Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sorry, folks, but Jorge Posada sounds like a crybaby in his new book

Oh, goody. I am in a secure undisclosed location tonight – you will hear about it in due time, but I cannot yet reveal what I was doing this evening! But when I heard that my old New York Daily News colleague Sherryl Connelly had the scoop on Jorge Posada’s new book:  The Journey Home: My Life in Pinstripes, I figured it was worth getting on the ol’ laptop and writing a Squawk as soon as possible. Guess what:  I have got a lot to say about this book!

If this article is any indication, Posada comes across even more bitter, delusional, and self-absorbed than you would have expect from the guy who had a sitdown snit and took himself out of a Yankees-Red Sox game because he was batting ninth. Here are the main tidbits from the article, and my thoughts on them:

Posada was devastated when he was no longer allowed to be a catcher in his final season. “I’ll put this as plainly as I can,” he writes, “When you take me out from behind the plate, you’re taking away my heart and my passion.”  To which I say, he was pushing 40 and could no longer throw well. Father Time gets everybody in the end. Heck, Johnny Bench was arguably the greatest catcher of all time, and even he was moved off the position – in his case when he was 32, seven years before Posada was.

“I knew that my role with the club was changing,” he writes, “but I don’t think that anyone making those decisions knew how much the things being done hurt me.” This may sound harsh, but boo bleeding hoo. If he were half the team player he had the reputation for being, he would understand why he could no longer be the catcher. At any rate, he should have been thankful he was making $13M in that last year – after he had lunch with then-Mets GM Omar Minaya at Le Cirque during negotiations for his last contract, he got that extra year as a gift. Too bad he couldn’t appreciate it!

Posada also said about him no longer being catcher that “to have even that taken away from me without adequate explanation, hurt me and confused me.” Really? That is just delusional. I imagine it hurt Joe Girardi when Posada became his successor at catcher. But that’s baseball, and Girardi sucked it up. Too bad Posada couldn’t do the same. What explanation was he expecting? One involved kissing his tuchis 10 ways to Tuesday? Good grief.

Jorge also griped that he wasn’t allowed to even be a third-string catcher, or to be in catchers’ meetings in his last season. Giving how gracelessly he handled being replaced, I can totally understand why. Posada was always called “proud,” which was a code word for “prickly.” If he had been in the meetings, imagine how much he would have sighed and whined!

As for the sitdown snit in May 2011 (the article wrongly lists it as happening in August that year), he says the following as an explanation:

“I felt like I wasn’t being treated right, that people weren’t always being as straightforward with me as I wanted them to be or treating me as I deserved to be treated, and I exploded. “I’d just put up with enough.”
Posada claims he was truly regretful and expressed that to management but “those sentiments were never returned.”
Oh, please. First of all, he was batting .165 at that point, and hadn’t had a single hit against left-handed pitchers all year. Where, exactly, did he think such a hitter should be in the lineup?

Second, he lied multiple times about why he took himself out of the game, even getting his wife involved in saying he had back spasms, after Brian Cashman revealed, to Posada’s dismay, that he had asked out of the lineup. I said at the time that I haven’t heard so many lame excuses since John Belushi rattled off a slew of them in the Blues Brothers movie to explain why he didn’t marry Carrie Fisher! (Squawker Jon and I ended up appearing on Sully Baseball to talk about this!)

So how was Posada not being treated right there? Heck, up until that game, Girardi had only batted him as low as eighth once, and most of the time had him higher in the lineup!

In the book, Posada reportedly also whines about Torre being replaced by Girardi, because Torre was a father figure, while Girardi was just a manager. Again, boo bleeding hoo. That’s life. It’s a business, folks!  (An aside: I never understood why Posada was so resentful of Girardi. It really should have been the other way around!)

The Daily News article talks about how Johnny Damon was a great clubhouse leader, but says that by the following year, according to the book:
…the clubhouse had changed and not for the better. Players sat around with their headphones on staring down at their phones. He and Jeter, his best friend and team captain, tried to talk to the guys, but “it was a case of being heard but not listened to…..
He describes lonely scenes in the clubhouse as it emptied out postgame, he and Jeter sitting around with a couple of other guys who lingered. Posada makes a pointed comparison to the days when the Core Four had major influence and won championships. Back then, the players would hang loose over beers for hours, talking baseball and whatever else was on their minds.
Hmmmm. Perhaps the common denominator was that in the late 90s teams, other people – David Cone, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Scott Brosius, etc. were the leaders, and in 2009, Johnny Damon played a big leadership role. It sure doesn’t say much for Posada’s and Jeter’s vaunted leadership skills, does it?

If you are a leader, and you cannot get people to listen to you, shouldn’t you examine yourself first, instead of pointing fingers that they are the problem? That’s Management 101. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. He should have read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People!

Jorge Posada was a great-hitting catcher who should have been grateful for his career lasting as long as it did. Too bad he couldn't show some class, instead of being a (rhymes with class!)

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