Jorge Posada's new book, "The Journey Home: My Life in Pinstripes," goes on sale, in both English and Spanish, today.
The book has already made some news for the way Posada portrays the end of his career. Posada was in Bristol on Monday to discuss the book. We asked him about that and more in this Q&A.
How is life in retirement for Jorge Posada? What is a day like for you?
It’s good. I can get up in the morning, take my kids to school, go out with my wife for lunch or eat at the house. We’ll pick something to do, then go get the kids and hang out with them. They might have volleyball practice. My daughter plays volleyball and softball. My son plays baseball.
How often do you throw a ball now?
I really don’t throw since I got shoulder surgery. I can play catch with my son. But I can’t play too much catch right now.
What do you miss?
I miss the guys. I miss the clubhouse, the fun part of the game of baseball. I don’t miss any of the negative parts of the game of baseball.
I’ve heard a lot about the book. At its core, what’s it about?
It just a little bit more about me, who I am behind closed doors, the things that I grew up with, with my dad [a former major league scout], the things that happen throughout a career. Fans are going to get to know me a little better.
What’s your favorite part of the book?
Probably the part about my dad, what he went through to be free [Posada’s dad fled Cuba and moved to Puerto Rico]. I don’t make it to the big leagues without him.
I was reading about Bill Dickey, who started the chain of great Yankees catchers, and he said one of the things that he had to do as a catcher was convince himself every day that he hadn’t made the biggest mistake by becoming one. How hard is it to have been a catcher?
As a catcher, you are in charge of so much on the field. Once you get to know what you’re in charge of and what you can’t mess up, your pitchers, then it becomes a little bit easier. You get used to it. You understand. You have a routine that works.
Once you get to know the league, it's pretty simple. You’re going to face a lot of hitters, see what their weaknesses are. They’re going to make adjustments, because they’re big league hitters. You try to get the pitcher through the game without any harm.
What was Jorge Posada like as a younger player?
Not a good player [smiles]. I wasn’t the best player on any of my teams. They would stick me in right field, put me on the bench, DH. Play first, play third, second, short, left field, center field. I didn’t catch until later. I got better because I wanted to be in the big leagues so bad, that I didn’t stop until I made it.
What was the young major leaguer like?
Very hard-headed. The same as the older guys. Stubborn.
Here’s a quote from your Yankeeography: “He brings an intensity and a passion that everyone can see. He’s one of those guys, you can see the intensity coming out of his ears, coming out of his nose. When Jorge is on the field, you know he’s there.” -- Joe Girardi. How do you remember your intensity level?
If you see the cover of the book, that [photo] speaks a lot about the way I was. That’s why I chose that picture. It says so much. I was looking at the pitcher. I was probably mad at a previous at-bat or something. We probably weren’t winning. There’s a focus and intensity from that quote that tells a lot about me.
Were you more or less intense than Paul O'Neill?
We were pretty similar, but O'Neill showed it a lot more. I kept it in, and I think that’s worse.
Is there a favorite at-bat for you?
Probably the Pedro Martinez one [the game-tying hit in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS] to tie the game up. I remember looking for a pitch, for something inside. He was throwing me soft away and coming in late [in the at-bat]. I probably swung at a pitch that was too far inside. He broke my bat. I found a lot of green. I remember the Stadium. I remember my feeling when I got to second base. A lot of emotion behind that.
Is there an extra measure of satisfaction because it was Pedro?
Do you have a favorite defensive play?
Probably the end of "The Flip" [Derek Jeter’s relay to throw Jeremy Giambi out at the plate in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS]. There’s another one from the World Series in 2001, where we catch Tony Womack at the plate. I catch it and dive [to tag him].
With "The Flip," if I do what I thought about, we don’t make "The Flip." I thought about going and getting the ball and trying to throw [the hitter, Terrence Long] out at second base.
How hard is the turn-and-tag (which nailed Giambi) to execute?
I saw him out of the corner of my eye and I just happened to catch him right on his calf. I really got lucky.
With replay today, is he still ruled out?
Oh yeah. He was out. There a picture and I’m right on his calf and he’s [got his foot above the plate]. I have the picture because there are people who don’t believe he’s out.
What’s your favorite Derek Jeter story?
That I can tell you? We didn’t have to call each other for lunch on the road, but we knew what time we had to be down there. That’s how well we knew each other. He was the best man in my wedding. Derek is like my brother.
Your favorite Mariano Rivera story?
I remember him throwing a no-hitter in Triple-A. He threw seven innings and then it rained. We both got a Yankee watch because he threw a no-hitter. He only threw fastballs that day. He was throwing 97 or 98, and that made him the prospect he was.
What was it like the first time you caught the cutter?
It was easy, because it came off the four-seamer. His four-seamer cut. He just made it a little bigger and it developed a little more. I don’t remember it being a feeling of, "What was that?" I kind of knew what was coming.
What’s your favorite Bernie Williams story?
He would be out of the clubhouse in less than five minutes. His uniform would be down at the shower. He left a trail of his uniform going to the shower.
Who was the most underrated Yankee you played with?
Robinson Cano should have won two MVPs, probably 2009 and 2010. He should have won at least one, for sure.
Who was the most underrated guy you played against?
Edgar Martinez. He was the best hitter I’ve ever seen. He was tough to get out. He was prepared. He would be [a step ahead]. He gave Mariano a lot of trouble. He gave a lot of us a lot of trouble. He was unbelievable.
The thing that seems to have gotten headlines from this book is the stuff with Joe Girardi and the end of your Yankees career. Is there anything you would have done differently, looking back on it now?
I would have communicated with him more, and not kept it balled inside me.
If you could have scripted out how the end of your career would have gone, how would you have scripted it out?
It’s tough. I wouldn’t change anything.
How do you want to be remembered?
A gamer. A guy that went out there every day and wanted to win. Someone who gave it 100 percent every day, even though most of the time, he wasn’t feeling 100 percent.