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Monday, August 08, 2011

Sherman: History all that keeps Posada from release

Posaday-to-day…

For now, the Yankees are holding off on summoning Jesus Montero. He is hot at Triple-A (.333 with seven extra-base hits in his past 13 games). However, there remains infighting among Yankees decision-makers if it is the wrong message to promote Montero when he has not dominated Triple-A and at times projects indifference about being there. Nevertheless, if the new DH structure does not work, Montero will be called up; yet another sign the Yankees are in a DH phase of anyone but Posada.

“I’m not happy about it,” Posada said. “But right now I can’t do anything about it.”

In reality, if he were not Jorge Posada he would be treated like Jack Cust and Lyle Overbay, two veterans with somewhat similar numbers to Posada who were released recently by the Mariners and Pirates, respectively. Instead, the Yankees will keep Posada on the 25-man roster in a nebulous role that could include pinch-hitting or an occasional DH start or maybe a game at first.

Mainly, though, Posada has been reduced to legend without a role. The Yankees will play with less bench diversity until rosters can expand Sept. 1, essentially going 24 days with 24 men so as not to have to outright release a dynastic player. They have chosen to go shorthanded rather than deliver that backhand to Posada.

Repoz Posted: August 08, 2011 at 10:58 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, prospect reports, yankees

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   1. BDC Posted: August 08, 2011 at 12:31 PM (#3895290)
at times projects indifference about being there


This is one of those sportswriterly turns of phrase that is supposed to imply something cryptic that we all nod and get. But I'm never clued into what these phrases mean. "Indifference" could mean two things in this context. Good: "It doesn't matter if I get called up now or later. Right now, I want what's best for this organization. If that means winning a pennant here and being the best team player Scranton's ever seen, I'm your man." Bad: "Baseball, breaking rocks by the side of the road. What does it matter? It's a life of drab inconsequence either way. I'll swing at baseballs if that's the lot I've drawn in life, but I'd just as soon be painting car parts." Which of these?

I guess the implication is that to earn your way to the majors, it isn't enough to hit .289 and learn how to catch. You also have to strut around all day insinuating that Scranton's not big enough to hold you, and you're going to shove the entire city of Wilkes-Barre down Mr Cashman's throat once he bows to the inevitable and calls you up :)
   2. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 12:35 PM (#3895293)
Kei Igawa should maybe try that.
   3. jwb Posted: August 08, 2011 at 12:53 PM (#3895297)
Shoving Wilkes-Barre down Cashman's throat or painting car parts?
   4. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 01:00 PM (#3895300)
I don't see how either would hurt.
   5. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 08, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3895344)
I've not followed the reports too closely, but from what I've gleaned, the indifference is directed toward the game, the affective response toward being in AAA might better be described as pouty.
   6. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3895348)
Also, on a broad enough scale, isn't history all that keeps anyone in baseball from immediate release?
   7. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: August 08, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3895349)
5: same here.
   8. Ron J Posted: August 08, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3895356)
#6 No the most profound reason is that GMs don't like to explain why they're paying somebody to not play baseball for them.
   9. The Good Face Posted: August 08, 2011 at 03:20 PM (#3895364)
I've not followed the reports too closely, but from what I've gleaned, the indifference is directed toward the game, the affective response toward being in AAA might better be described as pouty.


Yep, I've heard speculation that he finds the minors to be boring or beneath him, but I haven't really seen any hard evidence for it. I suspect there's some wishful thinking on the part of Yankee fans, believing that once he's promoted to the big leagues, he'll become fully engaged and starting tearing up the league. Probably worth a go, he can't be much worse than Posada or Cervelli at this point.
   10. Run Joe Run Posted: August 08, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3895395)
Of course, Posada is a prideful, emotional man, and so we will see if he can sit on the bench near exclusively without imploding.


He is proud. He is emotional.

But does that phrasing smack of Latino stereotyping?
   11. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3895403)
I'd be more worried that instead of peeing on his hands, he might direct the flow towards his benchmates or the coaching staff.
   12. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 08, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3895414)
He is proud. He is emotional.

But does that phrasing smack of Latino stereotyping?


Well, Posada did get a little cranky earlier this year during a series with the Sox. Beyond that, no clue what his personality is like.
   13. Run Joe Run Posted: August 08, 2011 at 04:30 PM (#3895421)
He is proud. He is emotional.

But does that phrasing smack of Latino stereotyping?


If I were the sports editor, I would have struck that part.
   14. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 08, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3895431)
at least he's not a brain-dead Carribean
   15. JRVJ Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3895448)
Posada had a reputation for being a red-arse (he had some fairly famous verbal jousts with El Duque Hernández, though it may be the Cuban side of both these mean coming out *)

(*) For those who don't know it, Posada was born in Puerto Rico of Cuban parents.
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:03 PM (#3895449)
He is hot at Triple-A (.333 with seven extra-base hits in his past 13 games).


If you have to cherry-pick a number like 13 games to get him up to a .333 average and an extra-base hit every other game, he ain't that hot.
   17. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#3895453)
If you have to cherry-pick a number like 13 games to get him up to a .333 average and an extra-base hit every other game, he ain't that hot.


