May 15, 2011, 12:02 AM EST
This thing is officially a mess, but we’re going to try to lay out all the different reports and go from there.
Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada removed himself from Saturday night’s lineup against the rival Red Sox, telling manager Joe Girardi an hour before game time that he “needed a mental day” of rest. At least, that’s how Girardi put it in his postgame press conference. A report that surfaced around the third inning from the YES Network’s Jack Curry told quite a different tale:
According to person briefed on Posada’s exchange with Girardi, Posada told mgr he was “insulted” about hitting 9th and “threw a hissy fit.”
Posada is now claiming to have a stiff back — a result of taking pregame infield practice at first base — but did not inform Girardi of the ailment during their pregame conversation.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made his way to the press box around the fourth inning to discuss the matter but did not divulge much information, saying that he “didn’t want to speak for” the 39-year-old designated hitter and that he had no knowledge of any sort of injury. Reports followed stating that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner was “in contact with Bud Selig’s office” regarding Posada’s refusal to play.
There aren’t two sides to this story. There are several. But in each one of them Posada looks like a complete clown. He either refused to play on Saturday night against the Red Sox because he felt slighted at being dropped to the ninth spot in the lineup — a preposterous attitude considering his lofty $13.1 million salary and current offensive struggles — or he’s actually injured and didn’t bother to tell anyone.
Whatever the case, it’s on Posada to patch things up. Either with a public apology or closed-door meeting with Girardi and Cashman, an apology must be issued so that the situation can blow over.
Posada is batting just .165 with a .621 OPS in 33 games this year. On a team full of aging DH types like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Andruw Jones, the guy is far more expendable than he might think.