Joe Girardi at Center of Pregame Yankees-Astros Drama

Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi was denied access to the Astros' clubhouse ahead of New York's Opening Day matchup against Houston.
Former New York manager Joe Girardi is at the center of some pre-game Yankees-Astros drama.
Former New York manager Joe Girardi is at the center of some pre-game Yankees-Astros drama. / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Yankees prepare to face the Houston Astros on Opening Day 2024, one former Bronx Bombers manager has found himself at the center of some pre-game drama.

Yankees insider Erik Boland reports that ex-New York bench boss Joe Girardi was "initially denied entry into the Astros clubhouse" on Thursday. Girardi, who was hired to be a YES Network analyst in February, allegedly didn't have the "'right credential" to access the room.

Yankees News: Joe Girardi Denied Access to Astros Clubhouse

Denying Girardi access because he didn't have the "right credential" is nothing short of disrespectful. It isn't like nobody knows who he is, after all. The 59-year-old is a well-accomplished figure who's managed over 2,000 games between the regular season and playoffs across three franchises, highlighted by when he won the 2009 World Series with the Yankees — their last title.

It wouldn't be surprising if Girardi being denied had to do with the Astros' pettiness. After all, it was the Peoria, IL native who said he "wasn't shocked" to learn that Houston likely stole signs during the 2017 World Series. The Astros beat the Yankees 4-3 that year with each of the former's wins coming at home.

Girardi didn't stop there, though. In February 2020, the former Yankees manager told The Philadelphia Inquirer that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred needed to "protect the integrity of the game" when it came to sign-stealing, a remark that likely cut the Astros deep.

Fortunately, Houston's attempts to deny Girardi access proved to be futile. The Athletic's Chandler Rome reports that he's spoken to Girardi and that the latter "handled being denied entry into the clubhouse very well."

Hopefully, the Yankees give Girardi a gift by teaching the Astros a lesson with an Opening Day win. With less than three hours to go before the first pitch, New York sits as the +128 moneyline underdog to Houston FanDuel Sportsbook.

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