The Posada Problem

Of course, none of this would be the case for most players. If we were talking about, say, Andruw Jones, he probably would have already been designated for assignment and the Yankees would be calling up someone from Triple-A to help. But it’s not Andruw Jones, it’s Jorge Posada, Yankee Legend, so it appears that he’s basically going to burn a roster spot for awhile, sitting on the bench and not really doing much.That’s what sentimentality buys you in this organization.

Your mileage may vary on this question, but I personally don’t think the Yankees do a very good job of managing these emotionally charged aging legends. It’s not that I have a problem with sentimentality per se, I certainly think there’s a time and a place for it. But that doesn’t extend to the point of being a burden on the team, and the Yankees have not done a good job of balancing those concerns whatsoever for the past 12-14 months. Indeed, from continuing to keep Jeter at the top of the lineup even when he hasn’t been able to hit, to sweetening their contract offer to Jeter for no reason, and now to keeping Posada around to be a glorified mascot, the Yankees have clearly sent the message that these Yankee Legends are bigger than the team, and placating them is more important to whomever is making the decisions than maximizing the team’s on-field performance.

Now I don’t want this to come across like I’m totally dumping on Posada. I don’t necessarily think he needs to be shown the door, and in fact I’d personally be just fine with him going back to playing catcher a bit. But the team seems to have no intention whatsoever of letting him catch, whatever the reasons may be, and if that’s the position they’re going to take, there’s just no reason for Posada to have a roster spot. He’s being allowed to remain on the roster and make a short bench even less flexible because he’s Jorge Posada, and that’s just not a good situation for anyone involved.

If the Yankees are serious about reducing Posada’s at bats after already making him a platoon DH, there are only two logical things to do with the roster today. Either decide Posada is going to be the backup catcher and send Francisco Cervelli back to the minors accordingly, or if you’re not willing to do that, release Posada. It won’t necessarily go over well, but it’s the right thing to do, and everyone will get over it soon enough.

19 thoughts on “The Posada Problem

  1. Bill

    In my opinion, the Yankee organization is putting pressure on Posada to retire. And it will probably work.

    Imagine sitting on the bench where all your teammates know you are just holding the team back. And you are just going to sit there for "old time's sake?" Does he want another ring? Assuming the Yankees were to win the WS, what would the benchwarmer have to celebrate? That he did NOT mess up his team's chances any further by taking the field for the last 1/3 of the season or the postseason? Won't that just be the most pathetic celebration ever?

    I like Posada. But, I think his time is up. If Girardi shows Posada (not the press, necessarily) that he has NO intention of playing him, I think he'll leave. The Yankees can still replace him on the roster up until August 31st, right?

    • Chris L.

      I can't help but see the irony that Girardi helped Posada as he broke into the bigs (and as Girardi himself was fading as a player), and now he has to show Posada the door as he's leaving. Neither here nor there, I suppose…

  2. With Cervelli seemingly married to Sabathia, I don't see Montero getting a call-up soon, though it is inevitable. If Posada's cut, thanks for the memories, you have a case for the Hall. I imagine they'll keep him on the roster since rosters expand relatively soon unless their Wild Card lead dwindles. I'm afraid what needs to be done won't be done.

  3. chris

    I think that is one thing to miss about george, before all the health issues. he pushed players out when he tthought it was time. He made it so the fans didn't have to push the legends out. But he still took care of those guys with special aassistant and advisory roles. He let the fans be nostalgic and sentimental of the players. While he was "the boss"

  4. 27up-27down

    I have no idea what they should do. This is a tough one.

  5. not Montero's dad

    Boston generally has done a far better job managing transitions. See: Garciaparra, Lowe, and Pedro, just to name 3.

    • Michael

      It is true Boston has not overvalued their players in attempt to re-sign after they hit free agency. However, there have not been any players that approach the length and status of some of the Yankees that re-signed and overvalued (not that this makes it acceptable, just more difficult task). In fairness, of late, Yankees have let players with sentimental value walk away i.e. Damon, Matsui.

      The only player they had to deal with on both championship teams misbehaved himself out of town.
      Though Boston will probably cut ties with Ortiz before spending a penny more than they project his value, let's come back to this when Youkilis and Pedroia start declining.

