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Jorge Posada is catching Gio Gonzalez’s bullpen sessions

Jan 27, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

gio gonzalez and jorge posada

Like most pitchers, Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez has been throwing regular offseason bullpen sessions to stay sharp. Unlike most pitchers, Gonzalez has enlisted one of the best catchers in baseball history, Jorge Posada, to be behind the plate for those sessions.

Gonzalez and Posada meet up at the University of Miami baseball field on Tuesdays and Gonzalez described throwing to Posada as “a childhood dream.”

Here’s more from Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com:

Gonzalez and Posada are represented by the same agency, but they met for the first time by chance earlier this winter when working out at the gym. The two made some small-talk and got to know each other a little bit, and then Posada inquired about Gonzalez’s throwing program as he gears up for spring training.

“I remember he asked me, ‘When are you throwing a bullpen?’” Gonzalez said. “And I said, ‘Well, I don’t have a guy to catch me, but I’ll find one.’ And he goes, ‘Well, I’d be more than happy to catch you.’”

“I thought he was going to say, ‘Oh, I’d love to go see (you throw).’ And he said, ‘No, I’d be happy to catch you.’ I stepped back and I was like, ‘No. Are you serious right now? You messing with me? Because this is for real, I would love for this to happen.’ So he shows up one day with no mask or anything. Just a glove.”

Pretty cool, although the 42-year-old Posada’s knees may feel differently.

  1. protectthishouse54 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Hip Hip!

    • edog623 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Jorge!

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      I love that bullsheet about his defense.
      When of the best Yankees ever and he ran the clubhouse for Jeter.
      I wish he would have gotten his hands on Pedro.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      I love that bullsheet about his defense.
      When of the best Yankees ever and he ran the clubhouse for Jeter.
      I wish he would have gotten his hands on Pedro.

  2. deathmonkey41 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    One of the best hitting catchers ever. His defense, throwing out runners, and ability to call a game certainly wasn’t what kept him on the field.

    • cackalackyank - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      I agree about the throwing our runners, not sure where the calling the game thing comes from.

    • rathipon - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Throwing out runners was probably the best aspect of his defense. He actually got better at it with age – possibly due to Tony Pena’s influence. For instance, in 2008 he threw out 40% of runners, 3rd best in the league. Over his career his percentage was right around league average.

      His reputation for game calling was pretty lousy. It wasn’t unusual for a pitcher to openly show frustration with him.

      Would be curious about data concerning his pitch framing.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 27, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        It was pretty bad, if not horrible from the first few iterations by the guys at BPro.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      That bad throwing arm of Posada’s was brought to my attention through AJ Burnett’s career. I wonder if he demanded that Gonzalez throw nothing but fastballs? He used to irritate the hell out of AJ Burnett with that. I once saw a commenter on here post Burnett’s splits with Posada vs Martin and it was staggering how much better Burnett was when he DIDN’T have someone demanding nothing but fastballs when there was a runner on.

  3. girardisbraces - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    I’d love to see Jorge coaching someday.

  4. StottsEra - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    miami? they’re both obviously on PEDs

  5. ningenito78 - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Good for Gio. He’ll have ‘shaking off the catcher’ down pat by spring training.

  6. Brinke - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    one of the best catchers in baseball history? is this in a parallel universe, you mean?

    • dlf9 - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      After more than 150 years of professional baseball, someone who clearly clocks in as top 50 – go ahead and name >50 better catchers – all time at the position is entitled to be called on of the best.

      • realitypolice - Jan 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        I am a Yankee fan and believe me, I love me some Jorge Posada. But I did a double take when he called him “one of the greatest catchers of all time”. By your definition (top 50) he probably does, but I think if you ask most people, “greatest of all time” discussions don’t go that deep. Is he a first ballot hall of famer?

      • dlf9 - Jan 27, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        By WAR, he trails: Bench, Carter, Fisk, Rodriguez, Berra, Piazza, Torre (who had a lot of his value at 3B), Dickey, Hartnett, Cochrane, Simmons, Ewing, Tenace (a lot of 1B / DH), Lombardi, Munson, White, Schang, Freehan, and Mauer. Within rounding off distance, you could add Bresnahan, Kendall, Porter, and Sundberg. Add in NeL stars Josh Gibson, Biz Mackey, plus Campanella and Howard whose careers spanned both MLB and NeL. Perhaps you could add a few more who had a small number of great seasons but lacked the career bulk, or maybe you’d want to add current players who have some chance of climbing the list (McCann, Molina, Posey).

        That gets me to #30. But I greatly discount 1800s players such as Decon White and Buck Ewing, and discount less but still significantly, the pre-lively ball players like Wally Schang. And players who were barely catchers (Torre and Tenace) too. That gets me to ~#15.

        I’m no Yankee fan, but that, to me, is well within any reasonable definition of a great player.

      • realitypolice - Jan 27, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        You really know your stuff. I think we are just arguing semantics more than anything. He certainly was a great player. I just don’t think you get to wear the “one of the greatest of all time” mantel if somebody can name 30 people who were better than you. Just my opinion.

    • bklynbaseball - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      Pretty sure he said “one of the best HITTING catchers ever”……..

      • Brinke - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        The lead says “Gonzalez has enlisted one of the best catchers in baseball history, Jorge Posada, to be behind the plate for those sessions.”

  7. bklynbaseball - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    I would narrow it down even further…..he’s probably in the top 25.

  8. capone888 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Class act. Don’t care if he was the best or worst catcher of all time. He took time out of his day to make a kid’s dream come true. Jorge could of easily said, ‘I would like to see you throw one day’, and that would have been the end of it. But he went the extra mile and told the kid he would catch for him, and then showed up without all the press hype. Class act.

  9. sawxalicious - Jan 27, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I never cared much for Posada, but because of this post I looked him up in baseball-reference compared to other catchers: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_C.shtml

    According to the JAWS (JAWS was developed by sabermetrician Jay Jaffe as a means to measure a player’s Hall of Fame worthiness. A player’s JAWS is their career WAR averaged with their 7-year peak WAR. Note that only batting or pitching WAR are used in determining the averages at a given position. The current Hall of Famers are then grouped by position and a position average JAWS is computed)……………………………………………………………Posada ranks #16 all-time at the catcher position. Very surprising to me.

    • dcarroll73 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      Back a couple of weeks, in the on-going “who will get in the HoF” discussions, I posted a comment referring to this same JAWS list. I will again point to another Yankee not yet in the HoF who is even higher on that list – Thurman Munson at number 11. Of the ten ahead of him, only 3 are not in the Hall – Ivan Rodriquez, Mike Piazza, and Ted Simmons. I would argue that all 3 of these plus Thurman should be in the HoF. To go back to the original point of this thread, when Jorge ranks number 16 on this list, I think he clearly qualifies as “one of the greatest catchers” (we are talking a pretty large number of years of baseball and number 16 is not? Please.)

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