Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Hip Hip: The Sad Last Days of Jorge Posada
Jorge Posada was the back page story after another Yankees Red Sox game this past weekend. Earlier in the season, the cranky old Yankee overshadowed anemic Yankee offense as well as Snoot's brush with high society, when he threw a hissy fit over being dropped in the batting order (this despite his truly awful numbers at the time). Sunday, Jorge behaved himself, but his removal from the lineup entirely dominated the back pages, and once again got the heat off of a miserable Yankee loss (Eduardo Nunez should be particularly grateful). I defended Georgie back in the Spring, and I'm still a huge fan of the guy. Unfortunately, it appears that time has claimed another victim, kicking and screaming his way to mediocrity or worse.
Posada has always been a bit of the grumpy type. Even when things were going so well for the Yankees, there were stories about his occasional grumbling. Just ask A.J. Burnett about Jorge's temperament. But he's also been part of that core 4 (now 3 and soon to be 2) that is so legendary around here. He's a pretty classy guy, who goes about his business with little fanfare, never showing anyone up. Totally fits the mold of the 90s Yankee, the business like winner. But now it looks like his final season or 2 will be endless games of tug of war between Girardi and Posada. As I've mentioned before, the two have kind of a contentious relationship. Girardi still sees Posada as the snot nosed kid who took his job and Posada can't get past the fact that he's taking orders from a former equal (I'm speculating here, but it's probably true). So, instead of the glorious ride into the sunset that was the last seasons of Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, Andy Pettite and soon to be Derek Jeter (Mr. D not withstanding) and Mariano Rivera, we'll be treated to endless shots of the moping Posada on the bench while newcomers like Russell Martin and Eric Chavez replace him in nationally televised games against Boston. Frankly, it's a sad product of being a catcher that they don't usually age too gracefully. Even all time greats like Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Piazza were (or are) shells of their former selves, either barely batting above .200 or awkwardly playing first base. Posada's not being mistreated here (although Girardi has to be aware that scheduling his lineup changes around Red Sox series might draw a little attention) since he's been awful lately. It's a little sad, though, to see one of the important pieces of the Yankees dynasty reduced to an unproductive old man sitting on the bench, especially amidst the love fest that Jeter's experienced this season. Posada's always been a fairly dignified guy, and let's hope his last games as a player will see him retain a little of that dignity.