Even though [Joe Girardi] served as a catching mentor of sorts to [Jorge Posada] during their early years together, the two clashed repeatedly during the 2005 season, when Girardi served as Joe Torre’s bench coach.
According to a source, Girardi was heavily involved in the catchers’ meetings, handling the scouting reports for opposing hitters. Posada, who had already been the starter for seven seasons since wresting the job away from Girardi in 1998, routinely veered away from the reports, choosing to call pitches on the fly.
“Jorge would deviate from those plans all the time during games, which drove Joe nuts,” the source said. “Joe would call him out on it all the time, which drove Jorge mental.”
Girardi’s criticism of Posada’s work behind the plate continued throughout the 2005 season, and their relationship was clearly strained.
“Jorge felt everything he did behind the plate was being second-guessed by Girardi on the bench,” the source said. “The way Jorge called a game was a big issue for Girardi.”
Posada’s refusal to follow Girardi’s scouting reports stuck with the manager through the years, the source said, making this year’s decision to convert him into a full-time designated hitter a predictable one.
“Girardi couldn’t wait to get him out from behind the plate,” the source said. “He hated the way he called a game.”
They’re making a big deal about this now, but the two sides have been working together for a few years now and this is the first time we’re hearing about it so it might not be that bad. Although on the other hand, you could look at it another way and say that this was a situation that has been building up over the years.
Either way Posada is probably retiring after this season, so the two sides have to be professional and just get through the year. They don’t have to love each other, maybe Derek Jeter can give his friend some tips about playing with people you don’t like.
The fear right now is that Posada doesn’t turn his season around if his skills have really abandoned him as he gets closer to turning 40. If he doesn’t start hitting soon there very well could be another episode as the Yankees not only drop Posada to 9th in the order, but drop him from the order entirely.
If because of some distrust in their relationship Posada takes everything personally they might not have put this issue behind them.