Yeah, that didn't make any sense to me. In July he was .271/.346/.514 and in August thus far he's .381/.458/.571 (6 G) after a lousy June, that's the info he should have referenced.
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:16 PM (#3895461)
What strikes me about this is this is the second time Girardi has done something like this on the game's biggest stage (I assume ESPN Sunday Night gets considerably bigger ratings than Fox Saturday). In a vacuum neither batting Posada ninth earlier this year nor benching him last night is a big deal but it seems like Girardi has at the least done a poor job of personnel management creating a controversy where he didn't need to.

It also felt like there was a bit of a planted aspect to this story. Maybe I'm naive but when I saw the lineups I thought nothing of it until the ESPN guys started talking about what a big deal it was. It felt like ESPN was trying to make a big deal out of something that wasn't and the cynic (and Yankee hater) in me wants to see someone in the Yankee org planting the story to make Posada look bad. I suspect nothing like that happened but it's how it felt to me.
   19. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:31 PM (#3895473)
it seems like Girardi has at the least done a poor job of personnel management creating a controversy where he didn't need to.


I don't have the numbers from the prior series (and actually, Po was batting ninth in Girardi's lineup that day but threw a tantrum and refused to play), but he was 0-7 going into Game 3, with a potential pitching mismatch going the other way. In my opinion, batting someone else at DH put the nine best hitters the Yankees have against Beckett; playing Po last night would have been a needless nod to "history".
   20. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#3895477)
So, to be clear, I think that blaming Girardi for the earlier fooferah is a misread of the situation, at least if my understanding of the process that day is correct.
   21. SG Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3895480)
It also felt like there was a bit of a planted aspect to this story. Maybe I'm naive but when I saw the lineups I thought nothing of it until the ESPN guys started talking about what a big deal it was.


I think this move has been planned for a while, but it required a few things falling into place. Now that Alex Rodriguez is doing baseball drills and likely to return some time next week, and with Eric Chavez's return from the DL (albeit one that's not likely to last), they have or will have the pieces to get more production out of DH.

If you were going to bench Posada, better to do it with someone that's a good bet to outproduce him, as opposed to the corpse of Andruw Jones or a work-in-progress Jesus Montero. The problem with promoting Montero is that you'd have to clear a 40 man roster space, it's not likely that the Yankees would let him catch much (which restricts his value to strictly whatever he can do with his bat), and there's no certainty he'd perform well out of the chute. He hasn't exactly torn the cover off the ball this year. For a 3 week trial, that's enough uncertainty to make inertia a defensible choice.

FWIW, the Yankee beat writers were talking about it as soon as the lineups came out yesterday, I think around 4pm or so. Since Posada had already been reduced to the role of platoon DH vs. RHP, the fact that he was out of the lineup against Beckett in the rubber game of a three game series made it pretty obvious.

That doesn't mean the Yankees didn't nudge the story along, but the writing has been on the wall for a while.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3895481)
and actually, Po was batting ninth in Girardi's lineup that day but threw a tantrum and refused to play


Yeah, but it seems that Girardi could have gotten effectively the same benefit by batting Posada 8th without the ensuing drama. I think Girardi should have known or at least expected that Posada would view batting 9th as a slap in the face (and to be clear, I find what Posada did that night much worse than anything Girardi has done).

Like I said above, the thing about last night wasn't having him sit, it's the way it became a "thing."
   23. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#3895484)
Really? Obviously he knows the man a ton and three-quarters better than I do, but I'm all sorts of dumbfounded that it spiraled like that. I don't believe that Girardi had a "bat him 8th and he'll be fine but bat him one spot lower and it might be a problem" thought. To say nothing of the surprise that he likely felt when one of his guys flat-out refused to play, which couldn't have happened to Girardi much in the past.
   24. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3895488)
If it was as easy to DL someone for no particular reason as many of us here think it is, I think the Yankees would "DL" Posada as soon as Rod returns.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 08, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#3895489)
Obviously I'm engaging in conjecture here but I don't think it's a reach to see where a guy like Posada ("proud" is a word that always seemed to follow him around) would view batting 9th as a slap in the face. I don't think Girardi could have expected Posada to react AS badly as he did but that he would be pissed off seemed perfectly reasonable to expect. That doesn't mean a manager shouldn't make the move, but there is a Human Resources aspect to the job that I don't get the sense is Girardi's strong suit.
   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:03 PM (#3895493)
a) again, batting ninth as opposed to eighth? It just doesn't make sense to me that one is signifiantly different than the other.

b) if I'm seeing this wrong, if it was obvious to an insider like Girardi that it's a slap in the face, maybe this was his way to motivate his old, tired DH. You try carrots, but always be ready to use sticks.
   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3895496)
again, batting ninth as opposed to eighth? It just doesn't make sense to me that one is signifiantly different than the other.


