Monday, May 16, 2011

The Circus Is Back In Town

"Nothing happened, nothing at all." That was the response given when reporters asked Derek Jeter what happened at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. As far as the Yankee oganization is concerned, the Posada matter is closed, forgiven and forgotten. Each party had something to be sorry for come Sunday morning.

It was Saturday afternoon and reporters strolled into the stadium to find the lineup card posted as usual. But on that card was something that hadn't been in 12 years. Jorge Posada was batting ninth. Reporters then went to Posada and asked if he was aware of his place in the lineup and if he was upset. Posada's initial reaction was the one he should have stuck with. The long time catcher turned DH explained that he was aware and that he put himself in the postion and "the only way out of it is by producing."

Sometimes our initial reactions are not how we really feel. Sometimes we can only truly react to something after it has been internalized. Joe Girardi had needlessly dropped Posada in the lineup. The drop to the 9 spot served no effective purpose and seemingly threw salt in an open (and some might say already infected) wound. Posada wasn't happy and he intended to make it known. He went to Andruw Jones and informed him that Jones should expect to play. Then, about an hour before game time, Posada went into the manager's office and asked to be pulled from the lineup. What actually took place in what was said to be a short meeting is unclear. It has been suggested that Posada took issue with being batted ninth although Girardi just said that Posada told him "he needed a day." Posada got his wish. He spent the entirety of Saturday nights game on the bench.

It has certainly been tough on Posada. He has gone from being in the most important position on the field to not even on the field. He has an incredibly diminished role and he is not trasitioning well at all. Posada is batting just .160 this season.

During the game, rumors swirled over what could be the reason for Posada's actions. Initial reactions were that the fan favorite was going to announce a mid-season retirement. Then, slowly, that was ruled out and dispelled by his father and tweets from his wife. Tales of back stiffness began to leak to the media but Brian Cashman believed otherwise. So much so that he appeared on national television before the end of the game to let everyone know that the situation was not injury related but further than that, he would not comment.

Posada took issue with Cashman's actions as well. The media is not supposed to be addressed about the day's matters until the game is over.

Finally, the game ended. What had been an embarrassing 6-0 loss was remarkably overshadowed by the looming statement to be made by Posada. Girardi spoke first. Joe handled the press conference with the utmost amount of professionalism and respect for his player's situation. Despite the fact that what Posada did was a clear case of insubordination, the manager protected his player. Regardless of how upset Girardi was at Posada, it was not made public.

At last, it was Posada's turn. He explained that he "felt stiffness in his back" but assured reporters that it was nothing to be concerned about. He then went on to say that he needed some time to clear his head. Kim Jones, the on field reporter for the YES network, went on to ask the dumbest question of the night. "Jorge, is it clear now?" She asked in reference to his head. Although the question itself was incredibly stupid, Kim did her job by making Posada open up a little and give a not so scripted response. Posada let out a small laugh and explained that he would need a bit more time and that him playing Sunday's game was not yet decided. He said he needed time to talk to the people around him in his life and specifically mentioned his wife. When asked if retirement was ever on his mind, Posada's reaction was of shock and amusement. He laughingly explained that retirement was not on his mind.


Sunday came and with that came an apology. Posada went to Girardi and had what was said to be an emotional meeting with the manager. Posada apologized to Girardi and likely Girardi to Posada for dropping him needlessly in the lineup. Posada chalked it all up to a bad day. Girardi told Posada that he can turn this around and that he wanted Posada to feel "joy" again.

Posada also set things straight with Cashman. Cashman then briefed Hal and Hank Steinbrenner and Randy Levine. The organization then released a statement that they were accepting Posada's apology and that no disciplinary action would be taken. The Yankees considered the matter closed.

Jeter, who's silence was noted on Saturday night, addressed the media and explained that there was no need for Posada to apologize to his teammates. Jeter said "if I felt he had done something wrong, I would be the first to tell him."

Soon the game was under way and the Yankees showed more life than the night before. However, some more sloppy mistakes put them down 7-5. Although the Yanks would go on to lose by that score, one question was certainly answered. The question was; are the fans still in Posada's corner? The answer is undoubtedly yes.

The "Bleacher Creatures" had already shown their support of Posada by including him in roll call. Posada responded with a wave from the dugout. Later, Andruw Jones was set to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. But when a batter emerged from the dugout to take some practice swings, it wasn't Jones. Posada had a helmet on and was ready to go. The crowd rose to their feet and let Posada know just how much he means to the fans. The fans let out a thunderous applause that seemed to last the entirety of his at-bat.

That show of support for Posada not only showed him how we as fans feel about him but also showed the rest of baseball that through the trials and tribulations, we Yankee fans stand tall.

Posada eventually walked but was stranded on first.

The team is playing badly. But like Posada, Girardi believes that the team too can turn this around.

Sloppy baseball will get you to last place and no where else.



Rafael Soriano is still feeling tenderness in his elboy. He will be unavailable for the Tampa Series and may need to be put on the DL.

Cough, what a mistake it was to sign this over paid baby. Cough cough
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