Francisco Cervelli did not try to hide his emotions after being blindsided by the news that the Yankees had obtained a new backup catcher, Chris Stewart, from San Francisco in exchange for George Kontos and that Cervelli would now be getting his mail in Scranton.
"I don't understand their reason,'' Cervelli said, his eyes red and his voice choked. "I think maybe you have to ask [Brian] Cashman or somebody else. Maybe the other guy is better than I am right now.''
Stewart, the "other guy,'' batted .204 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 67 games for the Giants last year; he played in one game for the Yankees in 2008 and went 0-for-3. At 30, he is four years older than Cervelli, who batted .266 with four homers and 22 RBI in 43 games for the Yankees last season.
The explanation Cashman gave was that Stewart was out of minor-league options but Cervelli was not, and with a lingering back injury sidelining Austin Romine, the AAA Scranton Yankees needed Cervelli as their everyday catcher.
"I'm disappointed with this, but that's never going to change anything,'' Cervelli said. "All my life I've had to do things double, triple. If they want me to prove I can catch in the big leagues, I'll go and prove it. I'll show them I'm a big-league catcher. That's it.''