a potential lack of the necessary credentials for entry.

Adding to the intrigue, NJ Advance Media’s Randy Miller spotted the ex-Yankees manager stationed in the press box, making a phone call while waiting for access to the Yankees’ clubhouse, which had not yet opened its doors.

This unexpected incident adds a layer of drama to Joe Girardi’s return to baseball broadcasting, particularly considering his storied history as the Yankees’ former manager. Whether this was a simple miscommunication or something more remains to be seen, but it has certainly captured the attention of fans ahead of the highly anticipated matchup, fueling speculation and intrigue.

Joe Girardi and the Yankees' 96 world series roster winner
Sports Illustrated

Astros refuse to allow Joe Girardi into clubhouse

Joe Girardi, revered by many fans as the mastermind behind the Yankees‘ most recent World Series triumph in 2009, helmed the team from 2008 to 2017. This tenure was not without its heartbreaks, including the Yankees’ agonizing loss to the Astros in the 2017 American League Championship Series, a grueling seven-game battle.

Prior to his managerial success, Joe Girardi established himself as a respected catcher for the Yankees from 1996 to 1999. Following his retirement, he transitioned into coaching before making two separate stints with YES Network. He returned to the network in February 2024.

The reason for Joe Girardi’s initial denial of access remains shrouded in mystery, with some speculating a lack of proper credentials. This sparked an outcry from many, who viewed it as disrespectful towards a man with such a distinguished baseball pedigree. Boasting over 2,000 games managed across three franchises, the ex-Yankee’s achievements are undeniable. The pinnacle of his career undoubtedly came in 2009 when he masterfully guided the Yankees to their 27th World Series title.


Joe Girardi’s vocal criticism of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal further cemented his place as a baseball purist. He famously expressed little surprise upon learning of the allegations during the 2017 World Series, where the Astros ultimately triumphed over the Yankees. Furthermore, the ex-Yankees manager called for decisive action from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to uphold the integrity of the game, a stance that likely caused friction within the Astros’ organization.

The Yankees ultimately emerged victorious on Opening Day, providing a symbolic triumph for Joe Girardi and a fitting start to his return to YES Network.

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