Monday, November 8, 2010

Jorge Posada wants to be catcher forever -- and for Derek Jeter to stay at shortstop

Jorge Posada did a great thing for charity yesterday, with his foundation's bowling tournament to help victims of craniosynostosis. Nice job at raising awareness -- and money -- to help people.

However, I wasn't all that crazy about his comments about the Yankees' future, and where he sees himself and Derek Jeter.

When asked about reports that Jesus Montero would get to start behind the dish next year, Posada said:

"I'm going to prepare for (the starting catching job). I love catching, love being behind the plate. I take a lot of pride - that's my position," Posada said at the charity bowling tournament at Chelsea Piers to benefit his foundation. "If (the Yankees) want me to be DH or catch, just be honest and let me know what's up."

Given that the Yankees only had him catch half the team's games last year, and he was terrible on defense, you'd think Posada would see that perhaps it's time to gracefully step aside, train the new catcher and take the DH role next year. But Jorge isn't exactly known for his grace. Remember how, when the Red Sox double-stole on him twice in one game and also stole four bases off him in one inning? And how he blamed the pitchers? Classy!

What's funny is that Posada, as a rookie, was reportedly annoyed that it took him so long to supercede Joe Girardi as the team's No. 1 catcher. It wasn't until 1998 that Jorge got to catch over 80 games, and it wasn't until 2000, when Girardi was no longer on the team, that Posada got to catch more than 100 games a year. Now would be the time for him to devote himself to being a mentor for Montero, but it doesn't sound like he's going to offer that up. What about doing what is best for the team?

I was against giving Posada a four-year contract extension in the first place, pointing out that he would be 40 by the end of the contract, and that most catchers have hung up their spikes long before then. But I remember readers saying that Posada would stay fresh until the end, because he didn't get started as a catcher until late in his minor league career. How's that working for him now?

The second part of Posada's conversation to reporters that I thought was interesting was this (emphasis added): 
Job competition aside, Posada said that while it would be nice to snag free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee, the "No. 1 priority" for the Yankees was finalizing pacts with Core Four players Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Jeter, the face of the franchise, shouldn't be a player with whom the Yankees carry on a protracted negotiation, either, said Posada. "I just hope the whole negotiation goes a little smoother than people are talking about," said Posada. "I hope he's treated the way he's treated the Yankees. He's our No. 1 priority - him and Mo. Then get the rest of the team together." Asked if Jeter should finish his career at shortstop if the Yankees reach a new deal, Posada said, "No question."
Given that Posada is Jeter's best friend, this isn't good news to hear. I'm not somebody who thinks Jeter ought to be moved off shortstop in 2011, but he shouldn't get any guarantee to stay in the spot for the rest of his career, either. And with Posada's comments, I wonder now if this is going to be a sticking point in a new deal. 
What do you think? Tell us about it!


Anonymous said...

I always thought that Posada's bat made up for his defense -- until I saw that game against the Red Sox.

He may love to catch, and Derek Jeter may love to play shortstop... and they both seem to want to play into their 40s.

I guess we're going to find out if they are really team players over the next year or two. Early returns are not looking so good.

MONDOAS said...

I have always found Posada to be a very cranky person whose butt is always hurt. He will not be a good mentor for Montero b/c he hasn't accepted the fact that his skills, especially catching, have diminished. I want his to do well and I appreciate all he has done for the Yankees but I am a realist. He is in the last year of his contract with the Yankees and he needs to be a team player and start looking to help others like Montero.

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