The Bronx Zoo is Back
Last night Jorge Posada became the human equivalent of the cobra fleeing the Bronx Zoo. Like the missing cobra, this story has generated lots of media attention. The facts seem to be the following:
- Joe Girardi penciled Posada in the line-up in the 9th spot
- Posada asked to have the day off an hour before the game
- No injury was discussed with either Girardi or Cashman before the game
Now people are discussing voiding Posada's contract over this. People have pointed out Shawn Chacon getting his contract voided after assaulting Astros GM Ed Wade. I haven't heard anyone mention Denny Neagle but he also had his contract voided after soliciting oral sex from a prostitute (perhaps the worlds most costly BJ as Neagle still had $19 million left on his contract). As chest puffing talk about voiding contracts may be - Posada didn't physically assault his GM nor did his actions violate any moral turpitude clauses. He asked for a night off.
I also question the wisdom of the move in pure baseball terms. Last night the Yankees were facing a top right handed pitcher in Josh Beckett. Consider these 2010 numbers vs RHP. Jorge Posada has a 2010 OPS of .742 vs RHP. Nick Swisher has a .589 2010 OPS vs RHP. Derek Jeter has a .578 2010 OPS vs RHP. Posada has double the HR vs RHP in 2010 than Swisher and Jeter combined. Yet it was Posada who was being dropped to the 9th spot in the order.
This wasn't a baseball related move. This wasn't even a personnel move. This was a personal move. Girardi wanted to send a message to Posada (and maybe get a dig in for old grudges against the player who took his roster spot). Posada let his pride get in the way of business. Cashman wants to show the world he's a daredevil now.
I am less than impressed with Girardi as a manager. Tito Francona was able to move a $142 million player to the 8th spot in the order this season with little fanfare. Girardi can't even handle moving a player hitting .165 for the season to the 9th spot in the order without tripping all over himself. As a Red Sox fan - I hope that Girardi is the Yankees manager for many years to come.
Jorge Posada has a $13 million contract this year. He has to know that this is his last season and he also has to know that he has ZERO trade value. The Yankees want him to walk away so they don't have to pay his $13 million. That's why the talk about contract voiding came up so soon. They are daring Posada to quit and solve the problem for them.
Cashman seems to be marking his territory. Rafael Soriano wasn't his decision and Cashman has made that clear. Cashman is not to blame for that. Maybe bringing Jorge back wasn't either. You have to wonder if Cashman is laying the groundwork to avoid him being the scapegoat for when this team implodes?
The Bronx Zoo is back and if Posada is the equivalent of the run away cobra then what does that make Giradi and Cashman? I'd say Girardi would be a near-sighted rhinoceros with Cashman being a weasel.