It rarely ends in a storybook fashion for athletes and racehorses.
Andy Pettitte got while the gittin’ was good before he became diminished by the ravages of time. Posada didn’t mostly because he’s still under contract.
With the decision by manager Joe Girardi that Posada will no longer play regularly, the question then becomes will he even be on the roster by August 31st for post-season eligibility.
I don’t think it’s been decided yet, but the Yankees are going to be in the market for a better bat a la Jim Thome to fill the DH slot. If they acquire someone of that ilk, they’ll let Posada go. Short of that, Posada might hang around on the roster as an extra bat with some pop, a good eye and post-season experience.
But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Rivera’s micro-slump is nothing to be concerned about. Jeter is what he is but can still contribute; the Yankees fans who refer to him as “Captain DP” while cheering madly during the storybook game in which he recorded his 3000th hit should have their fan cards revoked.
But Posada has always been a complicated character. Prideful and difficult, he has made things worse for himself and the team than was necessary. The implication that Girardi is using a so-called “rift” between he and his former backup and eventual successor behind the plate to “get back” at Posada is ludicrous.
Girardi’s and Posada’s relationship isn’t buddy-buddy, but it’s professional. In 2009, Girardi did make a mistake in letting the game-calling disagreements between Posada and the pitchers fester—he should’ve stepped in. But now, there’s no evidence that personality is entering into the equation. The manager’s job is to win games and if Posada can help Girardi achieve that end better than the other options, he’ll be in the lineup.
The fiction writers and romantics would prefer Posada do something spectacular to cap off a potential Hall of Fame career, then saunter off into retirement.
But Jorge Posada doesn’t saunter. He charges.
He’s been benched. He can’t catch anymore. His hitting doesn’t justify a place in the lineup.
Will it justify a place on the roster in the coming weeks? And who’s going to go when Alex Rodriguez returns?
Judging by the way thing are proceeding, I don’t think it’s hard to figure out what’s going to happen with Posada. Not hard to figure out at all.
It’s how most of these stories end. That’s reality. That’s the truth.