In a move to shakeup the New York Yankees line-up, Manager Joe Girardi penciled his slumping designated hitter, Jorge Posada, into the ninth spot of the batting order before tonight's game against their division rivals the Boston Red Sox. Posada, the one-time starting catcher regulated to a DH position this season, apparently disagreed with the demotion and pulled himself from the line-up before Saturday's nationally-televised game.
According to Fox Sports, the proud Posada met with Girardi an hour before the game and came out saying he wouldn't play. No one knows what was said in the meeting.
During the past three losses, the Yankees have left 37 runners on base.
There was speculation that the 38 year-old Posada would not accept batting ninth and that there was even talk of retirement. Chances are Posada, one of the Yankees original Core Four players, wouldn't walk away from the remainder of his $13 million contract.
This weekend's series against the Sox is an important barometer of where the Yankees are headed. The team has lost three straight and dropped out of first place in the AL East. They in the midst of a grueling schedule where they play 32 games in 33 days. Discord in the clubhouse could make things worse.
Posada has been slumping badly. He has an anemic batting average of .165 as the DH and hasn't hit a home run in weeks. Fans have been calling for his head for the last month of play.
Russell Martin has been the Yankees starting catcher all season and hasn't let the team down. The Yankees also have a streaking prospect, Jesus Montero, on their Triple-A club in Scranton. Montero is batting .325 and has 2 home-runs. He looks ready to jump up to the bigs.
Whether or not Posada is in breach of contract with the Yankees is one thing, but acting like a spoiled brat is another issue.
The next month of the schedule will probably exhaust a lot of Yankees players. If Posada decides not to play, it might be a blessing in disguise. It would free up the DH spot and allow older players like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and even Martin the luxury of resting while having just DH duties.
Posada, as one of the respected veterans on the Yankees, should conduct himself in a more fitting manner. He has no one to blame but himself for his poor showing so far this season.