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Joe knows ball: Girardi joins MLB Network

Ex-World Series-winning manager, player to serve as studio analyst
MLB.com @basebollie

Four-time World Series champion Joe Girardi is taking his talents from the baseball diamond to the television studio.

MLB Network announced on Wednesday that Girardi is joining its group of on-air personalities and is set to make his debut on MLB Tonight at 6 p.m. ET as an analyst alongside Mike Lowell and Bill Ripken, along with host Greg Amsinger.

Four-time World Series champion Joe Girardi is taking his talents from the baseball diamond to the television studio.

MLB Network announced on Wednesday that Girardi is joining its group of on-air personalities and is set to make his debut on MLB Tonight at 6 p.m. ET as an analyst alongside Mike Lowell and Bill Ripken, along with host Greg Amsinger.

Girardi, who won three titles as a player with the Yankees and one as a manager of the club, is scheduled to appear on a variety of the network's in-studio shows.

"I love the game of baseball," Girardi said. "I love having the opportunity to be part of the MLB Network so I'm still involved in the game, because it's what I love to cover and it's my passion. Whether I'm coaching it, watching it, talking about it, it's what I love to do."

A catcher in his playing days, Girardi suited up in the Major Leagues for 15 seasons. He spent seven years with the Cubs, four with the Yankees, three with the Rockies and one with the Cardinals. He appeared in six postseasons and was the catcher for both Dwight Gooden's no-hitter versus the Mariners on May 14, 1996, and David Cone's perfect game against the Expos on July 18, 1999.

"One of the things when we looked at Joe, obviously he's had a tremendous amount of success, but the other thing is that he's just off the field and he's got that really recent perspective," MLB Network President Rob McGlarry said.

Girardi was part of ESPN Radio's coverage of the 2003 NL Division Series as well as YES Network in '04 and '07. He also served as an analyst for FOX Sports during the '07 regular season and postseason.

Girardi said he engaged in discussions with other "entities" as far as what his next career opportunity would bring, but ultimately felt right at home with MLB Network.

"I thought MLB was a really, really good fit for me," Girardi said. "Obviously, when you talk about the Network, it's baseball and baseball only. And really, that's who I am. I love this game and I love everything about the game, how the game has changed somewhat, and I love watching players have success. So I thought this was the best fit for me."

Girardi's Yankees were one win away from reaching the World Series last season, but the 53-year-old is not dwelling on being relieved of his duties as manager. He noted he would be willing to return to coaching in the future, but he is turning his attention to breaking down the game from inside the studio.

"I need to move on with my life, which is what I would expect someone else to do when there's change," Girardi said. "You need to move on and you need to grow as a person … I'm focusing on what's next. I think it's important as a person to think about what's next and not what happened and just move on."

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.