Sunday, May 15, 2011
Is Jorge Wrong?
The latest storyline of the young, uneven Yankee season involves one of the last big 3 remaining from the dynasty years. Jorge Posada reportedly asked out of the lineup after being dropped to the bottom of the order (maybe deservedly so) for the big Saturday night game against the Red Sox. The silence of the other Yankee bats is forgotten as we all take turns wondering if Jorge is just being a spoiled baby stomping his feet at Joe Girardi's strict discipline, or is Girardi, as he does too often, engaging in some more Joe Torre like over reacting and over managing? The score of the game is less important here, it didn't make the Daily News' coverage until 6 pages in of Jorge talk. So is Georgie in the wrong here? I say yes he is, but his frustration is understandable, and may be a sign of bigger issues for the Yanks.
Posada is definitely wrong for asking out of the lineup if he is healthy enough to play, as all reports seem to indicate. Regardless if he's still a day to day player or DH, he's viewed as one of the veteran leaders of the team, and refusing to be lowered in the batting order sets a bad precedent, and can't be good for team morale. Posada has always been stubborn and head strong, as was evidenced by his lack of embracing the DH role. Russell Martin practically had to snatch the catcher's mask from Jorge as the season began. He's a millionaire who has been able to achieve things such as a disproportionately hot wife because of this attitude. But the fact that he is asking out is indicative of the possible lack of respect that Girardi commands from his players, a few of whom once played alongside him. It has to be tough to listen to your former teammate tell you you're just not good enough. Just imagine if one of your co-workers, who you came up in the ranks with, was promoted to your manager, and then decided to demote you. Regardless if your performance dictates this, it's still gotta sting. If Bottle became Editor in Chief of PTU and told me not to write something on here, I'd probably post angry things about him and his mother (don't think about it, Bottle). This has to be especially annoying to Posada, who came up under Girardi as a young catcher. It must be equally difficult to take orders from a 40 year old man with braces.
The Yankees over the past 3 seasons have seemed to win despite Girardi's meddling, rather than because of it. He has a nagging tendency to over manage (especially when it comes to pitching changes) and his critical choices have been second guessed around here for a reason. When the team is rolling, and winning championships, it's easy to ignore some of Joe's shortcomings, and the team was talented enough (and I believe still is) to still be a winning club. But when the bats stop working, and the pitching and defense is at times as sloppy as the drunk girls post-gameing at Billy's, it takes a real strong skipper with a hold of a locker room to get things back on track. You have to wonder if Posada is alone in shaking off Girardi's authority, or if this is just a symptom of a team wide distrust.