Monday, August 8, 2011

Girardi benching stings Jorge Posada

It was obvious to anyone who regularly watches the New York Yankees that this day would come soon, but Joe Girardi's decision to remove Jorge Posada as the primary designated hitter stings nonetheless.

I don't fault Girardi for benching Posada. The great Yankee’s numbers certainly haven't justified keeping him in the lineup. But did it have to come during a nationally-televised game against the Boston Red Sox when it was only just in May that Posada fumed about batting 9th in the lineup against these same Saux? Didn't Girardi know that the move was going to fan the flames even further and fuel countless stories about his poor relationship with Posada and the potential impact of the decision on his team? Couldn't Girardi have waited a day or two to minimize the fallout?

For his part, Posada is handling the benching a lot better than he handled the lineup demotion. He admitted that he is not happy, but also acknowledged that he cannot do anything about it and that his numbers forced Girardi to make the move. Posada is an emotional guy and I just hope that his emotions don't bubble up to the surface in a way that wreaks havoc on a team with its eyes on the postseason. But I’m afraid just such an eruption is inevitable.

I just finished reading Jorge and Laura Posada’s book The Beauty of Love, which describes their excruciating battle for their son Jorge Luis, who suffers from a debilitating and potentially fatal head condition. In it, Posada talks about how he used baseball as an outlet, not always in the most constructive way, to deal with his son’s frightening condition. The pain and suffering that the Posadas were forced to endure gave me a much greater appreciation for what Posada was able to do on the field all those years. After all that he managed to give the Yankees during that terrible time, he deserves the respect of trying to figure out how to end his Yankees career gracefully.

Like I said, I don't like Girardi's timing, but I understand it was a move he had to make. But it still hurt Posada nonetheless and that just doesn’t seem fair.

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