Jorge Posada took himself out of the lineup on Saturday, just one hour before game time. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the media that Posada had been dropped to the ninth spot in the lineup before he was scratched, possibly implying that was the reason. However, Posada’s wife, Laura, later tweeted, “Jorge loves being a Yankee… he’s trying to help his team win. Today, due to back stiffness, he wasn’t able to play.” After the game, Posada said it was his back that forced him out of the lineup.
Posada, 39, is a five-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger who helped the New York Yankees win five world championships. He’s on the final year of a four-year, $52.4 million deal. He’s batting .165 with six homers and 15 RBIs. He also struck out 30 times in 109 at-bats; his OPS is an embarrassing .621. He’s also trying to adjust to a new position as the Yankees’ DH. It is not an easy transition for most. Not everyone can do it. His move to DH was not his decision. He wanted to keep catching. He’s had tough year. After all those world championships, to be told you can’t catch anymore hurts. To be moved to the ninth spot in the order on May 14, hurts.
It’s the combination of changing positions, not performing, aching body, Josh Beckett pitching and loss of confidence that probably culminated with him taking himself out of the lineup. Have compassion. It doesn’t appear that Brian Cashman or Joe Girardi have any for him. We all know it’s big business, and when you pay big money you expect your players to play and perform. We all get it. But he’s Jorge Posada. Deal with him behind the scenes. Protect him from the media and fans. He’s going through a tough time. You owe that much to him. Lower him in the lineup if you have to, sit him on the bench if it helps, ask him to retire when you decide it's best, but in the meantime, don't publicly embarrass him like you did on Saturday.
And yes, Jesus Montero is tearing it up in the minor leagues. And yes, Montero gives the Yankees a better chance to win if he’s the designated hitter. But until you are ready to make that decision, to ask Posada to step aside, and keep him out of the lineup for good, you PROTECT HIM! He’s a Yankee, a five-time world champion Yankee who is known for his class and dignity. Show him the same.
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on twitter @JimBowdenESPNxm.