Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bronx Tales: Fans Stand with Jorge!

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Jorge Posada's days as a New York Yankee may be concluding sooner than most expected. Jorge, always a fan favorite, will either be traded/released or given the ultimate insult by watching the Yanks acquire a new everyday pinch hitter.

In case your eyes were closed... Manager Girardi demoted Posada to 9th in the batter order a few days ago. An insulted Posada then begged out of the lineup which triggered a media flurry after a mid-game interview with GM Cashman suggested Jorge's pouting. The frenzy continued for a few days. Jorge apologized. Girardi was somewhat non-controversial during interviews. Captain Derek Jeter stood up for his teammate attempting to snuff out negativity before it took hold. (Let us not forget the very public negotiating sessions between Yanks brass and their Captain which left everyone scratching their heads. Jeter too began the year with a dreadful slump.) He did what every good team Captain should do.. stick up for his longtime teammate.

Posada is a Yankees legend. His resume is quite impressive: 17 seasons, 1748 games played, 4 World Series titles, 6 AL Pennants, 5 time All Star, 5 Silver Sluggers, 120 Playoff appearances, 267 HR's, .274 career BA, career .852 OPS.

NY Daily News reported there's been a rift between Girardi and Posada for years especially when it comes to calling games behind the plate. No wonder why Jorge's been relegated to full time DH. This was a slap in the face. A 16 year vet told he can no longer catch, ever. Not a single game. DH only. Like it or leave it. Posada should have been told maybe 2 or 3 games a week behind the plate and DH the rest. His 17th, and potentially final MLB season, has not been good. Posada ranks dead last in batting average. He'll no longer start games vs left handers (0-24). Slowly but surely Girardi is fading out Jorge.

Have Jorge's skills diminished to the point of deserving being forced out of the game? Absolutely not! Every player experiences a dry spell. Fine tuning his batting stance and attitude will go a long way. Perhaps, after the brouhaha, intense focus was found? Time will tell.

Yankees are no strangers to forcing out players. Bernie Williams lack of a contract offer woth plenty of swing left was tragic. Barely a farewell and thank you for being a top clutch performer throughout an illustrious career. Same was done to one of the "most feared hitters" of his generation, Jim Rice. Tom Seaver was left off the 1986 Red Sox post-season roster altogether. LaRussa vs Ozzie Smith was well publicized too.

Jorge has one option. Hit. Posada must get his head (and bat) 100% focused on baseball. If his average doesn't significantly improve before the All Star break then New York will make a move. For now, he's a left handed DH and occasional pinch hitter until things improve. Just in case the love of playing baseball is gone, then hang up your spikes with dignity and grace.

Yankees fans quickly forgave Posada. Number 20 is certain to receive a standing ovation when he steps to the plate at Yankee Stadium. New York fans love heroes. Jorge, now's your chance to go out in a blaze of glory. We'd all love to see your snap out of it and put up big numbers, win games and contribute towards another World Series Championship.

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