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Yankees Should Release Posada and Move On



By Mike Silva ~ May 15th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

Earlier in the week I talked about how sad it is to watch a former star hobble his way out of the game. New York fans always bring up Willie Mays flopping around the Shea outfield, a shell of his former self, in 1973. What may come to New York baseball fans minds going forward is Jorge Posada’s sad exit from the Yankees. Once the fiery vocal leadership complement to Derek Jeter‘s stoic “lead by example” style, Posada’s shelf life may be coming to an end as a player, but even more so in the locker room.

Back in November I opined about how a diminished role for the proud Posada could be a combustible situation for the Yankees. Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News said at the time that a Posada reaction to a backup role would be filled with “anger, rage, denial, and even a feeling of betrayal.” Publically, there wasn’t any such friction, until last night when he refused to bat ninth, but you began to see it this week as he got testy with a reporter. Apparently, a scribe asked Posada “how his season is going,” which set him off. A stupid question, par for the course with the current state of media, but he should know the media scrutiny will continue to be intense as his average hovers around the .150 mark. If that sets him off, what will happen when he sits for big games down the stretch, or even worse, the playoffs?

Brian Cashman has made it clear he is the alpha male of the organization. He took on Derek Jeter this winter, made it clear on WFAN last week any lineup changes will be the organizations decision, and now went public with the Posada dispute. What better way to show your muscles than to take on one of the Core Four on national television? What better way to send shockwaves to a club that looks too comfortable with themselves right now? Know what really will send shockwaves through this clubhouse? Release Jorge Posada.

It’s a move that will be costly financially, but one that may get the Yankees going. They have too much offense and bullpen to be just three games over .500 in mid-May. Tampa is a great story thus far, but there is no excuse for a team with a $200 million dollar payroll to be looking up at one that makes less than the left side of the Yankees infield. The Yankees look as dead as the Red Sox did a month ago, but now have the added concern of a clubhouse that could go south very quickly. The last thing Joe Girardi needs is a split over the Posada issue, or confusion that service time in pinstripes gets you preferential treatment.

If this were any other .165 hitter he would have been escorted from the building before the sixth inning of yesterday’s game. Releasing him is what is good for the team and Posada. He will never accept being secondary with the Yankees. The best thing for his career is to go somewhere else and start over. Maybe then he will realize that 40 year old catchers, even those that play for the Yankees, have a shelf life. Maybe then he will accept his on the field limitations.

Bring up Jesus Montero to take his place. Perhaps he can inject some life into the Yankees like Joba Chamberlain did in 2007. Don’t stop there. Andruw Jones looks lost. If he can’t hit left handed pitching, the one reason you brought him here, send him packing and give Justin Maxwell or Jorge Vazquez a chance. Both are showing tremendous power in Scranton (14 and 12 homers respectively), and crush lefties, something that Posada hasn’t done this year.

Want to know the best part about releasing Posada? It sends a message to his buddy at shortstop. Once he gets 3,000 hits he is fair game too. No, they would never let things get this bad with the Captain, but the time has come to evaluate if he is the everyday answer at short, or needs to be more of a leader in the Omar Vizquel mold the rest of his contract.

Worried about the money? The team supposedly bankrupt across town ate $18 million dollars this spring to move two malcontents. The Yankees should have no issue eating the rest of Posada’s $13 million dollars. Maybe they try and trade him, but there is no reason to believe that is feasible. The only winners in a yearlong Posada-Yankees feud are the newspapers and blogs. Last I looked that won’t help in winning what is shaping up as a very competitive AL East race.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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18 Responses to Yankees Should Release Posada and Move On

  1. Lino

    Mikey

    You are way off here man. The fact that he has been here does warrant something. If torre was mgr do you think it would play out like this? No. Girardi clearly has a bug about Jorge and it’s obvious. Cashman is feeling his oats too. Why can’t posada catch a game here and there, I mean seriously. It’s nonsense how this entire thing has been handled from day one.

    You don’t just release guys like this. That’s bush league garbage. Jorge was wrong as this shouldn’t have been public but let’s not get carried away.

  2. Stu B

    “Tampa is a great story thus far, but there is no excus e for a team with a $200 million dollar payroll to be looking up at one that makes less than the left side of the Yankees infield.”

    Two reasons come immediately to mind: The Rays have 5 quality starting pitchers in Price, Shields, Davis, Niemann, and Hellickson while the Yankees have 1 – and he was no great shakes last night, and that vauned left side of the Yankees infield is old and not hitting a lick.

    It’s within the realm of possibilty that things will get worse, not better, for the Yankees as the schedule rolls into summer.

  3. Stu B

    *vaunted left side

  4. Tom

    The ridiculous 4-yr. deal Yanks gave Posada after 2007 is predictably coming back to bite them. Absolutely they should release him. And eating the contract wouldn’t even be very costly. They owe him the money anyway – it’s a sunk cost. Dumping Posada and bringing Montero up improves production while adding just a minimum salary.

  5. Steve

    Mike, Blue Jays fan here. Googled Posada to see what was up after last night’s game. Posada can’t catch and he can’t hit. If I were Girardi, Posada would be on the bench as a pinch hitter and emergency backup at catcher or first base. Of course, if I were Cashman, I’d release him. There isn’t a team in baseball that would (a) take him, (b) pick up any of his contract or (c) give you anything in return for him, so trading him isn’t an option. You said it would be costly financially, but really it wouldn’t be costly at all. His contract is a sunk cost. They’re paying him regardless. It’s actually more costly to leave him on the team due to the lost opportunity of bringing in another player who could help the team.

