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Friday, May 29, 2009

Is it time for Jorge Posada to take off his catcher's mask?

Jorge Posada will be 38 this summer. By the time Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench were 38, Yogi was in his last season, and Johnny Bench was retired. And Joe Girardi, Posada's predecessor, was off the Yankees for five years, and in his last season.

While Posada has been very outspoken about how he wants to be the Yankees No. 1 catcher, is it time for him to do more DHing and less catching? One New York sports columnist seems to think so.

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman suggested in a column earlier this week that "there is no coincidence that the best Yankee run of 2009 has come with others catching." He expanded on his column's thoughts in his blog yesterday, writing that he believes "the Yanks have to think seriously about making Posada more a full-time DH and having him catch less." Sherman also noted:

Pitchers do not generally enjoy pitching to him for a variety of reasons, including his inadequacy at framing pitches and his sketchy game calling.

In his column, Sherman explained why pitchers complained about Posada:

Now, I have long been a huge supporter of Posada the catcher, including defending him in his own clubhouse. Over the years, I have heard plenty of off-the-record snipes from pitchers who did not particularly like Posada's game-calling intellect or the lack of soft hands and finesse that enables a catcher to frame pitches well and steal strikes.

I would listen to the complaints and then offer one of the following responses: 1) You hate him all the way up to the three-run homer he hits to bail your sorry butt out. 2) Yeah, he's terrible. That dynasty must have been in spite of him.

Yes, I admit it, I like Posada for both his skill and his passion.

Hmm, whatever happened to that "no cheering in the pressbox" adage? Yes, I get that a columnist is different from a beat writer, but why the heck was Sherman getting into arguments with Yankee pitchers over the merits of Posada, and why is it only now that we're hearing about such arguments? Put down your Posada pom-poms, Joel!

Besides, Sherman's "count the rings" dynasty rejoinder is misleading, given that Joe Girardi was the No. 1 catcher in 1996, and caught 78 games in 1998, and 65 games in 1999.

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to seeing Jorge Posada's bat back in the lineup. Seeing him as catcher again? Not so much. I'm concerned he's going to get hurt again, and I also like seeing a Yankee team where the catcher can actually throw somebody out once in a while.

Francisco Cervelli has been terrific in Posada's place. The kid has been impressive behind the plate, making smart plays, calling good games, throwing baserunners out, and framing the ball well. And he's hitting well, too, getting 12 hits in 40 at bats. While I don't expect Cervelli to continue his hot hitting, his catching skills are something that should only get even better over time. I hope he gets to stay with the Yanks, even after Jose Molina's eventual return.

Kevin Cash hasn't been hitting well, but he's also been a decent backup catcher. Loved how he tried to settle down A.J. Burnett by going to the mound - and not saying anything!

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see if the Yankees starting pitching continues its good run under Posada. Let's hope it does.

What do you think about Jorge Posada? Leave us a comment.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't really take anything I read in the papers too seriously ...nowadays sportswriters are more like gossip columnists then true reporters. Everything I read in the Post, Daily News etc. I take with a grain of salt. In truth I don't believe many things they say ..I think they throw things in just to make a story sound crediable whether it's factual or not. Too many unnamed sources quoted in articles.

As far as Posada ...I tend to agree that DHing might be his forte for the future but it's not happening this year. He's the #1 catcher on the team as of now. Cervelli has been a breath of fresh air tho' and hopefully a good omen for the future. We still have two others down in Tampa...Montero & Romine who are highly touted. Montero is a monster on the offensive end. I think Cervelli might be the best on the defensive end. The catching future looks bright for the Yankees.

As far as the Cash silent treatment with AJ...his face was priceless as he watched Cash come out and pick up the bag then walk away without a word. Each time I watched the replay I laughed harder. I am really loving this cast of characters this year ...I love how everyone is contributing to the team in many different ways (ok Veras ..time for you to start contributing too). I can't wait for the game tonight ..it was so boring last night with the off day ...

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009!!

NAM said...

Peggy,

I couldn't agree more about last night being a bore. My team played, but it was during the day and I could only follow on ESPN.

N.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nam ..

The day is flying by without the bosses... :o). I get so crazy when there isn't a game when I get home at night. I look forward to it all day. I'll be at my daughter's tonight watching ...thankfully she's a nutty Yankee fan like her Mom ..but..how could she be anything else..lol. Her pug's name is Yogi ..after Mr. Berra naturally !!

I'm hoping we go on the warpath against the Indians tonight and scalp each and every one of them ..well ..maybe not Grady ...I like him but definitely Mr. Pavano. Of course if we scalp him ..he won't be able to play for 2 months because of a nicked skull..haha. Who would think that he has already won 5 games when he only started 17 in four years for us. I bet the Sox were happy he turned them down and came to us...talk about bad luck for the Yanks.

I'd say good luck tonight but I wouldn't mean it and I don't like to lie..(wink). Have a great weekend ...

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Yankee Rebel said...

Criticism of Posada is fair enough, but comparisons to Bench and Berra at age 38 are invalid - Jorge was a converted IF who didn't start catching until later in his career, as a result he has less wear and tear than those two at the same age...This is one of the reasons he got his contract...

Any word on who'll be reassigned/cut to make room for him..??

Subway Squawkers said...

Anon, not sure on who's getting cut/sent down to make room for Posada. My guess is it will either be Kevin Cash or Angel Berroa.

As for Posada not having as much wear and tear on him, I would buy that if he hadn't gotten injured twice over the past two years, after a decade never making it onto the DL.

His four year contract made no sense to me. Then again, giving A-Rod 10 years made no sense to me either!

Lisa

NAM said...

Hey Peggy,

My boss just left so now I can play. LOL.

Yogi is a great name for her dog. He is an American Institution (the man, not the dog - although I am sure he is adorable.)

I like Sizemore too! The Tribe just swept the Rays in four game series so they are due for a loss or two. We are in Toronto. I hope we can sweep the Jays again.

Pavano only won 17 games in four years? I did not realize that. Sometimes you do luck out when they say no. But then you got Texiera who is really hot right now. But I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Lowell who is also having a good year. Sometimes it all works out for everyone.

Enjoy the weekend and all the baseball!

Noreen

Anonymous said...

Nam ...

Pavano STARTED 17 games ...not sure how many he won of those. I could look it up but I'm too lazy ..haha.

We usually do good at the Jake ..errr..Progressive Field (I can't stand the names of these ballparks but it's big money for them I guess). I've been to games in Cleveland three times and it's a nice ballpark.

I'm just counting down the minutes till we leave...39 more to go ...TGIF ...

Everyone have a great weekend...

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

"Anyhow, I'm looking forward to seeing Jorge Posada's bat back in the lineup. Seeing him as catcher again? Not so much. I'm concerned he's going to get hurt again, and I also like seeing a Yankee team where the catcher can actually throw somebody out once in a while."


At least check your facts before you post.

Posada 35 percent
Cervelli 33 percent
Molina 24 percent
Cash 18 percent