New York Yankees Joe Girardi Will Embarrass Jorge Posada Even More

Harold FriendChief Writer IAugust 8, 2011

Jorge Posada
Jorge PosadaNick Laham/Getty Images

In 2008 the New York Yankees signed future Hall of Fame catcher Jorge Posada to a four-year contract for more than $52 million. It was a terrible move for both the Yankees and Posada.

Since signing the contract at the age of 36, Posada has hit .258/.349/.451. He has averaged 13 home runs and 48 RBIs a season, including 2011.

He doesn't figure to play much more this year.

From his first part-time season in 1997 through and including 2007, Posada hit .278/.381/.481, averaging about 20 home runs and 78 RBIs a season. Those are Hall of Fame numbers for catchers.

This year, he is hitting only .230 with nine home runs and a paltry 31 RBIs.

Before the final game of an overly hyped three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, manager Joe Girardi told Posada that he would no longer be the team's designated hitter.

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote that "conspiracy theorists" are wondering if the timing were merely a coincidence.

Girardi informed Posada on May 14 that he would be batting ninth in a nationally televised game against the Red Sox and yesterday told him that he would no longer be the designated hitter.

It is probably that Girardi realizes that Posada has had it. He did say that he wanted to give the Yankees the best chance to beat the Red Sox, which meant no Posada in the lineup.

The Yankees overreacted after Posada, at the age of 35, batted a career high .338 with 20 home runs. Few catchers improve offensively after that age.

Hall of Fame catchers Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter, Johnny Bench and ever Yogi Berra tailed off offensively after they reached 35.

What made the Yankees think that Posada would be different? Of greater importance, what made Posada believe that he could continue at the same level?

Posada is a class individual. He has tremendous pride in his ability, which has been justified.

The right move would have been for Posada to have signed a two-year contract with an option for a third year.

Yes, the money was tempting and few individuals, if any, would have turned it down, but wouldn't it have been great if Posada had retired after the 2009 World Championship?

It's not human nature to do that.

Never more than an average catcher defensively, general manager Brian Cashman informed Posada that he would not be the Yankees catcher in 2011. Posada was displeased but $13 million removes a lot of displeasure.

A realist, Posada told the media "I'm not happy about it, but right now, I can't do [anything] about it. I put myself in this situation. You've got to just keep on working." 

Yes, he put himself in his present situation for two reasons.

He no longer is the player he once was, but more importantly, a 35-year-old catcher shouldn't sign a four-year contract. The real blame lies with the Yankees. Not too many individuals would eschew $13 million.

With only three weeks remaining before the rosters expand, the Yankees can afford to carry Posada until the end of the season, but the greatest humiliation lies ahead.

There is little chance that Posada will be on the Yankees playoff roster. The Yankees will be right.

No one knows better than Jorge Posada that the most important thing is for his team to give itself the best chance of winning. Sadly, that means the lineup should not include him.