Posada's diva-like turn in last night's game puts a sour note on a solid career.
Kenny Rogers imprinted the cultural lines of knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, when to walk away and when to run. Those are lines of a veteran who knows there's only so many chances, so many chips in your hand, and when you lose them, they're gone. Somehow Jorge Posada thought he was dealing with more chips than he has.
Even as recently as last season, at 38 years of age, Posada gave the Yankees a solid hitter at catcher (and DH) with an OPS of .811 and 18 home runs. Father Time has not been kind to Posada this year as the inevitable drop-off has taken place, and Posada's numbers are sitting at a career low: .165/.272/.349. Those are the kind of numbers that get you kicked out the line-up altogether. So it's surprising, then, when Posada responded so foolishly to being placed lower in the batting order.
Last night against the Red Sox, Posada asked to be out of the line-up rather than face the embarrassment of batting ninth against the team's most hated rivals. It was a ridiculous posturing that forced the Yankees hand to call a press conference in the middle of the game, where Brian Cashman addressed the media in the fourth inning to disclose that Posada was indeed out of the line-up but not with an injury.
Posada's wife, Laura, tried to cover it up on Twitter about an injured back, but Posada himself commented later that those were not the primary issue. Now it's left the Yankees in a fix: what do they do with this irresponsible player and the bad PR that comes with such pouting? Suffice to say, the decision won't be easy. Posada's been a fixture in New York with 267 home runs and 1,036 RBI in a long Yankees career. Yet history won't reveal the franchise to be the bad guy if Posada ends up wrecking the final chapter of his baseball biography. They're simply cleaning up the mess a storied player made.
If anything, Posada needs to apologize quickly, be humble before the press, apologize in closed-door meetings with teammates and just do his talking on the field. Unfortunately, he waited until the skills were no longer there to speak for him before he opened his big mouth.