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The Posada flap is not done yet: the Yankees’ front office is mad at Derek Jeter

May 16, 2011, 11:32 AM EDT

derek jeter and kevin long yankees Reuters

UPDATE: Peace in our time.

11:32 AM: In the wake of the Jorge Posada Sit-down-a-palooza, Derek Jeter had this to say:

“My reaction was that I didn’t think it was that big a deal,” Jeter said about the Posada incident. “If you need a day, you need a day. It’s over. It’s done. It’s not the first time a player asked out of a lineup. Joe says if you feel like you need a day, let him know. It’s understandable … Let the person dealing with it go first. I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”

That last bit seemed to refer to Brian Cashman and his in-game comments on Saturday, suggesting that Cashman spoke out of turn.  Jeter also said that he didn’t think that Posada had to apologize and that it wasn’t a big deal.   Now Buster Olney reports that those comments have angered the Yankees’ front office who, according to Olney, were so mad at Posada over all of this that they considered releasing him on the spot.

Setting that insta-release stuff aside — really? — why on Earth someone in the Yankees front office felt it necessary to tell Buster Olney that they’re mad at Jeter over all of this is beyond me.  While the big picture issue of what to do with Posada isn’t going away any time soon, this little controversy was over. It was dying, wrapped up with an apology and a standing ovation from the fans 24 hours after the the flareup began.  And now someone — Randy Levine? Cashman? A random Steinbrenner? — is throwing gas on the fire?

There was a time when the Yankees front office fought with its own players.  Then there was an extended time when it did not.  That latter period correlated with the greatest success the team had seen in decades.  I won’t say that peace caused the success because that overstates the power of harmony in an undeniably chaotic world, but it sure as hell didn’t hurt it.

I understand that Posada’s act was frustrating and that Jeter’s comments could be construed as critical of Cashman (though I think they were pretty tame ). But the suits not taking the high road here is not good for anyone.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - May 16, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Does anyone doubt that Derek Jeter is the leadoff hitter, the manager, and the General Manager of the New York Yankers at this time?

    • Glenn - May 16, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      He’s about equally good at all three these days.

    • j0esixpack - May 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      … that might not be a bad thing for the Yanks… though I understand why the front office feels they shouldn’t let the inmates run the asylum.

      That’s easier said than done – when a player like Jeter can earn enough in his career to gain a good portion of ownership of an MLB team it’s difficult to put them in their place.

      That’d be like me winning Powerball. Sure, I’ll show up to work – but if my boss doesn’t like my 3 hour lunch breaks I’ll just buy the company and fire his a$$.

    • Panda Claus - May 16, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      What I don’t doubt is that there’s a serious power struggle going on in the Yankees organization.

      Every tiny issue seems to be blown-out of proportion, oddly enough, not too dissimilar to what goes on with the Phillies. The key to all of these things staying as “big” issues or quietly going away will be determined by the respective teams’ win-loss record. In other words, winning makes these less important issues.

  2. yankeesfanlen - May 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Since you posed the who? question, I would think Randy Levine. Personally, I wouldn’t like to run into him in a dark alley.
    Jeter, in his best Chuck Schummer imitation, did have a twinge of “leave my poor sainted brother alone” in his comments which means he will have to postpone his campaign for U. S. Senator on hold til ’16.

    • Kevin S. - May 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      Maybe Levine shouldn’t have caved in and handed Jeter $40 million more than he deserves this offseason.

    • uyf1950 - May 16, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      I doubt very seriously that Jeter would have had the same comment if it were for example Swisher and not one of his “core four buddies”. What Posada did and how Posada reacted initially is inexcusable. For Jeter to toss it off as nothing more then a player needing a day off says more about Jeter and his leadership recently then anything else. The more this season goes on the less and less respect I have for Jeter.

      • bigharold - May 16, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        “For Jeter to toss it off as nothing more then a player needing a day off says more about Jeter and his leadership recently then anything else.”

        The latest in a long line of unsupportable opinions on your part.

