Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Posada mess is the gift that keeps on giving

This Jorge Posada mess is the gift that keeps on giving.

Just when the confusion over Saturday night’s dispute seemed to be clearing up, now we learn that a frustrated Posada reportedly wanted off the New York Yankees entirely, not just out of the Yankees lineup. This was followed by a report that Posada refused to catch a game during spring training, which the Yankees designated hitter adamantly denied.

It’s interesting because when I first heard Cashman’s Fox interview, I thought he was alluding to Posada announcing his retirement from baseball. That thought sent me scrambling for more information. It seemed very credible to me, given Posada’s proud nature, that he wouldn’t want to continue to play baseball if he could not play at a high level. I also find it highly believable that Posada, amid his frustration over his deteriorating relationship with Joe Girardi, expressed a desire to quit completely. I find it more difficult to believe that Posada would refuse to catch, even if it was just for a day or two in spring training. Knowing how much Jorge loved being a catcher, and probably still thinks of himself as one, it’s hard to fathom that he would turn down any opportunity to prove that he could still catch.

Girardi strangely suggested that the whole incident could bring the team closer together. I seriously doubt that as the Yankees have already lost three games since the Posada news first broke and quitting is not exactly the way a player endears himself to his teammates. I bet that outside of Derek Jeter, no other teammate is willing to go to bat for Posada, even if they don't express any unhappiness publicly.

What the Posada incident does do is distract from the very real problems that the Yankees are facing: leaks in their previously overachieving starting rotation, an inexplicable lack of run production and a bullpen that is overworked to the point of exhaustion. Not one player has been able to step up and put the team on his back to carry it to one victory, let alone a winning streak that rights the ship.

I suppose the Yankees should be somewhat grateful that Posada’s outburst has taken some of the heat off the team’s losing ways. But they had better find some answers quickly because the Posada-related distractions have to run out at some point.

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