Look, I am not a fan of booing your own players. But vociferously cheering Posada was flat-out ridiculous. What, exactly, was he being hailed for? Was it for quitting on his own team? Insubordination? Pretending to be injured, when he really wasn't? Getting his wife to spread that phony story on Facebook and Twitter? Making a rather lame -- and late -- apology the next day? Sitting in the dugout making the Nomar face? Sorry, but there is nothing Posada did this weekend that was worth giving him a standing ovation for.
I don't often use the money card, as all the players, even the rookies, make more than the rest of us. That being said, I don't really have a whole lot of sympathy for somebody making $13.1 million this year (around $81,000 a game) whose .165 average is the worst in the league among hitters who have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title, begging out of a game because he was put as No. 9 in the lineup. Boo bleeding hoo.
The fact is, Posada should have been moved to that spot weeks ago. But Joe Girardi has been way too deferential in keeping the "core" guys happy, looking fearful of starting a media firestorm. Derek Jeter gets to stay in the leadoff spot, no matter what his stats show. Incidentally, after all the "Jeter's back" stories last Monday, Jeter's back, alright -- back to hitting poorly. He's just 3 for his last 23. And Posada's 9 for his last 62.
Posada has hit mostly in the No. 7 and the No. 6 spots this year, even though, other than the first week of the season, he's been hitting terribly. He's only been in the No. 8 spot once. Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson, the team's MVP so far, has hit in the No. 9 spot four times, and eighth in the order three times. And Russell Martin, who has done a seamless job at replacing Posada as catcher this year, and hit well to boot, has hit 17 times in the No. 8 spot, and 11 times as ninth in the order.
It's funny, Joe Girardi gets such grief about being Joey Looseleafs, the manager obsessed with the stats binder. But can anybody really say that the Yankees' lineup is based on statistics? No, it's based on keeping certain people happy, no matter what their numbers are. And the one time Girardi actually tried to put the .165 hitter where he belongs, in the No. 9 spot, he gets grief for somehow, in the words of Posada, disrespecting him. Puh-lease. (And yes, before anybody brings it up, if it makes sense to move A-Rod further down in the lineup, I'm fine with it.)
I heard a lot yesterday on Facebook that we fans should give Posada a pass, because he's been on the team a long time, and has five rings (he actually has four, but I digress.) No, him being a veteran Yankee makes it even worse. All these years on the team, and he hasn't figured out that it's not cool to throw a hissy fit and refuse to play because he doesn't like his spot in the lineup? Spare me.
But we're all supposed to hail Jorge as some hero because he mouthed a few words of supposed remorse, perhaps because he could be facing a suspension if he didn't do so. Let's talk about that pseudo-apology a bit:
“It’s just one of those days that you wish you could have back,” Posada said. “I talked to Girardi and kind of apologized to him. I had a bad day. Reflecting on it, everything, all the frustration came out. I’m trying to move on.”No, A-Rod had a bad day, when the ball went through his legs, Bill Buckner-style, last night. Quitting on your team a la Manny Ramirez isn't a bad day; it shows some bad character. And isn't it nice Posada is trying to move on. Whoo-hoo. Also, nothing shows sincerity like saying he "kind of apologized" to his manager for being insubordinate.
In addition, Jorge said, "I did tweak my back a little bit. And I took that as an excuse to tell you the truth. I just needed a day." What a weird coincidence, that he would hurt his back, and need a day, the very night he happened to be penciled in the lineup at No. 9? What, exactly, did he need a day for -- to recover from a bruised ego?
Posada also said, "Everything happens for a reason. You learn from it." But this didn't just happen to him. He is the one who pulled himself from the lineup less than an hour before the game because he felt disrespected. If he hasn't figured out that this isn't a good thing to do, then I don't really know what to say.
And how about the Yankee captain's defense of his best friend? First, he was MIA after Saturday's game, not talking to the press at all. Then, he defended Posada's behavior, saying:
My reaction was that I didn't think it was that big a deal," Jeter said about the Posada incident. "If you need a day, you need a day.Of course, the fact that Posada is Jeter's best friend had nothing to do with his reaction, right?
"It's over. It's done," Jeter said. "It's not the first time a player asked out of a lineup. Joe says if you feel like you need a day, let him know. It's understandable."
Jeter is right that this isn't the first time a Yankee has asked out of a game. But when it involved another player, he didn't have quite so blase a response. Page 241 of Ian O'Connor's book "The Captain" details how angry the captain was when Jason Giambi asked out of Game 5 of the 2003 World Series, with Jason telling Joe Torre that his knee was bothering him.
The book characterizes Jeter as "furious Giambi had begged out of the lineup on a night he was healthy enough to hit a home run." O'Connor writes, "Asked if players were upset with Giambi, one Yankee said, "It was more like rage, and Jeter was hotter than anyone. It was like, 'Are you [bleeping] kidding me?'"
Anyhow, I can get that the Yankees want to sweep this brouhaha under the rug and move on. And I get that Posada is only part of the team's problems. But sorry, I am not going to join the mob cheering like Jorge Posada cured cancer or something. What he did Saturday was completely unacceptable, and should not be celebrated, no matter how many rings Posada has.
What do you think? Tell us about it!