"I just hope we win that game," Posada said. "That’s all I’ve got to say."
He also told reporters:
"It’s not like I didn’t see it coming."
When asked if he might be the DH when Molina catches, Posada said he wasn’t sure but that, “Matsui is our DH.”
Aha! So we finally have acknowledgement that there is trouble in paradise between Posada and Burnett. And a little cattiness, as well. Good times!
You know the old adage about how if you have a dispute with someone, you ought to look at yourself first, to see if you're contributing to the problem? Well, Posada could use a little self-reflection. Because this seems to be a persistent problem with him. He hasn't gotten along with Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, El Duque, and Roger Clemens, to name a few. And a number of times this year, CC Sabathia has appeared to prefer someone other than Posada to catch him, although it hasn't been the bad blood the way it is with Burnett.
Could Burnett be difficult to deal with? Of course. But at some point, maybe Posada ought to look in the mirror as to why so many pitchers don't want to throw to him. Because Burnett is just one of a long line.
Obviously, I think Girardi made the right move, for this and other reasons:
* A.J. Burnett has never pitched in a post-season game. If having Molina behind the mound will help his comfort level, I say the Yanks need to do it. Because the last thing the Yanks need is those two arguing in the middle of the game, and blowing the Yankees' chances. Is it divaism to cater to Burnett's wishes? I guess. But that's the breaks. They're paying him $82 million to win playoff games. If having Molina as his catcher will make him do well, that's a price worth paying.
* For whatever reason, Burnett's numbers are much better with Molina over Posada. This, from Newsday's Erik Boland: "Batters hit .221 against Burnett in 11 starts caught by Molina compared with .270 in 16 starts caught by Posada, according to baseball-reference.com. Opponents' slugging percentage was .352 with Molina compared with .421 with Posada. And on and on." Whether it's superstition or what, is it any wonder Burnett wants Molina?
* Let's get over this myth that there are no Yankee personal catchers in the postseason. And Girardi should know better than anybody about that. How many postseason games did No. 1 catcher Girardi miss in the dynasty era because Andy Pettitte had Jim Leyritz as his own personal catcher? Did Girardi whine to the media, "I just hope we win that game," when he missed starting Game 1 of the 1996 World Series, his first WS game (and the first WS game in Yankee Stadium in 15 years)? I don't think so.
* If past numbers are any indication, Posada's bat isn't worth that much in the postseason anyway. For all the scrutiny A-Rod's playoff numbers have gotten, Jorge's numbers are just as awful. Posada's career postseason batting average? .236. He only hit .133 in the 2007 ALDS. And out of the 23 series he's played in, Posada was good in just four of them - the 1998 World Series, the 2001 ALDS, the 2003 ALCS, and the 2006 ALDS. In fifteen series where he was a regular, he hit below .250, and batted below .200 in seven of those series. Not exactly the second coming of Mr. October. Hideki Matsui has had his struggles in the postseason as well, but at .292, his overall postseason batting average is much higher than Posada. Besides, even if you think you'd rather have Posada and Matsui both in the lineup, we're only talking probably two at-bats Posada will miss.
At any rate, Posada needs to get over it. The important thing is the team winning. If that means Molina catching Burnett, so be it.
What do you think? Leave us a comment!