Jorge Posada excused himself from the Yankees’ lineup Saturday night. Whether because he didn’t appreciate being asked to bat ninth (for the first time since 1999) or because his back was hurting … Well, we still don’t know, exactly.
But here’s what Posada said after the game:
I told him I couldn’t play today. That I needed time to … first to clear my head, and that was it. My back stiffened up a little bit. I was taking a lot of ground balls at first base, and worked out and … wasn’t 100 percent.
When asked about batting ninth, Posada claimed that wasn’t an issue, and repeated his pre-game comment: “I put myself in this spot.”
Posada clearly wasn’t happy that Brian Cashman spoke to the media, saying, “I don’t know why he made a statement during the game. I don’t understand that. That’s the way he works now.”
Here’s a bit from Joe Girardi’s postgame press conference:
The conversation was really short. Jorgie came into my office and said that he needed a day — he couldn’t DH today. And that was basically the extent of the conversation … I was not made aware of his back in our conversation.
According to Gordon Edes, Girardi also said, "He told me he needed a day. He made no reference to batting ninth. He made no reference to his back. He needed a day.’’
And finally, Girardi also reportedly said, ""I’m not going to talk about this much."
Which is exactly what he should do: not talk about it much. To whatever degree possible, this should stay within the clubhouse. Which would be true no matter who the player, but particularly with a player who’s been a member of the Yankee family for more than 20 years.
Posada might well have been a little sore, but you can’t help suspecting that his soreness wouldn’t have been enough to keep him out of the lineup if he’d been penciled into the seventh slot rather than the ninth.
After all these years of comporting himself with great grace, Posada probably deserves “a day” … and if there’s a question about his “legacy” it won’t be answered tonight, or tomorrow. It will be answered, with some help from the organization, over the next few weeks and months.