If you are a New York Yankees fan you just gotta’ love Jorge Posada.
The veteran catcher turned designated hitter is one of the top backstops in the storied franchise’s history. And with the great Yogi Berra and Thurman Munson in the picture, that is truly saying something. He is as revered in the tunnels of Yankee Stadium as he is in the hallways of ESPN — remember the funny ad with admirers yelling “Hip, Hip Jorge!” as Posada walks past EVERY doorway.
As a big-time bat and solid catcher in one the most successful times of the franchise’s great history Posada deserves the adulation. Except in one key area: base-running. Jorge is simply awful on the base-paths as he was again as Saturday’s game one vs. the Tigers resumed at the Stadium.
Posada pretty much ran the Yanks out of what could have been a big inning early on when he got caught napping WAY too far down the third base line on a grounder to third and eventually got tagged out. Actually, saying he was “napping” would give him an excuse … Jorge is simply clueless at times what to do on the base-paths.
As terrific a ballplayer as Posada is, he desperately needs coaching at EACH base he gets on, even if it means calling time if Jorge’s on second. Jorge just doesn’t get what to do in many situations when he is on base. For instance, on a grounder to third, when you are ON third, take a few feet off the base to try to distract the third baseman … but DON’T risk getting caught in a rundown as the lead runner.
Stuff like that is just plain dopey and keeps Posada from being considered an all-time great when you consider his entire body of work, as impressive as it is.
Hip, hip Jorge? Indeed, just not on the base-paths.