        This entire episode is text book mountain out of a mole hill stuff. I can understand why Yankee haters are reveling in this ersatz, media driven made up controversy but a self professed Yankee fans, .. it makes one wonder which is more suspect you logic or your loyalty.

        “The more this season goes on the less and less respect I have for Jeter.”

        Completely inexplicable. Neither the Yankees, Posada nor Jeter’s reputation would not be better served had he said anything other than what he did say.

        Players ask out of the line up ALL THE TIME. Posada’s 16 years as a player for this team gives a much better indication of his character. Jeter not supporting him would have been counterproductive, out of character and wrong even if he thought that Posada was wrong, .. which he clearly didn’t nor should he have.

  3. largebill - May 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    “why on Earth someone in the Yankees front office felt it necessary to tell Buster Olney that they’re mad at Jeter over all of this is beyond me.”

    Could be wrong, but I doubt it was someone important who talked to Olney. Veteran reporters have contacts within organizations. All it takes is someone overhearing management bitching about Jeter sticking his nose in what they hoped was a calmed down situation and then repeating it with a little embellishment. I normally like Olney’s writing, but this is hardly a big deal. Does anyone think management would be happy with Jeter’s comments. So, Olney’s column just confirmed what we basically already knew. It’s no big deal unless Jeter (or someone else) decides to churn the calm waters some more.

    As an Indians fan I’d love to see it blow up into something bigger, but I expect it is a done issue as I assume someone has bended Jeter’s ear and told him to let it go.

  4. skipperxc - May 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, it is going to be HILARIOUS when the exact same situation plays out for Jeter. CAN’T WAIT

    • paperlions - May 16, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      I won’t think it’s funny, but I do think it will be interesting.
      I think the only reasons Jeter has been exempt from being dropped in the lineup are 1) he’s Derek F-ing Jeter and the Yankees don’t want to risk him blowing up publicly, and 2) so many other Yankees have been sucking. The Yankees currently have 3 players with an OBP above .350; in 2009 everyone but Melky had an OBP over .350. They sure are making a lot of outs; their current scoring rate isn’t sustainable with that out%.

  5. cur68 - May 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    My money is on Cashman. That guy spent the pre season making dumba$$ comments about his ballplayers before a pitch had even been thrown in anger. He couldn’t seem to belt up about anything. Jeets did what a captain should do which is stand up for his boy in public. All the suits should see this for what it is: a good move by the captain rather than a slight to the front office.

    • mogogo1 - May 16, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      No, a captain says and does what is best for the team. If Posada’s little tantrum is what Jeter thinks is best for the club, then they probably need to reconsider him as captain. I don’t think Posada should have been released over this like the article claims was management’s first reaction, and I don’t think the team should have gotten the press involved in the internal dealings of the team. But Jeter continuing that mistake is neither smart nor good for the team as a whole.

      • cur68 - May 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Largely I agree with your take but there’s a subtlety here. He’s not standing up for the team in public, I agree, but for Posada, his friend and teammate in public. As such his teammates feel like he has their back. Whatever he says in private to Posada remains in private. Here we come full circle; this is best for team chemistry. I could be wrong about this, of course, but I’d like to think if I screwed up in public my team captain would keep our discussions between teammates and get in front of me a little to deal with some of the flack I’d caused. That’s gotta be good for the team, right?

  6. sdelmonte - May 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    I think the real story here is the pending end of the Cashman era. I don’t know if he’s bucking the new bosses, or being abused by them. I don’t know who’s really mad at who and at what level. I just see a GM who seems out of step with the organization, and who is a free agent after this season.

    • Panda Claus - May 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      I think you’re on to something here. Some of Cashman’s maneuvers lately seem almost like he’s trying to get canned.

      • Jonny 5 - May 16, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        Yup, I think he’s on his way out too. Like he wishes for this day.

    • jamkarat - May 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM

      Totally agree. I think he had so much power when the old man was alive, and is resentful of the organization taking back that power. Since early spring his behavior and comments have been akin to someone who is out of the loop and is frantically attempting to work his way back in.
      I appreciate what Cashman has done for the Yanks-but his time is over and it’s time to go.