I agree it doesn't make sense. I can easily see how a guy would perceive 8th as "batting down in the linuep" while 9th would be "last? I'm ####### last? Screw this #######!"

if I'm seeing this wrong, if it was obvious to an insider like Girardi that it's a slap in the face, maybe this was his way to motivate his old, tired DH. You try carrots, but always be ready to use sticks.


I had not considered that as a possibility. That's definitely a reasonable positiion.
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3895500)
You know what's after ninth? Yup. Posada's batting tenth.
   29. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3895504)
What strikes me about this is this is the second time Girardi has done something like this on the game's biggest stage

Could be that he used the big stage to have the Posada demotion be just one of several competing stories, as opposed to doing it last week during the White Sox series, or this week against the Angels where it would be the focal story.
   30. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3895506)
If it was as easy to DL someone for no particular reason as many of us here think it is, I think the Yankees would "DL" Posada as soon as Rod returns.

And who's to say that a bruised ego isn't a legitimate injury?
   31. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 08, 2011 at 06:55 PM (#3895525)
I suspect there's some wishful thinking on the part of Yankee fans, believing that once he's promoted to the big leagues, he'll become fully engaged and starting tearing up the league.

He's had a serious of minor injuries that have sidelined him for stretches through out the season, I wonder if that's kept him from ever getting into a groove.

Probably worth a go, he can't be much worse than Posada or Cervelli at this point.

I think this is the big point in favor of calling him up. Whatever his issues, he almost certainly better than they are and could be way better, he needs to get called up ASAP.
   32. Run Joe Run Posted: August 08, 2011 at 09:18 PM (#3895648)
There always has been friction between Girardi and Posada. It probably started when Torre kept running Girardi's carcas out behind the plate instead of turning over the job to the younger/better Posada. It took Cashman letting Joe go to Chicago for Posada to get the job. Girardi probably overvalues the "skills" he had as a catcher - defense/team leader. He sees those skills in washouts like Martin and Cervelli. Notice Girardi doesn't criticize their games.

Joe G undervalues the skills Posada has and overstates his weaknesses. I do think it is getting close to the end of the line for Jorge. But I understand why Posada may believe that Girardi is the reason his career started late and ended early.
   33. Sam M. Posted: August 08, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#3895654)
You know what's after ninth? Yup. Posada's batting tenth.


A clever riff on Spinal Tap. Most line-ups only go up to nine. Across the board.
   34. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 08, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#3895665)
Dozens of careers spontaneously combust each year. It's just not widely reported.

So when Posada's playing out there, he's like a preserved moose.
   35. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 09, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3895848)
If it was as easy to DL someone for no particular reason as many of us here think it is, I think the Yankees would "DL" Posada as soon as Rod returns.


I bet the questionable DLings are done with the consent of the player though, I can't imagine Posada would do anything other than tell the Yankees to stuff it at this point if they came to him and said they wanted to put him on the DL for a bit.
   36. asinwreck Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3895878)
Well this is thoroughly depressing.
It really puts perspective on things, though, doesn't it?
Too much, there's too much ####### perspective now.
   37. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#3895921)
Classic Red Sox, bad-mouthing their player so the fans will get mad at him instead of the team when he goes elsewhere.
   38. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#3896015)
Joe G undervalues the skills Posada has and overstates his weaknesses.

No, its that he no longer has the skills he had. he can't catch anymore and he's hitting like Girardi.
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:20 AM (#3896048)
What the Yankees need is a designated hitter for their designated hitter.
   40. Sam M. Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:33 AM (#3896054)
designated hitter for their designated hitter.


I believe this is known as "designate for assignment" situation.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:38 AM (#3896058)
If the bulk of the playing time is going to Chavez, this seems like a self-correcting problem once Chavez gets injured again. (Remember - earlier in the year he broke his toe legging out a triple.)

Seems like they're hesitant to bring up Montero.

Posada may have lost his ability to hit, but color me unconvinced that he absolutely can't hit lefties anymore, what with 65 PA of "evidence." IIRC he's hit them fine the last few years, so if he's lost his ability to hit them, it's a new thing, and one that is unclear after 65 PA.

His home/road splits are curious -- .806 OPS at home, .529 OPS on the road. He did have a huge June (1.007 OPS), but the rest of his year has sucked.

I'd probably still go with him over Chavez, even if Chavez could stay healthy. Though I'd go with Andruw Jones against lefties (not because I think Posada can't hit them, but because Jones mashes them).

My depth chart at DH:

Montero
Posada vs. righties
Jones vs. lefties
Chavez
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:16 AM (#3896067)
Don't forget that Posada is by far Jeter's best buddy on the team. Cutting Posada also cuts close to the bone of another aging legend.

It's complicated. I think they let Jorge stagger into September, even if just for Jeter's sake.

The fall of the empire is never pretty.
   43. KT's Pot Arb Posted: August 09, 2011 at 04:45 AM (#3896073)
I thought Montero had been figured out by AAA pitchers and was no longer a top prospect?

Bwaahaaahaaaa!

Year OPS .786 vs minor league career .863, not much below expectation, esp. for such a young player.

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