Posada Has Lost A Lot More Than Skills; He’s Lost His Good Name

Playing The 'Disrespect' Card Is Nothing But Insult To Yankees

By Jeff Capellini, CBSNewYork/WFAN.com

NEW YORK (WFAN) — Legendary Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo probably would have had a field day Sunday morning, using all of his skills to create a sketch of Jorge Posada sitting on the Yankees’ bench dressed in nothing but a pinstriped diaper and perhaps sucking his thumb.

And Gallo wouldn’t have been wrong.

Even though Posada apologized Sunday afternoon for the circus he created on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, he has somewhat tarnished his image. He basically put a black mark on much of what he has accomplished when he decided to embarrass his organization and act like Manny Ramirez.

In case you have been living under a rock for the last 18 hours, Posada flip-flopped on his acceptance of being dropped to the ninth spot in the batting order on Saturday night against the Red Sox. He went from being an understanding teammate to the biggest of babies inside of two hours. And then he made matters worse four hours later.

At around 4 p.m. Posada told the media he was the only one to blame for his horrendous .165 batting average and deserved to be batting ninth, if at all, in the Yankee lineup. However, two hours later, the often fire and brimstone-induced, soon-to-be-40-year-old sang a different tune. He didn’t say anything publicly. He just decided he didn’t feel like playing and told manager Joe Girardi as much.

Then, after the Yankees batted Andruw Jones ninth in their lifeless 6-0 loss to Boston, after the media had taken by force GM Brian Cashman’s box at the stadium, and after word had leaked out over various social media and television outlets that the veteran had basically quit on his teammates, Posada exacerbated the situation by alluding to that word that drives everyone crazy, especially when they hear it from professional athletes — “disrespect.”

You can’t make it up. What’s worse, there was a “core 4” Yankee, a longtime model of the team concept and excellence, throwing everyone but himself under the bus — to the media no less. He admitted not really liking the idea of no longer being a catcher, and admitted basically making up a tall tale about back stiffness as cover to ask out of the lineup. He got on Cashman for holding an impromptu press conference during the game — “You don’t do that. You’re not supposed to do that,” he said.

Well, Jorge, you’re not supposed to quit on everyone that loves you, either.

Now, I understand that Posada is frustrated. I don’t think there’s a Yankee fan alive who doesn’t think Posada takes his role with this club very seriously. But there is a right way and a wrong way to handle a demotion — whether it be on a seasonal or night-by-night basis. Posada failed miserably in this regard.

I’d love to know what went on in his mind between 4 p.m. — when he was still the good teammate — and 6 p.m. — when he decided to become the pinstriped equivalent of ManRam. Did outside influences convince him that he didn’t deserve to be (that dreaded word again) “disrespected” by the organization he has given so much to over the last 16 years? Or was it something more? Did Posada’s ornery side, which is well known and often looked at as part of the reason why he’s been so successful for so long, simply just overwhelm his logical side?

Who the heck knows. The bottom line is Posada made the Yankees’ already hot seat flammable. It’s bad enough they have lost eight of their last 11 and have been utterly disgraceful with the bats collectively. Now they have to deal with one of the guys they count on to be a leader by example — no matter how dire his personal circumstances are — turning into a monster that is acting as the posterboy for an organization that has temporarily lost its way.

And the rest of the sports world absolutely loves it. Even Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, a guy who has no business throwing stones in any glass house, thought it wise to rip the Yankees for their alleged mistreatment of Posada. Who’s next? Donald Trump?

Posada saw the error of his ways and apologized to Girardi on Sunday and was to also speak with Cashman later in the day. It’s a good thing, too, because Cashman needed to walk up to a bunch of microphones somewhere and say a meeting was held, the organization is satisfied and the matter is closed, so the Yankees can get back to the business of fixing their many problems.

But if Posada’s ego refuses to get out of the way, or there’s another episode, going forward the Yankees must wash their hands of him. He’s still owed a large chunk of the $13.1 million he’s due for 2011, the final year of his final contract in pinstripes and probably in Major League Baseball.

Does he want to go out lying down, or with some semblance of his head held high after a career worthy of the day he will receive in the Bronx sometime down the road?

It’s up to you, Jorge.

Would you rather be remembered as the guy who played an integral role in five world championships and largely viewed as one of the greatest players to ever strap on the gear for the Yankees, or be “that guy” who did “that thing” when things went south?

And this whole sordid situation does nothing but “disrespect” not just the organization but the entire fan base. It forced people to pick sides, to maybe abandon their principles because they are blinded by what No. 20 has done on the field for so long. Did the fans deserve to be put in this type of moral predicament? Absolutely not. Fans should be worrying about wins and losses and how to get more of the former, not be concerned with sideshows and selfishness, especially when the behavior in question has come from such a revered figure in the storied history of the franchise.

Posada likely needs a refresher course on the concept of the name on the back of the uniform being microscopic compared to the name on the front.

Oh wait, Jorge, I forgot. The Yankees don’t have names on the backs of their uniforms.

I wonder why that is.

Read more columns by Jeff Capellini

Do you think the Yankees disrespected Posada? Or do you think Jorge was nothing but unprofessional? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Anthony

    There can be no question that Jorge Posada is in his eleventh hour. Fame and power are very fleeting, especially for a professional athlete.