    • Marge

      Well, after failing to trade him to Texas, Boston did essentially let Lowell linger around last year, even after he'd outlived his usefulness to the team. But, Boston had so many injuries, Lowell's presence probably had little effect on the team's performance. Also, it was the last year of his contract. They let him creak around at the end of the season, had a "We Like Mike" Day at Fenway, and then let him ride off into the sunset.

    • Greg

      Has everyone forgotten 'Tek @ Boston, who's burning at LEAST as big a hole on their roster (at least he catches every once in a while)? They're holding on to him like he has pictures of Theo in compromising situations. Jorge and Veritek each have the heart of a warrior, put they are at least a year past their prime, and being kept on for sentimental reasons is insane.

      Painful as it is, this is a business. You're either helping us win the next game or your not.

  6. mike

    Should the Yankees relase Posada right now? Probably, but the reality is they have a deep, versatile bench, the best run differential in the majors, a 7 game lead in the Wild Card, are basically a lock to make the playoffs.

    Punting one roster spot for the next 23 days isn't going to change any of that.

    • not Montero's dad

      You're kidding about the deep, versatile bench, right? The 3-man bench? The bench that forced Cervelli to play 2B–not because he is versatile, but because there was no one else? That bench? The bench with at least two guys (Posada & Jones) who haven't hit well, can't run quickly, and get replaced for defense whenever possible?

  7. EOP

    This situation is not a simple one but for years many people have complained about the way the Yankees have "mistreated" their stars. I rather see the Yankees get rid of Jones and bring up Dickerson, then demote Cervelli and bring up Montero. Finally, I think this may sound silly but don't you think it is possible posada is not catching because Girardi holds a grudge against Posada since Posada replaced him as the Catcher of the yankees in the late 90's.

    • not Montero's dad

      The Girardi Grudge theory holds no water. Both Girardi and Posada spoke glowingly of how Girardi helped Posada learn during 97-98-99. Also, Girardi would have to be cutting off his face to spitce his face if he was letting an old grudge cloud his judgement and work to the detriment of his new (and more lucrative) job as manager.

    • Anonymous

      I read something prior to the season saying the Yankees didn't want Posada to catch at all because he has had a number of concussions over the course of his career, including last season. Given the recent change in the way concussions are treated in baseball (automatic 7 day DL) and the effects they have had on guys like Jason Bay and Justin Morneau this seems like the most logical reason.

  8. GEEKwriter: Dan

    Would it not be easier to put Posada on the DL, phantom injury to be sure but whatever, and call up someone until the rosters expand? At that point you get your bench spot, keep Posada, and still get to play for the division. Keeping Posada is, to me, conceding the division in a way. It says that his ego is more important than having the best team,

    • Jacques

      The injury would likely occur if Posada starts playing behind the plate…. but that's a good point.

  9. Matt

    I think the older stars should take a page out of Bobby Murcer's book. He retired to make room for Don Mattingly. If Jorge is holding up the promotion of Jesus, then he has to have the personal dignity to just step down. Eventual, the time comes for us all.

  10. Frank S.

    The Yankees are also a brand, and that brand is associated with sentimentality and nostalgia. Why is there no Old Timers Day in Boston? Because their best players were given a kick in the ass on the way out, and had no desire to return (think Rice, Clemens, Pedro, Burks, Garciaparra and Boggs). Jorge can have a roster spot until the playoffs start.

    When Steinbrenner was alive, he fired Bucky Dent in Boston, and fired Yogi after 16 games. Look where that got him.

  11. jay_robertson

    I know – LATE to the thread. But couldn't help myself – I just came up with a solution to both the "Posada problem" and the "Rivera problem." If CC can have his own catcher, if AJ could have his own the last couple of years – WHY NOT have Posada be Rivera's personal catcher?

    It might work. Rivera has forgotten how to miss bats. I remember Thurmon Munsen, getting Sparky Lyle (or was it Goose – don't remember THAT well) a win when he didn't have "Doodley Squat" – supposedly just by pitch calling guile. Maybe Jorge has enough of that to get Mo a few more critical saves. Worth a shot – what's the worst that could happen? – Another blown save?

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