Yankees Should Release Posada and Move On
Yankees Should Release Posada and Move On
By: Mike Silva
Earlier in the week I talked about how sad it is to watch a former star hobble his way out of the game. New York fans always bring up Willie Mays flopping around the Shea outfield, a shell of his former self, in 1973. What may come to New York baseball fans minds going forward is Jorge Posada’s sad exit from the Yankees. Once the fiery vocal leadership complement to Derek Jeter‘s stoic “lead by example” style, Posada’s shelf life may be coming to an end as a player, but even more so in the locker room.
Back in November I opined about how a diminished role for the proud Posada could be a combustible situation for the Yankees. Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News said at the time that a Posada reaction to a backup role would be filled with “anger, rage, denial, and even a feeling of betrayal.” Publically, there wasn’t any such friction, until last night when he refused to bat ninth, but you began to see it this week as he got testy with a reporter. Apparently, a scribe asked Posada “how his season is going,” which set him off. A stupid question, par for the course with the current state of media, but he should know the media scrutiny will continue to be intense as his average hovers around the .150 mark. If that sets him off, what will happen when he sits for big games down the stretch, or even worse, the playoffs?
Brian Cashman has made it clear he is the alpha male of the organization. He took on Derek Jeter this winter, made it clear on WFAN last week any lineup changes will be the organizations decision, and now went public with the Posada dispute. What better way to show your muscles than to take on one of the Core Four on national television? What better way to send shockwaves to a club that looks too comfortable with themselves right now? Know what really will send shockwaves through this clubhouse? Release Jorge Posada.
It’s a move that will be costly financially, but one that may get the Yankees going. They have too much offense and bullpen to be just three games over .500 in mid-May. Tampa is a great story thus far, but there is no excuse for a team with a $200 million dollar payroll to be looking up at one that makes less than the left side of the Yankees infield. The Yankees look as dead as the Red Sox did a month ago, but now have the added concern of a clubhouse that could go south very quickly. The last thing Joe Girardi needs is a split over the Posada issue, or confusion that service time in pinstripes gets you preferential treatment.
If this were any other .165 hitter he would have been escorted from the building before the sixth inning of yesterday’s game. Releasing him is what is good for the team and Posada. He will never accept being secondary with the Yankees. The best thing for his career is to go somewhere else and start over. Maybe then he will realize that 40 year old catchers, even those that play for the Yankees, have a shelf life. Maybe then he will accept his on the field limitations.
Bring up Jesus Montero to take his place. Perhaps he can inject some life into the Yankees like Joba Chamberlain did in 2007. Don’t stop there. Andruw Jones looks lost. If he can’t hit left handed pitching, the one reason you brought him here, send him packing and give Justin Maxwell or Jorge Vazquez a chance. Both are showing tremendous power in Scranton (14 and 12 homers respectively), and crush lefties, something that Posada hasn’t done this year.
Want to know the best part about releasing Posada? It sends a message to his buddy at shortstop. Once he gets 3,000 hits he is fair game too. No, they would never let things get this bad with the Captain, but the time has come to evaluate if he is the everyday answer at short, or needs to be more of a leader in the Omar Vizquel mold the rest of his contract.
Worried about the money? The team supposedly bankrupt across town ate $18 million dollars this spring to move two malcontents. The Yankees should have no issue eating the rest of Posada’s $13 million dollars. Maybe they try and trade him, but there is no reason to believe that is feasible. The only winners in a yearlong Posada-Yankees feud are the newspapers and blogs. Last I looked that won’t help in winning what is shaping up as a very competitive AL East race.
Additional Posada news at MLB Truth and Rumors.
Read Mikes Blog, NY Daily Baseball Digest.By Mike Silva
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- Brian Cashman, Derek Jeter, Joe Girardi, Jorge Posada, New York Yankees, Shea Stadium, Willie Mays