    The Yankees were idiots not to keep this incident behind closed doors. One of the worst incidents in the history of the Yankees was Phil Linz and his harmonica back in 1964.

    I still chuckle when I think of the two Yankees who swapped wives.

  • Claude

    What’s the big deal if he didn’t want to play? He’s not contributing anything to the team with a .165 average. Maybe he’s just coming to grips with the fact that it’s time to throw in the towel. It’s never easy for a man to face midlife and realize that he can’t do the things he once did. I think everyone should let up on him.

  • not a yankee fan

    another prima dona who thinks he’s bigger than the team, or the game.

  • Sam Jones

    With a .165 batting average, it’s obvious that Tostada doesn’t feel like playing.

  • 2gruesome2b

    the simple fact is that free agency has destroyed baseball, and all the other major sports. how many of you can remember when all teams had fan clubs, picking one particular player as their favorite? how many remember when the big question asked of the great yankee teams from the 1930s thru 1964 was who would be able to break into the lineup at the beginning of any season? when dimaggio became the first major league player to be signed for $100,000 for the season? before players could skip from one team to another each year, following the money trail? that at the end of the most glorious career in baseball history, babe ruth was traded to the boston braves? instead of team loyalty, today’s players are in it strictly for themselves. “hooray for me, to hell with you” is their mantra. i say “to hell with them”.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    What moron wrote this article calling POS a great Yankee.He will not even make the hall of fame

  • dabooch

    In 2007 Jorge’ signed a three year deal. Cashman didn’t want to go the third year if my recollection is correct, and here we are two months into the season with four to go. Jorge’ still has talent, he can hit a 400′ Home Run but he also is very inconsistent as most 39 year old are….most are not playing anymore. Jorge’ had a wake up call, this is it, he’s done…if he doesn’t produce in the next month or so he may be released…he’s killing the Yanks.

  • Kate T.Barnes

    Somehow as a senior citizen that watched Joe DiMaggio play along
    with other old great BB players from many teams ,

    I can’t seem to feel sorry for these pouting really wealthy young palyers or their bosses.
    The game stinks now full of prima donna’s and lawyers then after a year or three Zero they are( pardon the pun) played out.

  • Sally

    I understand that Jorge is frustrated. I don’t think that either of the sides handled this correctly. It is true that Cashman and Girardi said the wrong things too. I still respect Jorge and I understand he is frustrated. He hasn’t been doing well “adjusting to the DH role” and I hope that he will be able to “adjust” so that he can help the team out.

  • Jody James

    So, why is A-Rod mentioned here? This is about Posada, not A-Rod. If you are going to use A-rod as an example, be correct. When A-Rod batted ninth in the play-offs years back, he did not cry and leave the game, did he? So, let’s focus on the issue at hand folks.

  • victor

    Jorge was a disappointment to all the Yankees fans that have supported him throughout his career. He acted like moron. He needs to seat down and see how horrendous his numbers have been this year. He is lucky that Girardi is letting him bat ninth. Jorge needs to grow up.

  • Betty

    This gives us a glimpse of the “issues” plaguing the NYY. Maybe Management should think about attending Disney’s Management Training program. Jorge reacted to a poor handling of the situation by management. Is anyone paying attention to the individuals’ dispositions in the tough situation that has been developing? It doesn’t take Einstein to see that Jorge might not take the drop in the lineup well. How about deciding who is in charge there and try approaching these issues with consistency (A-Rod vs Posada) and some respect for the guys who put fans in the seats. Oh, that’s right Yankee stadium has been sold out for how long????? Start acting like managers guys! You may see a different response from the players.I am tired of hearing about this!
    PS FOX, you did a wonderful job of blowing this out of proportion rather than calling the game. I have not heard a game covered so poorly!

    • Ellen

      Betty, your my hero right now. What a wonderful post full of common sense and intelligence. They should have you as CEO of the Yankees. Thanks Betty for your insight and may the Yankee’s management see this. They should, would do them well indeed.

  • Ellen

    Even some of the Red Sox are behind Posada. David Ortiz already on the Boston Herald saying that he fully supports Jorge and believes he was belittled by the Yankee organization.

  • karen s

    i’m more likely to believe jorge. cashman has no halo above his head, and could easily be confused for a used care salesman. why did cashman not call out a-rod on 2 suspect occasions of “flu” a week apart, both sunday games (and 1 against the sox in boston). back in the day, this probably would have been a “team matter.” now in the age of tweet, text and whatever else baseball is interrupted by “suspect news.” good luck jorge, however this turns out.

    • joao25c

      youre right karen s a bout a rod but posada was embarrased to be batting 9 th thats why i felt a crack on his back i say send this sore cant trow anyone out for years loser to the pirates or something like that

  • Cashman

    Georgie being Georgie man

  • Dominick Mezzapesa

    So Cashman going on National TV had nothing to do with making this story take on a life of it own?

    And what was this garbage? you wrote “Well, Jorge, you’re not supposed to quit on everyone that loves you, either.” You can’t be serious with writing this Yankee propaganda?

    Everyone loves Jorge? So when Cashman went on TV and basically called Jorge’s wife a liar for her tweet..was that “showin the love?”

    Cashman’s ego would not allow him to act like a real GM and handle all this after the game in the Manager’s office. Nope, Cashman’s ego had to pull an A-Rod and in the middle of a national televised game Cashman needed to blow this story up.

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