      • paperlions - May 16, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        If he is resentful, it is because they aren’t letting him do his job. If you don’t have confidence in someone to do a job, fire them….otherwise, GTFOOTW and let them do what you hired them to do.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        I think he had so much power when the old man was alive, and is resentful of the organization taking back that power.

        It’s actually the complete opposite. Cashman was constantly overruled by the “Tampa Group” that George kept around. Many decisions while George was alive, like the Sheffield signing and Wells agreement, were made by George himself when Cashman wanted other options.

  7. Mark Armour - May 16, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    I am not a Yankee fan (in fact, I am a Red Sox fan), but Jeter’s take is exactly mine. It might be fun for anti-Yankee people to see all of this turmoil in New York, but it seems to me that this is all on Cashman. He needs to STFU.

    • mogogo1 - May 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      Agreed on Cashman, but I’d say the exact same thing of Jeter. Dude’s a captain and getting into a public spitting match with management to protect his underperforming buddy isn’t going to help anything. This is how the Yankees of old used to operate with everybody running off at the mouth and letting personal dramas overshadow the performance of the team. Cashman and Jeter should both be smarter than this.

      • yankeesfanlen - May 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        Time again for a chapter of Know Your Yankees History:
        I can find about one instance in team history when there was a legitimate case of everyone running at the mouth that wasn’t entirely media-fueled. That was Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson c.1977-8 under the volatile managing of one Billy Martin with GMS at his most meddling activity. Actually, both years were capped by World Series victories, so I can’t complain too much.
        Additionally, Jeter and Posada are NOT Jackson and Munson, any more at least.

      • paperlions - May 16, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        You know Len, your penchant for using facts as a basis for opinion is rather refreshing.

  8. randomdigits - May 16, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    I think its pretty clear that they want from under the Posada and Jeter (Arod as well I imagine) contracts. If you tick off and offend proud players maybe they take their ball and go home which would get the Yanks off the hook for at least part of the deals.

  9. proudlycanadian - May 16, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    I doubt that either of them will finish the season in a Yankee uniform. Both are overpaid and living on their past laurels. It would do them a lot of good if they were designated for assignment.

  10. dexterismyhero - May 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    3 numbers people

    .165……he should be released if he doesn’t turn it around soon…..Last in MLB….

    • thehypercritic - May 16, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      Did you really just quite average? Yes, he’s had SIX BAD WEEKS, but the walks and power have made it barable.

      Now leading Jeter off against righties? Not so much.

      Jeter’s weighing in because he knows posada is taking canonfire from an organization trying to work up the nerve to move him to the bottom of the line-up.

      Yes, Posada overreacted, but it seems to me the Yankees mismanaged their player (after 15 years, you should talk to him in advance behind closed doors) and then talked about it publically for reasons surpassing understanding.

      • Jonny 5 - May 16, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        “Did you really just quite average? Yes, he’s had SIX BAD WEEKS, but the walks and power have made it barable.”

        Oh Gawd………

        He’s had 18 hits and 16 walks in 126 chances.

        But I do agree that the situation could have been handled better.

  11. frankvzappa - May 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    this is all going to be a lot funnier after the yankees fail to make the playoffs

  12. ta192 - May 16, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    If this turns out bad for the Yankees, then, who am I to complain…

  13. stevem7 - May 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    I’m sure hoping that Hal and Hank are getting a bellyful of Levine and Cashman. There better not be any talk of renewing Cashman’s contract which is up at the end of this year. He is the worst and weakest General Manager in all of MLB. All that money and he’s only put together 1 WS Champion. He should have been run out of town when he demanded that he have sole authority cause he’s don’t nothing but become a pip squeek with a BIG mouth.

  14. mogogo1 - May 16, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Which “1” are you counting? Because in total they’ve won 4 World Series under Cashman, three with Torre and the last with Girardi as manager. Perhaps you’re suggesting his first 3 were teams put together by somebody else? But that’s not a really strong argument, either, given he’s worked in the organization since ’86.

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