    Realistically, they must have considered there was the very real chance they might be buying out some of that contract at the end when they offered it in the first place. As usual (like A-Rod, Jeter), they were competing only with themselves when they signed Posada. No one else would have given him that contract.

  6. Steve

    Hey Tom! I didn’t copy you! I started typing before your post was there. :)

  7. Tom

    Ha..no problem Steve!

  8. Mike Silva

    Steve

    Great points, but the Mets and Omar Minaya were actually willing to give him the 4 year deal. He used the Mets to gain leverage with the Yankees. Imagine if they were stuck with that deal? Minaya would have gotten killed, especially since Jorge was hurt in ’08, and useless, so far, this year.

  9. Mike S.

    Excellent article, Mike.

    Lino, you are way off. If you want to keep legends who are past their prime, then I hope you enjoy losing. For you play to win the game, and if the legends aren’t helping you win anymore, and who have OPS+ numbers in the 70s, then they must move on. Time waits for no one. One of the hardest things for a manager and front office to do is to tell a fading icon “it’s time.” But if anyone isn’t doing their job in another profession, guess what, they are gone. Keeping guys around just so they can reach a milestone may put fannies in seats, but no W’s on the board.

    Jorge should retire, effective immediately, just like Mike Schmidt did in 1989.

    The fact Posada’s been there warrant something? It’s already warranted the fact that he caught longer than he should have, got a four-year deal even though he was 36 at the time (personally, I give NO multi-year contract out that extends past the age of 35, and go year by year only once the player turns 35), and is on the team NOW. That’s enough. Jeter’s past history did not warrant HIM getting a three year deal with a player option for a fourth year. How’s that one working out? They should have given Jeter two guaranteed years. That’s IT. The fact that Jeter was captain and his history would therefore have given him the GIFT of a 2nd year guaranteed. At a soon-to-be 37, that’s reward enough.

    Stu? Colon (3.74) and Garcia (2.61) have not hurt the Yanks at all this year and currently aren’t the reason the Yanks are behind the Rays. Heck, even if Pettitte had returned, I can’t see Andy doing better than Colon or Garcia have this year. I don’t know how much it’ll continue, but I have no gripes with Colon or Garcia, both of whom have surprised me. The pitching may not be superb, but it’s the bats that have hurt them more than the starting pitching (save Hughes). Martin is down to .245. A-Rod has dropped off big-time after a hot start. Jeter, powerless except for one game. Swisher. Posada. Teixiera starting 2011 0 for 19 vs. Boston. The Yanks hit HR (1) and draw walks (2), helping the OPS (1), but the BA is low (8). They are 12th in hits, 13th in doubles in the AL.

    I don’t think Cashman is feeling his oats or that Girardi has a bug against Posada. .165 is what it is. .165. And if Torre was manager and wouldn’t let it go like this then guess what? It would be a good thing Torre isn’t here because coddling your players gets you nowhere. Mike is right. Maybe releasing Posada would be a great wake-up call.

    In the end it’s produce… or else. No matter what job you have.

  10. Stu B

    Mike S, you make some excellent points, but if the Yankees are counting on Garcia and Colon the rest of the way, good luck regardless of the numbers. The Rays are a much more solid bet.

  11. David, Jr.

    An excellent article. I believe that they will go with him for maybe another six weeks, protecting him as much as possible by sitting him against tough lefties. It will be a Mendoza line watch. The team needs to turn over and get younger. Every report that I have read about Montero says things like “maybe the best hitter in the minor leagues”. This is a no-brainer, as they would get younger and better all at once, but they just can’t pull the trigger when it comes to these “icons”.

  12. Stu B

    “but they just can’t pull the trigger when it comes to these “icons”.”

    Why not? What difference will 6 weeks make?

  13. David

    Not sure why. They just can’t. Somebody there (Levine? Certainly not Cashman) is looking at decisions in some kind of a hybrid business/baseball/image way. A team like the Twins, who make exclusively baseball decisions, would have made offers to Jeter and Posada of perhaps two years times 8M. If they went elsewhere you get younger, who knows maybe better, put up a banner to them in the stadium, and life goes on.

  14. UncleMario

    Recalling a childhood memory, is it just me or there’s similarities between Posada’s and Bobby Murcer’s situation in 1983? Both Posada and Murcer were at their end of their careers. The Yankees then had up and coming prospect in Don Mattingly as they have today in Jesus Montero. Any comments?

  15. Stu B

    Wasn’t Murcer an outfielder and Mattingly a first baseman?

  16. Russ Cress

    When Mattingly came up in 1983 he played mostly the OF

  17. Russ Cress

    The idea of releasing Posada over this is completely ridiculous.

    The guy had had 16 years of loyal and productive service, no one with that track record should lose their job over one emotional mistake that in the big picture is not going to be a big deal. I have no problem holding people responsible and forcing them to do the time if they commit the crime, but in this case the punishment Mike suggests is completely unfair based on what Posada did.

    This team does need some young blood, and eventually giving Posada’s job to Montero is the logical next step especially since you can do that and save your trade chips for pitchers not hitters. The thing is, everyone seems to be overreacting here. It’s only been 6 weeks and the truth is, if anyone has earned the benefit of the doubt it’s Jorge Posada.

    Releasing him now over this would be a huge and costly mistake and a PR disaster. I can’t believe Mike is seriously suggesting this.

  18. UncleMario

    When Murcer retired in June 1983, his roster spot was taken by Mattingly.

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