Joe Girardi, one of the most sought-after names on the managerial market this winter, stepped down as manager of the United States national team on Wednesday.
Girardi decided to leave the U.S. team to focus on landing a major-league managing job, according to The Associated Press. Scott Brosius, the senior director of USA Baseball and Girardi's former New York Yankees teammate, will take over as the national team's skipper.
His departure comes just a few days before the team reports for training in Arizona ahead of next month's Olympic qualifying tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico. Had he stayed on and led the team to victory, Girardi would have worn a USA uniform in Tokyo next summer when baseball returns to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.
"I was committed to the Olympic team," Girardi told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Wednesday. "About a week ago - maybe a little more - I started discussing there was a possibility that I wouldn't be able to do it because of some of the things I was going through interviewing and I couldn't commit because you have to report on Sunday."
Girardi owns a 988-794 record in 11 seasons as a manager with the Yankees and Florida Marlins. He led the Yankees to their most recent World Series championship in 2009, and was let go after they lost the 2017 ALCS.
"I have interviewed with some clubs," Girardi told Francesa. "Interviews are still going on so I'm finished and I will continue to go through the process and wait to see what happens.
"I really believe that I'm going to get an opportunity."