Jorge Posada refused to play in the game against the Red Sox last night, because manager Joe Girardi had moved the 39-year old DH who was hitting 0.165 and slugging 0.349 to the ninth spot. Sure, after the game he, his agents, and more notably his wife, claim that he was experiencing back stiffness and that was the reason he didn’t play. Damage control because without coming up with that completely unbelievable B.S., he’s in trouble. Oh, he had a body part hurting last night, just pretty sure it wasn’t the back.
Last week, Derek Jeter’s struggles after signing a new contract were the hot topic, but he hit two home runs and totally proved those unfounded, because no below average player has ever done that. And now it’s Jorge Posada, who obviously doesn’t know his role or have any perspective about his situation.
Posada is still getting 13 million this year. There was no way the Yankees were going to be able to trade the soon-to-be 40 year old, who can no longer play the catcher position defensively, even though he was going to be a liability. They moved him to DH this season, and even though his recent offensive numbers would have been good for a defensive position like catcher, they would have already put the richest team at a disadvantage at the DH position. This year, it’s been even worse, and Posada’s start would be bad at any position.
But the Yanks are, or at least were, still playing him. (reports have already surfaced that they have rightfully contacted the commissioner’s office about recourse for last night). A move down in the lineup, when you are getting 13 million and the other valid option is not playing at all, should have been enough. You pretend that you are happy with just playing, we pretend we are happy with playing you. New York has probably learned a lesson in dealing with veterans who don’t merit the money or playing time their reputations would dictate. If they can’t deal with it and play along in the memories charade and accept the role that comes with being burdened with being vastly overpaid for what they bring now, then maybe you cut bait earlier in the future.
Aging is hard; it’s a battle against realizing that some days, you weren’t quite what you were before. But in this performance business, you don’t get to pretend you are 27 years old forever. You aren’t entitled to play in perpetuity and be treated like the best. If you can’t understand that, you should probably just take your ball and go home permanently.
[photo via Getty]
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