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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Did Jorge Posada Really Want Off the Yankees?

So much for the idea that Jorge Posada just needed a day. The Daily News' Bill Madden reported yesterday afternoon that Posada wanted out of the Yankees for good Saturday, not just for the night. Madden writes:
In the heat of his anger and frustration Saturday night, Yankee icon Jorge Posada told general manager Brian Cashman amid a flood of F-bombs that he not only wanted out of the No. 9 spot in the Yankee batting order - he wanted out of the Yankees, too, according to team sources.

This story makes sense to me. As I noted in a previous blog entry, my very first thought when I heard that Posada had pulled himself from the lineup was that he was going to retire. Given that, I'm not surprised that Jorge would reportedly want off the Yankees, especially given that he would apparently still think he could play elsewhere. Because other teams can't wait to get their mitts on a DH who hits .165!

One of my brothers, who is a lawyer, noticed something in the original stories on Brian Cashman talking with Posada Saturday that piqued his interest -- the fact that Cash and Posada were talking with Seth Levinson, one of Posada's agents. My brother wondered why an agent was getting involved over a lineup issue. Now I think we know why. And unless I missed it, I haven't seen any denials from Yankeeland about Posada wanting out for good.
We also have a better inkling on why Cashman decided to address the press on his issue, instead of sweeping it under the rug. Here's what Cash said Saturday, amid criticism about him flapping his gums on FOX:
"We were explaining to Jorgie and his agent, Seth Levinson, what we were going to say and that it would be short and sweet," Cashman said. "The situation that was created by him, then he would have to explain himself after. It was as simple as that. It is common baseball practice to explain after someone is a late scratch in the lineup, they give a reason why."

"I was down there for an hour," Cashman said. "In one instance I was on the phone with Seth and I actually had to hand the phone to Jorgie. I said, 'Here.' Jorgie knew exactly what was being said. This is not a surprise. I'm disappointed about what he said."
So, people criticized Cashman for saying too much. But it sounds like Cash said a lot less than he could have here.

It really does take a special sort of chutzpah for Posada to complain to the media, given the situation, that:

"I didn't know he made a statement. I don't know why he’s going to make a statement during the game, in the middle of the game. I don't understand that. You know, so that's the way he works now," Posada said.
Earth to Posada: The Torre Years are over, and your prime career years are over, too. You can't expect the Yankees to protect you from your own temper anymore when you're hitting .165 and throwing a hissy fit about batting ninth.

Like I said, there is no denial of the story that Posada wanted out, but the DH did deny Madden's later reporting that sources told the writer Posada refused to catch in a spring training game:
"Not at all. Not once. A hundred percent," he said. "Not even close. They told me to go to the bullpen and stuff so I caught in the bullpen every once in a while, but they never asked me (to catch in a game)."
Despite the fact that Posada made up that "back stiffness" story, I believe he's telling the truth here. Not because I think he's a straight shooter, but because it would make zero sense for the Yankees to want him to catch. Given how many times you heard them say since the fall that he needed to think of himself as a designated hitter only, and that his catching days were often, why would they tell him to catch?

So what happens next? I think that Posada handed Cashman a reason to get rid of him on a silver platter. And if Jorge doesn't start hitting -- and soon -- I think he will be off the team by Memorial Day. Contrary to the current media myth that Posada has been so classy and wonderful his whole career, he's always been a little cranky, he's always had a hot temper, and he's always had squabbles with others. But the Yankees could easily overlook Jorge's "proud" (code word for "prickly") personality, and his inability to stay on the same page with others, like pitchers, when he hit up a storm. Now, not so much.

What do you think? Tell us about it!

1 comment:

BrooklynGirl said...

If they Yankees keep losing and fall further back in the standings, I can see some major changes taking place, but not by Memorial Day; that's too soon. Possibly, by the end of June or the All-Star break. Jorge will "retire" gone and they bring up the kid Montero to back up Martin, Cerveill goes back to Scranton. Jeter better hurry up and get his 3,000 hit or his buddy Posada won't be on the bench to congraulate him.