For those that missed the story yesterday, Jorge Posada refused to play after being bumped to the nine position in the lineup. He claimed in a postgame interview that he needed to “clear his head” and that it may take more than one game. Technically, Posada said he had stiffness in his back, but Posada’s comments speak otherwise.
"I told them I couldn't play today. I needed time to clear my head. Then my back stiffened up ...... I wasn't 100 percent," Posada said in a postgame clubhouse interview.
Posada broke the news to manager Joe Girardi about an hour before the game.
"The conversation was really short," Girardi said. "He came into my office and said he needed a day, he couldn't DH today. That was basically the extent of the conversation."
Yankees GM Brian Cashman disputed the back injury story, which added to the tension.
"I don't know why he made a statement during the game, in the middle of the game," Posada said of Cashman. "I don't understand that. That's the way he works now."
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees have contacted the league about breach of contract, and with Posada saying that he needed to “talk to his wife” there’s speculation that Posada could simply retire.
How bad is Posada performing as a DH? Consider: Of 193 qualified players, Posada’s batting average (.165) ranks dead last in the Majors. Over 18 games, he’s had just 18 hits, and his OBP is .272.
Posada, who has played every game of his now 17 seasons as a Yankee, becomes the biggest story of Sunday. This isn’t Jason Giambi refusing to go to the minors in 2005. Posada is synonymous with what most consider the greatest team in history (1998 Yankees), is a five-time All-Star, a five-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award, and has been on four World Series winning championship teams.
Also, moving Posada into the 9 spot isn't really where the issues began. The reality is, when Russell Martin was brought in, and Posada was moved from catcher to DH, the acromony started. At age 39, you can understand that. As Jorge Posada, the player, it's harder to swallow after playing the position for 16 sesaons.
With so much interest in Posada, here’s some tidbits, should his days as a Yankee come to an end:
- There were questions as to why YES showed Girardi’s postgame press conference live, while Posada’s postgame clubhouse comments to the media were delayed. According to John Filippelli of YES Network, the network delays clubhouse comments during the regular season.
- Posada, in his last year of a 4-year, $52.4 million contract, has a salary of $13.1 million this year.
- Based upon 46 days Major League service time, Posada has earned $3,503,488, to date
- If Posada were not to retire, there is $9,596,512 in salary left on Posada’s contracts
- Fun factoid: According to Joe Sheehan, based on OPS+, Jorge Posada, at 39, is hitting worse than Joe Girardi's best season for the first time in his career.
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