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Filip Bondy zeroes in on the important part of Mariano Rivera’s big day

Sep 20, 2011, 9:14 AM EDT

Image (1) doublefacepalm.jpg for post 6458

I noted the whole “Jorge Posada should catch Mariano Rivera‘s 602nd save” phenomenon yesterday, but I can’t say I expected it to be put so starkly and stupidly by someone who gets paid to write about sports.  Of course no one has ever gone broke underestimating the level of discourse from Filip Bondy of the Daily News:

… Girardi has a blind spot. He has disrespected Jorge Posada all season and it was no different on Monday. Here was a perfect opportunity, with a two-run lead, for Girardi to bring Posada off the bench to catch Rivera in the ninth inning for the closer’s 602nd save … It was a missed opportunity at Yankee diplomacy, and it happened simply because Girardi has no patience for Posada.

Well no, he didn’t have the “perfect opportunity” because Posada had already been used as a pinch hitter two innings prior. But let’s not let that get in the way of some good righteous indignation.

But sure, there may or may not be such a thing as “Yankee diplomacy” and it may or may not require some degree of obeisance. I’d venture, however, that any set of policies and protocols which require Joe Girardi to put a guy who has caught 2/3 of a single baseball game all year into the ninth inning of a late season baseball game is not worth honoring.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Filip Bondy? Do you expect accuracy from a writer that spells their first name “Filip” as opposed to “Philip”?

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      To be fair his parents put the name on the birth certificate. I could be wrong and he changed it to Filip though…

    • scatterbrian - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      Try broadening your horizons. Filip is a non-American spelling of Phillip. Besides, how long did it take you to learn the spelling of “biceps”?

  2. steve keane - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    You have to remember Filip Bondy is the same writer who enjoys hanging with the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee Stadium just to watch them urinate on a wall in the Stadium parking lot

  3. yankeesfanlen - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    I think Filip Bondy usually covers curling for the Daily News, so he may be a bit out of his element here. Or out of his mind.

  4. The Common Man - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    Why didn’t Theo Epstein mandate that Jorge Posada should catch the 9th? Another failure.

  5. yankeesgameday - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Look, it’s done and the world keeps turning, so no thus wasn’t the biggest issue on the planet, but let me just say that putting posada in the game would have meant a lot to him, to the Yankee fans in attendance and watching on tv, and Rivera said it would have meant a lot to him.

    It would have made a great moment even more special for everyone involved and Giradi booted it because if his pride.

    The Yankee organization dos

    • yankeesgameday - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      The Yankee organization doesn’t always do right by its stars or former stars. Don’t forget, even the great Yogi Berra was exiled from Yankee stadium for years because he had a rift with the boss.

      I won’t lose any sleep about millionaires not getting their way, but you can’t deny that this was more about the personal issues between manager and player than anything else.

      • Matt - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

        Or, perhaps it was more about the manager knowing that Posada has no business being behind the plate in any game where it can be prevented.

      • aleskel - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        I’m with Matt, Posada is simply a liability as a catcher (he was last year too, but the Yankees didn’t have a viable alternative). Remember this game from last year?

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA201009260.shtml

        The Red Sox stole 4 (!) bases off of Posada in the 9th to set up the tying and go-ahead runs. Can you imagine the reaction if that had happened yesterday?

      • lardin - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        The Yankees organization has done things poorly in the past but exiling Yogi Berra is not one of them. Steinbrenner fired Yogi. No biggy managers get fired all the time. But, Yogi felt disrespected and went into SELF EXILE. Steinbrenner did not kick Yogi out of the Yankees family, Yogi left on his own.

  6. Jonny 5 - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    I think his behavior after being moved to batting 9th is enough of a reason for Posada to lose his right to catch for this. Which btw is not any big deal at all anyway. When Rivera’s history is mentioned it won’t be in the same breath as Posada or Martin anyway. This is his record, who gives a crap who catches it?

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      You’re right Jonny. And who has done more for the Yankees behind the plate this year than Martin?

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        That goes without saying. He’s exceeded all expectations in NY. He’s become better in NY for some reason.

