Jorge Posada took the night off last night.
The Yankees, a struggling team right now, were in the throes of a three-The game series with their most intense rival, the Boston Red Sox.
After losing the first game of the series to Boston on Friday night, Manager Joe Girardi decided to shake things up by moving Nick Swisher to eighth in the batting order and Posada to ninth.
And Posada decided he needed a day off to “clear my head.”
Posada also claimed that he had an issue with his lower back tightening up after he took ground balls at first base.
But Girardi and General Manager Brian Cashman both denied that Posada had said anything to them about an injury.
The Yankee brass went to great pains to make it clear that Posada had not been seen by either the training staff or team physicians.
Posada was in the dugout during the game with a Yankee sweatshirt over his uniform.
Looking at the shots of Posada on the bench during the game, one image kept coming to the mind of this writer.
That image was of Nomar Garciaparra sitting with a “bad ankle” during another Yankees-Red Sox series.
That was in July 2004, the series that saw Derek Jeter fly into the stands after catching a foul pop-up.
As that game proceeded, with intense drama, every Red Sox player was up on the rail except Garciaparra who sat sulking on the bench.
Last night, the look on Posada’s face said it all. He was disgusted, he was angry, he was sulking.
Posada has always played with great pride.
And for an athlete pride is one thin slice from arrogance.
Posada has been arrogant.
Even approaching his 40th birthday, Posada still thinks he should be the Yankee catcher.
He cannot accept the fact that hitting .165 calls for a demotion in the lineup.
More to the point, Posada’s inability to produce calls for him to be benched.
But Girardi chose not to sit Posada, just to push him down in the lineup.
Posada was insulted and took a “mental health” day.
The drama around Posada’s choice to sit out has grabbed all the headlines.
But realistically, Posada is the least of the Yankees’ worries right now.
Take a look at the team and one must realize that this team has no shining lights right now.
The best player on the team is Robinson Cano. He is one player the Yankees have come to depend on more than any other.
Robbie is hitting .279. But over the last 10 games, when the Yankees have taken a nose dive, Cano is hitting only .194.
In the first two games of the Boston series, Cano has failed to get a hit.
Last night he struck out twice and left two runners on base.
But the other big sticks in the Yankee lineup have been worse.
Mark Teixeira stranded four runners in last night's game while striking out twice.
Tex is hitting only .254 for the season.
In the last 10 games he is hitting just .237 and has driven in just three runs.
Alex Rodriguez stranded five runners in last night’s game and also struck out twice.
ARod is hitting .252 for the year.
In the last 10 games Alex is hitting only .216 with just four RBI.
Nick Swisher hit 29 home runs for the Yankees last season.
Through the first 37 games this year he has only two home runs and 14 RBI.
Swisher is hitting .222 for the season and .200 for the last 10 games with only one RBI.
Russell Martin started out like a house-a-fire in 2011.
But now Martin is hitting only .254.
In the last 10 games Martin is hitting just .147 with four RBI.
After a miserable start, Derek Jeter has played much better.
Over the last 10 games, Jeter has hit .304 to raise his season average to .267.
But that is somewhat misleading.
Over the last four games, all Yankee losses, Jeter is just 3-19 at the plate.
So one must ask if he is slumping again.
Curtis Granderson has been the most consistent Yankee this season.
Over the past 10 games Granderson has hit .333 to raise his season average to .281.
He has 12 home runs and 26 RBI to date, far more than one can reasonably expect considering Granderson’s career.
Brett Gardner has improved more than any other Yankee regular, raising his average to .259 after hitting .343 in the last 10 games.
But Gardner remains an enigma.
His greatest asset has always been his speed.
But he is a terrible base runner, having been thrown out five times in ten attempts to steal this year.
Sometimes Gardner makes incredibly questionable decisions, as when he opted to bunt with two strikes in a game against the Royals this week.
Gardner successfully got on base with that bunt. But it was a bad baseball move.
As a team the Yankees are bad right now.
If you looked at one line from last night’s game you might think they had no chance in the 6-0 loss.
The Yankees had 13 strikeouts. Most of the time, if a team whiffs that many times, they were never in the game.
But the Yankees left 20 runners on base. TWENTY!
No team can leave 20 runners on base and consider winning.
In the last five games the Yankees have left 98 runners on base.
That is an unbelievable number.
In one loss to Kansas City last week, the Bombers left 35 runners on base.
In the 4-3 loss, the Yankees has 12 hits and eight walks.
But they combined to leave 35 men on the bases.
You can’t win when the entire team fails that miserably.
Nothing here speaks of the stupid defensive lapses the Yankees have had.
Or of the inconsistent pitching.
Jorge Posada is a problem for the Yankees right now.
But all things considered, he is a minor problem.
The Yankees have far too many things to worry about to dwell on an ancient, gray-headed player who can no longer contribute.
That much is logical.
But then, what do you do with Cano, Teixeira, A-Rod, Swisher, Martin and Jeter.
Too many holes to fill.
After four more games the season will be one-fourth over.
When 25 percent of the season is gone, a team must have answers.
Right now, the Yankees have none.
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