At the end of the 2010 baseball season, the New York Yankees came across a problem that they and their catcher Jorge Posada could not avoid: old age. During the 2010 baseball season, the 39 year-old Posada played only 78 games as catcher due to missing time with several injuries. Posada has spent his whole major league career playing for the Yankees, a career that has included four World Series Championships, five Silver Slugger awards, and making the All-Star Team five times. Now here he was, a few days before his surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee that General Manager Brian Cashman told Posada that while he should always be prepared to catch, he should be prepared to be the designated hitter the next year. Posada was forced to hang up his catching gear.
As of March 14th, Posada was hitting major league baseball’s lowest average of .165 and remained hitless against lefties. As the Tampa Bay Rays had experienced with Pat Burrell, some players cannot go from playing on the field and batting to just batting. When Posada arrived to play baseball, he saw how Yankees Coach Joe Girardi had him batting ninth, a spot he has not batted in since 1999. Though what exactly happened depends on who one asks, it is no secret that Posada was upset about how he was being treated by the Yankees; a feeling that Girardi could possibly relate to. After all, Girardi was the Yankees’ main catcher from 1996 to 1999, until he was replaced by the new, younger catcher Jose Posada. At the end of the 1999 baseball season, Girardi was released as a free agent and returned to playing for the Chicago Cubs.
According to Posada, he asked Girardi if he could take the night off. He blamed tightness in his back for not feeling well; but in reality, he probably felt like he needed the night off to clear his head. During the baseball game, a game in which Yankees’ rivals Boston Red Sox beat the Yankees in their home stadium; Cashman told the Fox national telecast that Posada’s sitting out had nothing to do with an injury. It is no secret that there is some hostility between Cashman and Posada, after all, Cashman did disagree with Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner for signing Posada to a four-year contract. Quickly, rumors of the Yankees docking Posada a day’s pay or suspending him began to swirl. Sources close to Posada hinted that Posada even wanted to leave the Yankees for good Saturday night. Red Sox DH David Ortiz began defending Posada, saying how hard it is to be a DH and how disappointed Posada must have been to hang up his catching gear during the winter.
On Sunday, Posada apologized to Girardi and Cashman. Though Posada apologized, the drama was not over. Derek Jeter, another player who spent his major league career playing with the Yankees, defended Posada, calling him a brother. Jeter told reporters how Posada did not have to apologize to his teammates and that he had the right to bench himself so that he could clear his head. Though the Yankee fans gave Posada a standing ovation Sunday night during the final game of the Red Sox-Yankee Series, the Yankees’ management was fuming. Here was their captain, defending a player who acted selfishly and embarrassed the Yankees’ franchise at a time when the Yankees were being swept at home by the Red Sox while trailing behind the Rays in the A.L. East.
On Monday, the Yankees held an internal conference that included team president Randy Levine, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and Cashman about Jeter and Posada. Though no one is sure what was said during the meeting, Jeter swears that everyone is now on the same page and that everyone should move on. Posada was not in the lineup Monday night, the reason being because the left-handed David Price was pitching and Posada has failed to bat against a left-handed pitcher. Though the Yankees ended their 6-game losing streak Tuesday night, a game in which Posada batted seventh and had a single, a double, and scored a run, it is far too early to say if the Posada Drama is over. Though it is possible for Posada to adapt to the DH position and retire as a Yankees Hero, it is also possible for the Yankees to push Posada out of the lineup and move on with their new catching prospects.
Michael Schmidt Posada to Have Knee Surgery The New York Times
Buster Olney Derek Jeter, Yanks talk about Posada ESPN
Joe Girardi Yes Network.com