Who can forget when ‘Core Four’ Yankees great Jorge Posada cried during the press conference in which he announced his retirement back in 2012? They weren’t tears of joy nor were they tears of celebration. In his new book “The Journey Home: My Life in Pinstripes,” Posada finally revealed that those tears were in fact bitter.
"“I’ll put this as plainly as a I can,” writes the backstop who caught 1,574 games for the New York Yankees, “When you take me out from behind the plate, you’re taking away my heart and my passion.”"
Well all knew his transition from behind the dish to the teams every-day DH in 2011 after being the starting catcher of the Yankees for over a decade was more of a demotion than anything else, and in his new book, Posada finally discloses how disheartening his last year in pinstripes really was.
The kid with the cannon of an arm, the switch-hitter who came to this country from Puerto Rico to attend Calhoun Community College before being drafted to the Yankees in 1990 and the kid who had no intentions of playing catcher prior to joining the majors, was downright humiliated to be removed from his position.
And after his 17-year tenure with the New Yankees as a key member of the “Core Four”alongside Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, Posada had every right to be upset and take a stab at Yankees management in his new book.
"“I knew that my role with the club was changing, but I don’t think that anyone making those decisions knew how much the things being done hurt me. To have even that taken away from me without adequate explanation, hurt me and confused me,” he writes."
The most shocking part about this whole thing is that after a decade of calling every pitch and controlling the game from behind the plate, Posada felt he had inherited a certain level of expertise to share with younger catchers coming up in the system, which he most certainly did!
However, when he asked to sit in on coaching meetings to talk about catchers, the veteran was told no!
When I read this in his new book, I was completely rubbed the wrong way. Today the Yankees have a veteran catcher in Brian McCann who is just in his second-year behind the plate for the bombers, but you can tell he has a tremendous role within the organizations management. In fact, Brian McCann was one of the determining factors in this winters trade that sent Manny Banuelos packing in return for David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve, both of whom worked with McCann over in Atlanta.
This isn’t a knock against Brian McCann, but if a catcher has as big an input as he does after just one year in the Bronx, than Posada should have had every right to attend those coaching meetings after the amount of blood, sweat and tears that he put into the Yankees organization over his 17-year career.
Aside from the one incident in August of 2011 when Posada was bumped down to the ninth spot in the lineup against the Red Sox and refused to play, Posada never let his frustrations boil over into the public. He was always as unrevealing to the media as Derek Jeter, but that was breaking point.
"“I felt like I wasn’t being treated right, that people weren’t always being as straightforward with me as I wanted them to be or treating me as I deserved to be treated, and I exploded. I’d just put up with enough.”"
Not only was there tension between Posada and Girardi, in that Poasada was eventually the young catcher who replaced Joe Girardi in the Bronx, but Jorge wrote that team unity crumbled after Girardi replaced Joe Torre as skipper in 2008. A World Series win in 2009 for the Yankees with Girardi at the helm might belittle that statement, but Posada expressed that Torre was his “father on the field,” while Girardi was just a manager.”
As a matter of fact, by 2010, Posada writes that the clubhouse had changed, and not for the best. He mentioned that players sat around the clubhouse with their headphones in and had their heads buried in their phones similar to what you would see on a New York City subway line. There was no longer a camaraderie amongst the players.
"“The work ethic had changed with some guys — a very few guys, but enough to make the difference between winning and losing,” Posada said."
He went on to describe how quickly the Yankees clubhouse would clear out after games in comparison to the days of the ‘Core Four,’ when players would hang out over beers for hours and talk about baseball.
"“Winning is such a fragile thing,” he writes. “If you take away any element that supports it, it falls to the ground and shatters.”"
In a happy ending of sorts, Posada, whose number 20 has been retired in monument park, says the Yankees have been great to him in retirement. In 2012, he was invited to throw out the season’s opening pitch, and he elected to have his father, the man who made him the man he is today catch it.
I really recommend this book to all Yankee fans. If you can look past the controversial issues and rough times that Posada reflects upon in his final year, you’ll come across one of the most-inspring blue-collared sports stories of our modern generation.
Give it and read, and let me know what you think Yankee fans! I’d love to hear your input!
More from Yanks Go Yard
- Aaron Judge Time interview scared Yankees as much as it scared you
- MLB Network’s proposed Yankees-White Sox trade seems insane
- Why weren’t Yankees in on Kodai Senga now that we know the price?
- There’s one way Yankees can make SF Giants’ offseason even worse
- Yankees should swing trade for old enemy to fill 2023 left field vacancy