Friday, October 9, 2009

Wheee! The A.J. Burnett-Jorge Posada-Jose Molina triangle talk continues!

The controversy continues. The big story out of Yankeeland yesterday - and today - was the whole to-do over Joe Girardi having Jose Molina catch A.J. Burnett instead of Jorge Posada. I wrote on this earlier this week, but I have a few more thoughts on the issue.

* Posada is a heck of a hitter - he had 22 homers and 81 RBI in just 111 games this year, which are terrific numbers for anybody, let alone a 39-year-old catcher. But he's a bit of a hothead, as is Burnett, which is why they clash. So I think what Molina provides, besides calling a good game, and being great defensively, is a calming influence on Burnett. It's just a better personality fit. Doesn't mean Posada isn't the greatest Yankee catcher since Thurman Munson.

* Jose Molina got a  ton of questions on this issue. Here's what Molina said, according to Sam Borden of

“I will say and I will keep saying the same – the manager is Joe, he writes down a name and I’ll play. I’m ready. If Jorgie don’t like it, that’s him. You guys have to ask him about that, not me. But Joe is the manager. He puts me in the lineup, I’ll play.”

 * Don't blame Girardi for the controversy. It was Posada, not him, to blabbed to the media about this on Tuesday in the first place. While it's good that Posada wants to play, I didn't care for the whole "I just hope we win the game" thing,although his comments yesterday were fine.

* I did like what Girardi said about it yesterday:
"No, I'm not worried about it. I never saw Joe Torre fret about it. I never saw Bobby Cox fret about it when Javier Lopez didn't catch Greg Maddux.

"You put the club out there that you feel should be out there that evening, and then you hope that your club makes plays and throws the ball well."
Girardi's the manager. Not Posada. If the choice fails, it fails. But give Joe credit for trying something different.

* Not everybody's on board with this. The Bergen Record's Ian Connor, the guy who once wrote that the Yankees would be better off with Cody Ransom instead of A-Rod, criticized Girardi for the decision, calling it an "E-2 on Girardi." He also said:
...Posada was left to develop into a franchise cornerstone, a signature player, and, ultimately, the fourth surviving Beatle in the band of Jeter, Pettitte and Mo.
Ha! Squawker Jon has been calling Posada "Ringo" for years! It's not a compliment, though!

* I've also noticed that none of the pro-playing-Posada writers ever talk about his horrendous October numbers (he has a .233 BA - other than the game-tying hit off Pedro Martinez in the 2006 ALCS and his .500 hitting in the 2006 ALDS, his numbers aren't exactly Mr. Octoberesque.)

It's not just that - they even exaggerate how many rings he has. AOL's Lisa Olson describes Posada as a "catcher with four rings." Um, no. He wasn't even on the team in the 1996 playoffs

* Please don't compare this to Joe Torre batting Alex Rodriguez eighth in the 2006 ALDS. Torre didn't do that for game strategy or anything like that - he did that to humiliate A-Rod, and to make his third baseman the scapegoat of the playoff failures. (And, lest we forget, that was the same series were Torre so bought into Jim Leyland's "Murderers Row and Cano" nonsense that he thought it was a good idea to play Gary Sheffield at first base. Yeah, that was a great move.)

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Uncle Mike said...

Well, all three catchers worked out well for the Yankees tonight. Four, if you count Girardi.

Squawker Jon can call Posada "Ringo" all he wants, but it will never erase the fact that the greatest athlete ever to step on the field at Shea Stadium in a home uniform, Joe Namath, had a bigger nose, a sub-.500 record for his career, and was treated far worse by the media -- until his guarantee came true. It also won't change the fact that the most significant thing that ever happened at Shea was the Beatles' concert in 1965.

Okay, those aren't facts, they're opinions. What is a fact is that the four biggest free-agent signings in Yankee history have all come through in these first two games: Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Contrast that with, oh, I don't know, Carlos Beltran, Tom Glavine, Billy Wagner... Hey, Pedro Martinez is making a Playoff start tomorrow!

Of course, my man Indiana Jackson (did you see that hat? Must've swiped it from the Gehrig collection at the Yankee Museum) didn't have much of a first-ball toss. Somewhere, Billy Martin is having a laugh. Reggie's got to be thinking of the words of another great black entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr.: "But you gotta admit, I looked better!"

The Emperor said...

What an unbelievably spectacular win last night. When Tex hit that walkoff, I was actually a little shakey and couldn't fall asleep until about 2:30 in the morning.

What a team. So far, we have been on such a magical run that at times it seems downright uncanny. Now, I don't want to elaborate to much on that because I don't want to contribute to any jinxes. I know ballplayers are superstitious, but I guess some of us fans are, too.

At any rate, A-Rod was unquestionably the hero of last night's game. Yes, Tex got the walkoff and he put the icing on the cake, but if not for A-Rod's two run blast in the bottom of the 9th, we'd be in Minny tied 1-1 in their place.

I know a lot is being made of Phil Cuzzi blowing the call to Mauer, and yes, if the correct call was made he wouldn't gotten a ground rule double rather than the single a few at-bats later. But...nobody can ever say the Twins would've won the game if the call had been right.

If the double was awarded, Roberton may have pitched differently to Cuddyer and who knows if he would've popped up or got a shallow fly ball instead of a base hit? Also, think if it this way - if the Twins would've scored the run, they would've lead the game 4-3 going into the bottom of the 11th. Tex's homer would've tied it and we'd be 4-4 - then maybe A-Rod, Matsui or Swisher woul've done something to win the game anyway. The way we're playing, that would seem the more likely outcome anyway.

All I can say is that game was one hell of a roller coaster of emotions ride, and my stomach was in knots for all those extra innings because I wanted this win so much...And our Yanks delivered.

If we keep this up, the ultimate prize will be ours to bring home to NYC, where it rightfully belongs.


Let's kick Povano's ass and make it all bruised again!!!

rakeback said...

I think the catcher has a great deal to do with the success or failure of the pitcher. I think Posada has done a great job over the years, so I find it hard to believe he suddenly forgot how to call a game.

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