Pardon me while I retch, as I can’t say I ever thought I’d be using the word “insight” to refer to anything carrying Jon Heyman’s byline, but I couldn’t help but notice an interesting tidbit in his column on the state of the Yankees yesterday:
“There was a lot of chatter last year about some of the pitchers preferring to throw to a more defensive-oriented backup than Posada. But they’ve now won our World Series titles with Posada. The defensively adept Francisco Cervelli takes over the main backup spot for Jose Molina. My suggestion to A.J. Burnett in particular is to try to be like Sabathia: get over it and accept Posada’s minor quirks (which allegedly are that he doesn’t frame pitches as well as some and isn’t quite as fast in adjusting to game-calling changes when there are runners at second).”
We’ve certainly heard plenty about Burnett’s disinterest in throwing to Posada, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually read what the specific reasons were behind this seemingly petty feud. As it turns out, it appears that Burnett does have somewhat valid concerns as far as Posada’s defensive abilities. While no one’s ever mistaken Jorge for a defensive whiz behind the plate — and the framing pitch complaint does seem fairly silly — an inability to adjust game-calling when there are runners in scoring position is pretty indefensible.
I love Jorge Posada and what he’s meant to the Yankees during his entire career, but hopefully he can take responsibility for his perceived shortcomings this spring. Given how successful the Yankees have been in spite of Posada’s apparent defensive ineptitude, it’s scary to think how much better the team could be if he and Burnett can finally get on the same page.