It was announced during tonight's Red Sox-Yankees game that Jorge Posada had taken himself out of the lineup due to being lowered in the lineup to the 9th position. Upon doing so, Posada asked for some media time after the game to make an announcement. This set up a flurry of assumptions on whether or not Posada was going to retire. The act of taking himself out of the game without an apparent injury added an additional angle of Posada being a selfish player who took offense to being dropped to 9th in the lineup. It was later revealed that Posada took himself out due to a stiff lower back. We won't know for sure until he says something. I personally believe that his .165 batting average with 6 HRs and 15 RBI are the reasons for his being placed in the 9th spot in the lineup. The team is playing poorly and something needs to be done to wake-up the bats. As it stands, Posada has made it be known that he hates DH'ing but where else is he going to play on this Yankees team. To make matters worse, free agent signing Russell Martin has been a godsend for the team both at bat and behind the plate and AAA prospect Jesus Montero is tearing up minor league pitching at Trenton. The Yankees are a better team with Posada's bat in the lineup and Martin behind the plate. Period.
What does any team do about their veteran players when the time might come to move on. Reality has a way of hitting hard when the talent dims and the body starts to slow down. Factor in the Yankee mystique when it comes to Posada and his place in the Yankee pantheon of legendary players. He's a pivotal member of five world championship teams (1996/1998/1999/2000/2009) but the team historically has moved on without legends like Ruth, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle and Mattingly to name a few. Maybe Posada needs to look at his catching counterpart in the visitor's dugout. Jason Varitek is also in a similar position to Posada and has taken his demotion in stride during the last few seasons. I can only imagine how hard it is for any professional to be told that he can no longer perform at a particular level and that he needs to move to another job with no opportunity to show his worth behind the plate.
Based on Bryan Hoch's twitter feed, he says that "Posada said he had a stiff back and saw a chiropractor today. Also needed a mental day off". If that was the case and it was not presented in that manner then it was a miscommunication on the part of Posada and the issue should be closed. Cashman talking during the game seemed to irk Posada who according to Hoch said he was "a little bit" upset at Cashman for talking during the game. Said you're not supposed to do that.
In the end time will tell if the team can move on from this latest drama. Maybe this will be the motivating factor to Posada and the team breaking out of their doldrums. We will see.
For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Brian MacPherson's blogpost Circus at Yankee Stadium shows a stark contrast between two franchise icons for an interesting take on Posada and Varitek from soxblog.projo.com dated May 14, 2011
- Click Here for Peter Botte's article Yankees' Jorge Posada refuses to play vs. Red Sox; Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez key 6-0 Boston win from the New York Daily News website dated May 14, 2011