Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jorge Posada

I haven't been around the blog (or even near a computer) much since the Jorge Posada clusterf...err...story broke on Saturday, so allow me to weigh in as simply as possible.

Posada looked foolish.


Every Saturday, I announce the batting order to Carmel's Team One (the Red Team - the Fire Blaze).  Inevitably, the kid batting last will look at me like I just sent him to sit in the corner.  Posada did the same thing.

It's never easy to be on the downside of a good to great career.  Posada fits nicely in that converesation of great Yankees catchers, from Bill Dickey to Yogi to Elston Howard to Thurman Munson to Posada.  The converted second baseman became the catcher for a generation, but his production has declined terribly.

It doesn't simply seem to be about being asked to bat ninth.  There's more to it.  It seems more to be about a break in the chain of the Yankees clubhouse.  It is now about Joe Girardi getting this team back on the same page.  Obviously winning trumps everything.  The "Bronx Zoo" Yankees of the 70's could get away with their behavior because the won.  When the winning stopped, it became a true mess.

The same applies here.

The Yankees' brass wasn't happy with Derek Jeter's response to the Posada story, but I have no problem with it.  Jeter felt no apology was necessary and offered that if Posada wanted a "mental day", then so be it.  Truth is, players ask for days off all the time now, so I'm with Jeter on this.  In fact, Girardi believes in that kind of atmosphere - where players can ask for a "blow", a day off.

Of course, this just gave Randy Levine, the Chuck Schumer of Yankee-land, a chance to let his voice be heard.  Dude must talk in his sleep.

For me, the simple bottom line is that Posada failed by throwing a hissy fit when he was placed ninth in the order.  Honestly, one should just be happy to be anywhere in a major league order, but I suspect Posada has been quietly fuming for a while over several things - most notably being his own place on the Yankees team.  He is a prideful, emotional player - one who who has the additional concern over his son's health on his mind.

We loved when Paul O'Neill played with that same intensity.  O'Neill, however, never bowed out of a game, and never asked out when the manager put his name last in the batting order.

Posada apologized and completely "manned up."  To me, it's done for now, so long as his play on the field does the talking.

But it concerns me that bigger storm clouds linger.

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