For the most part, I think Yankee fans would consider Jorge Posada a no-nonsense kind of player. He’s intense and hard-working and never seems to need the spotlight. All of this is what makes last night’s “Posada-Drama” so perplexing. Despite the Yankees losing to the Red Sox 6-0, Jorge asking out of the game an hour prior was the biggest story. At first, rumors were he was retiring. That seemed unrealistic though (not to mention, reactionary on Posada’s part). Then rumors circulated about him having a bad back. After all was said and done, it seems to me like this a pretty clear situation: Jorge was frustrated by his own performance and frustrated that he was hitting 9th in the lineup and needed a day off to get himself right. Maybe his back wasn’t feeling great, but clearly that was mostly an excuse, as he never even bothered telling team trainers about it.
As with most issues that don’t take place on the field, this is certainly being blown out of proportion and over-analyzed. The right route probably would have been for Posada to just apologize, say he needed a day, and move on. That’s not what happened, but it’s still in the team’s best interest for all parties involved to move on. Jorge isn’t going to retire and the Yankees are not going to release him.
The whole situation though did get me thinking about some things:
– I know Jorge was a pretty bad catcher last year, but if he’s really struggling with the whole DH thing, would it really have been impossible to at least make him the backup catcher? How does a guy go from being the primary starter to being unable to start even a single game at that position? Francisco Cervelli is a pretty awful defensive catcher. Jason Varitek can’t hit or throw anyone out. Yet both of those guys are serving as backups. Was there something more to this situation?
– I’m interested in some of the various tweets and posts I’ve read that have implied that this situation is somehow Brian Cashman’s fault. Cashman told Posada’s people he was going to make a statement, they told him to go ahead, and he just said what he knew and refused to speculate at all. Isn’t that exactly what he should of done? Posada is the one who refused to play.
– If Jesus Montero were to replace Posada for whatever reason (and for the record, I do not think this will happen), that would probably open up 2 roster spots. Montero would be the DH and backup catcher and Cervelli could be optioned down.
– The Yankees could also consider having Jorge Vazquez DH, at least against lefties, but Vazquez is not on the 40-man and has little defensive value.
– I’m still not convinced Posada is as done as everyone seems to think. His BABIP is a meager .164, well below his career average. His line drive rate is down too, so maybe he just doesn’t have it anymore, but I have a feeling his luck will change at least a bit if he’s given more ABs. Derek Jeter has been almost as bad and his numbers don’t suggest he’s necessarily having bad luck. Yet Jeter is still batting leadoff.
– It would be nice for Posada to start tonight and try to forget all of this mess, but with Lester on the hill, that seems unlikely. Maybe 2 nights off will help. I want to believe Jorge has enough in the tank to have one more somewhat productive season. Otherwise it will be a depressing end to a borderline Hall of Fame career.