Jorge Posada Risking His Own Legacy More Than A-Rod's with PED, Yankees Comments

Anthony Witrado@@awitradoFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2015

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For all of the non-talking baseball players do during their playing days, it's ironic how chatty and controversial they get after exiting the field for the final time and are trying to sell their own piece of media.

Jorge Posada, one of the great New York Yankee catchers in franchise history, is the latest to stroll this road as he pumps his autobiography The Journey Home: My Life in Pinstripes. While promoting the book Wednesday on CBS This Morning, Posada waxed high and mighty on performance-enhancing drugs and where players who have used them, or are suspected to have used, ought to stand within the game.

Alex Rodriguez, a teammate for eight seasons, was his highest-profile target, but Posada also played with Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte during his Yankee career. All three are linked to PEDs.

Posada also said he resented Rodriguez for taking away American League MVP votes from him in the 2003 season, when Posada finished third.

In taking this approach to promote his book, Posada comes off as bitter and vengeful, and he's at risk of putting cracks in a Yankee legacy that already had them before this rant.

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"No," Posada said when asked if PED users should be in the Hall of Fame. "I don't think it's fair for the guys that have been in the Hall of Fame that played the game clean. … I don't think it’s fair. I really don't. I think the guys that need to be in the Hall of Fame need to be a player that played with no controversy."

Ben Maller @benmaller

Sounds like Yankees icon Jorge Posada is so desperate that he will say and do just about anything to help sell his book.

Rodriguez is in his first season since sitting out all of 2014 for a PED-related offense, the longest suspension ever handed down to a big leaguer for violating Major League Baseball's doping laws. Since returning to the Yankees, A-Rod has been a model of modesty and gratitude and a significant middle-of-the-order piece to the team's lineup as it sits atop the AL East standings.

In a season free of A-Rod controversy, he did his best to defuse Posada's attack.

"I have nothing but good things to say about Jorgie," Rodriguez told reporters Wednesday, also saying he considers Posada a friend.

"In fairness to Jorgie, I haven't read the book," Rodriguez continued. "I haven't read anything, so I have to put it all in context. I'm not really prepped to answer those questions."

And to the claim that Rodriguez snatched votes in the MVP race from Posada in 2003, a season in which Rodriguez has admitted using PEDs while with the Texas Rangers, he was again diplomatic.

"I mean, 2003 is a long time ago," Rodriguez told the assembled media. "All my energy is focused on 2015."

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

For once, 2015 has been the year of class and humility for Rodriguez. For Posada, it seems like whining, a side of him the Yankees occasionally saw during his playing days. The most notable incident happened in 2011 when Posada refused to play after finding out manager Joe Girardi hit him ninth in the batting order. When asked if Posada was insubordinate at the time, general manager Brian Cashman said, "I'm not going to comment."

"I felt like I wasn't being treated right, that people weren't always being as straightforward with me as I wanted them to be or treating me as I deserved to be treated, and I exploded," Posada wrote in the book about his refusal to play (h/t New York Daily News' Sherryl Connelly).

Posada also complained about his role with the team before that refusal to play when he was relegated to a DH role and was no longer the primary catcher under Girardi's management. Posada said he felt disrespected at the time.

Before that, Posada was known for ignoring the instructions of Girardi, who was then Joe Torre's bench coach. Posada would also ignore scouting reports and call pitches on the fly in defiance of Girardi, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24:  Jorge Posada addresses the media during a press conference to announces his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of  New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Posada is one of the great Yankees, especially since he was part of four World Series winners. He ranks third in franchise history in games caught (1,574) and FanGraphs' WAR (44.3) among catchers. He is second in home runs by a catcher (275) and fourth in weighted runs created (123) at the position.

But for as good as he was on the field as part of the Core Four—Posada, Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera—Posada's outlying reputation was not stellar, mainly because of his gripes as his career neared its end in 2011.

This book tour, which has so far been a bridge-torching bonanza less than a week in, smacks of bitterness. If he continues promoting his work in this fashion, he risks damaging his legacy while someone like Rodriguez comes off as the bigger man since he's suddenly learned some principal PR rules.

Posada should be advised to stop the criticism of others. If he does not, he might completely burn his bridge to the only organization he's ever known.

All quotes, unless otherwise specified, have been acquired firsthand by Anthony Witrado. Follow Anthony on Twitter @awitrado and talk baseball here.

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