Jorge Posada is not Yankee royalty. That kingdom has become
a crowded house with the likes of Ruth, Gerhig, DiMaggio, Mantle,
Munson, and Jeter. But Posada has already has been woven into
the fabric of the organization. Nearly eigthteen years of gritty, lay-it-
on-the-line- service, and five World Series rings guarantees Posada
a lifetime of "Hip, hip, Jor-hay's".
However, Posada's prima donna act last Saturday, put a serious chink
in the man who used to wear the catcher's armour. After finding out that
he and his .165 batting average were batting ninth, Posada waited until
an hour before the game and told manager Joe Girardi he was taking a
knee, as in packing it in for the night. Posada didn't give Girardi or the
man who would replace him in the line-up, the courtesy of getting the
necessary time to make changes and prepare for the game.
As part of the Yankees "core four" consisting of Derek Jeter, Andy
Pettitte, himself, and Mariano Rivera, Posada helped the Yankees
change the banner above home plate five times over to "27 World
Championships" He has been rewarded handsomely for his loyalty
and production, earning just over $104 million dollars in his career
in the pinstripes. That doesn't include playoff and World Series shares
and all the perks that come with playing for the Yankees in the media
capital of the world
However, Posada left a stain on his character and career that is like
the tattoo on Mike Tyson's face. It's not coming off. No matter how
hard he tries and no matter what how many apologies he makes, the
damage has been done. His act was a selfish one, trying to stick it
to management and his teammates, as well. After all, he was Jorge
Posada. He was entitled to do it, right?
Come on Jorge, you're a very good player, but you're not even the
best or most beloved catcher in franchise history. Thurman Munson
was the man and Yogi Berra was a 3-time MVP and Hall of Famer,
who incidentally made just over $485,000 in his illustrious career.
Posada said he felt "disrespected" despite being paid $13 million dollars
a year. Can't you just hear Rodney Dangerfield barking from the grave
about a guy making $13 million dollars a year playing baseball and not
getting any respect?
It's apparent that after almost two decades of being a Yankee, winning
five world championships, being adored in the biggest city in the
country, and cashing ridiculous paychecks has pumped up his ego and
dulled his senses. Here's how:
SIGHT Despite being told to leave his catching gear at home, Posada
didn't see the writing on the wall. Years of squatting, blocking balls,
home-plate collisions, and foul tips off every body part has taken its
toll. Last year, he had so much trouble throwing runners out that Shaquille
O'neal wanted to try to steal a base off him for that reality series:
"SHAQ VERSUS.." The Yankees just told him to concentrate on being
a DH and begged him not to pick up a glove.
SMELL Posada isn't very good at being a DH, but to be fair it's not as
easy as it looks. His entire career, Posada was the busiest guy on the team.
Catch, take the gear off, hit, run the bases, talk to the pitchers on the bench,
check the scouting reports during the game. He had to be proficient at
multi-tasking and he was. Then all of a sudden, he's sitting on the bench getting
four at-bats a game. As David Ortiz said, "DH-ing sucks." And it caused
Posada's batting average to smell. .165? For a 13-million dollar a year
DH? You can get Mike Hampton out of the beer softball league and he'll
hit .250 with a couple of jacks for a tenth of what they're paying Posada.
HEARING Posada couldn't hear the footsteps of Father Time. Unless, you're
still pumping fraud into your body, players aren't getting better as they
get older. He's near 40. The bat has slowed down, the reflexes
have been hijacked by old man time. There were whispers that Posada was
going to be moved down in the order, unfortunately, he couldn't hear them
TOUCH Posada's monster ego has left him out of touch with reality. If
you're batting .165, you're pretty much an automatic out. What? You wanted
to hit fifth and kill every rally on the planet? He's lucky he's not a horse
or the Yankees would've turned him into glue a long time ago.
Posada should take a look at his long-time rival, Jason Varitek. They
are both about the same age. Varitek's skills admittedly have declined.
He's a bottom of the order hitter, yet, he never complains. He accepted
his role as a back-up and still provides leadership to the team and helps
out Jarod Saltalamacchia. That's why he's still the captain. And he's
not getting paid $13 million dollars a year.
The reality is this, Jorge. Everybody in every vocation grows old,
loses their edge, and eventually gets replaced by someone younger.
That's life. And you weren't even getting replaced, just moved down
in the order.
TASTE His senses were dulled so much by his magnificent ego,
that Posada didn't realize he was getting a taste of his own medicine.
During the game in which he bailed out on his teammates and didn't
give Girardi or Andrew Jones, his replacement adequate notice, GM Brian
Cashman held an impromptu gathering with the media to inform them
that Posada was not hurt as his wife stated in a Tweet and he said
after the fact.
Posada told the media after the game that Cashman was out of line
for doing that and that he should've talked with him about it. Unreal.
Posada bails on his teammates, leaves his manager hanging, and gives
his teammate, Andruw Jones little time to prepare for the game and he's
upset with Cashman for selling him out? Wow.
A day after the mess, Posada started backpeddling like Hines Ward
in "Dancing with the Stars". The steps were fast and furious and he
apologized to management and his teammates profusely. As Bill Parcells
always says, "You are what you are." And right now, Posada is
a 1-something hitter with a sense of entitlement. I don't see this one
having a happy ending.