Leadership: How Jorge Posada Can Still Carry Yankees Load With Bad Shoulder

Brian HegtCorrespondent IApril 29, 2008

While Posada's shoulder had been bothering him since the Yanks broke camp in the end of March, he was still able to produce very typical Jorge Posada numbers. While it must not be expected for a catcher to hit .338 every season, as Posada did last year, he was still batting .302 before he was placed on the disabled list.

In a clubhouse that many times resembles a Hollywood red carpet event, Posada has been one of the few Yankees who has not conformed to that atmosphere. Posada at this point has been with the Yanks since 1995... longer than Derek Jeter.

While Jeter is the captain and front man for the organization, Posada's personality in the clubhouse has been just as important. 

In a season where the Yanks have been largely underachieving, a lack of talent must not be deemed the reason for this. From a vastly improved Johnny Damon at the top, to a rising offensive star in Melky Cabrera at the bottom, this lineup should be giving every pitching staff in baseball a headache every night.

Posada was most certainly contributing to this type of offense.


Since the Yanks' lack of success is not attributed to its offense, who is to blame?

Joe Girardi? Hank Steinbrenner? Brian Cashman?

None of these are viable scape goats and yes, a case could be made to blame the pitching staff, but Wang is 5-0 and Pettite is 3-2 with a low 3 ERA. The pitching staff will come into its own eventually, as Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes are showing progression through each appearance.

The scape goat for the Yankees stumbling out of the gate lies in the clubhouse. 

The clubhouse has become a safe haven from the troubles that occur on the field for the Yankees.

How does one solve a problem like this?

Since Joe Girardi has decided to enroll in the Joe Torre school of managing and keep his hands behind his back and his mouth closed, there is nothing Girardi can do to light a fire under the Yankees. Derek Jeter, the captain of the team is as everyone knows a very mellow, mild mannered, laid back person. If he tried to light the fire under the Yankees, he would alienate everyone in the clubhouse.

The only person that can possibly light the fire under the Yankees is Jorge Posada.

Posada has become the only person in that clubhouse who has enough respect from the fans, the manager, the administration, the media, and most importantly the players.

All it takes for Posada is to throw a few chairs in the club house, throw a water cooler after a strikeout, argue balls and strikes from behind the plate.

However, Posada is currently on the DL. If Posada is serious though about stepping up and becoming a leader, this injury may become a blessing in disguise.

All Posada needs to do is prove to his team mates that the point of the game is NOT to get back into the country club of a clubhouse and make them feel even the slightest bit of discomfort in their own home.