  7. cubsrice - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    I don’t know if it’s been pointed out yet, but there was a possibility that Joe Girardi could’ve double-switched out the catcher and surrendered the DH so Posada could catch for Mo, but that would have been epically stupid considering it was still technically a close game, although you could argue that the Twins’ anemic offense had no chance against Mo. It’s a really stupid thing to write about. I do like how Posada had Mo go back out alone to soak in his moment of glory though, so I don’t think he felt disrespected or anything, or at least didn’t let his ego get in the way of Mo’s achievement.

  8. celauritz - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Ummm. He did mention in the article that Posada was used as a pinch-hitter. To write as if he didn’t have his facts straight is worse than making a mistake.

    • cubsrice - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA201109190.shtml

      Posada pinch-hit for Montero in the DH spot and since Russell Martin got an AB in the same inning, the double-switch I outlined could’ve happened, but Girardi wisely kept the better catcher in the game.

  9. cur68 - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    So Posada got disrespected, eh? Cry me a river. Never mind the fact he was ineligible to catch. Lets look at the other, forgotten guy in all this. Remember the guy who did catch 602? Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr? Did he not deserve to be respected? He’s put in a long year, getting the beaver juice beat out him, chasing and blocking AJ’s wild pitching, trying to see around the vast and looming presence of Cap’n Crunch, massaging the Dugong with milk to get him through games without his flipper falling off, waiting for what seems like years for Freddy’s fastball to arrive, and cajoling Nova to throw it over the plate, like a big boy. Not to mention that cast of bullpen characters and their penchant for looking erratic.

    His one break would come in the 9th. ~42 times in the 9th, when all he has to do hold up the glove where Mo said the ball would be. He could relax then. You know who deserved to catch 602? It was the guy tasked with AJ, The Dugong, Cap’n Crunch, Freddy, and Nova (we really gotta get name for this kid, but he has no presence, no history yet. Perhaps next season?). The guy who acted like a human bang-wall back there every time AJ tried to go for the single game wild pitch record. Who had to keep an eye on runners trying to steal 2nd from around Sabbathia and his physics defying challenge of The Panda for blowing up like helium balloon over the course of a season. Freddy and the Dugong were just icing on what must have been a cake of ashes that represented catching that lineup (to be fair, he could at least count on Cap’n Crunch to get it done and he would be out of the sun for the most part. CC casts a biiiiiiiig shadow).

    Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr deserved to be part of Mo’s history and I’m glad Girardi saw it that way too.

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      If he wins big, he’s SuperNova
      If he wins, he’s BossaNova
      If he loses, he’s ChevyNova.

      • cur68 - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        From your perspective, perhaps so, Len. From the perspective of someone who roots for a competing team in the AL BEast, not so much with the first two. Surely we can get something going that all of us can agree on about 75% of he time? (I say 75 because I know my HBT commenters. Just the fact I’ve pulled a number out of my a$$ and booted it WRT to Posada being ineligible has some of them in a squirm of uproar. I’d take it all back of course, but I don’t have an EDIT FUNCTION, now do I?)

  10. CJ - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    I bet Girardi used him as a PH earlier to burn up his eligibility in the game so this wouldn’t be near as hotly debated as it oculd have been. And if that was actually how it went down, it’s pretty brilliant IMO.

    I mean honestly, what can Posada do better than Montero at plate (as a batter) anyway at this point in their careers? He used the guy up so he couldn’t catch for the save and he wouldn’t have to hear about it either way (what if he didn’t put him in to catch? what if he did and he blew the game?). It was a no win situation, but he might’ve come out the winner anyway with that move. Well played.

    • cubsrice - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      He could’ve had Posada in the game in a double-switch that would forfeit the DH as I said above. I’m glad he did not.

      • CJ - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        yes, I saw that the first two times you wrote it :)

        my point isn’t what he could’ve doe differently, but that he played it that way on purpose so Posada didn’t go unused on the bench for the entire game.

      • cubsrice - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        I honestly don’t think Girardi cared what Posada thought and if he hadn’t pinch-hit for Montero, Posada would still be glued to the bench. It’s kind of funny that he used Posada in that spot to increase the odds of a GIDP so Mo could still have a shot at a save ;)

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