There was something not-quite-right about Jorge Posada last night. He seemed divided, standing at his locker talking about a back injury that kept him out of the lineup (but wasn’t serious) while also repeatedly saying he needed to clear his mind (just a few hours after saying he was at peace with his struggles). He’s always been an emotional guy, but this was a guy who seemed uncertain about anything.
This afternoon, there was clarity.
“I did tweak my back a little bit,” Posada said. “And I took that as an excuse to tell you the truth. I just needed a day.”
It was the most reasonable, understandable thing anyone said about the situation in quite a while. I’m sure the Yankees don’t like hearing about a back injury as an excuse, but Posada’s a proud player. The Yankees understand that, and they understand a player like Posada — a guy with his career success and his recent struggles — might need a day to gather himself. Was it handled poorly? Probably. But today went a long way toward fixing that.
“One thing I told him is if he said he needed a day to clear his mind, there’s no need to apologize,” Derek Jeter said. “I think everybody understands that. Everyone here understands that sometimes this game can be tough on you mentally. Everybody’s struggled. Everybody’s been in a situation where things don’t seem to be clicking the right way. And if that’s the reason why he came out, then he doesn’t need to apologize… He’s like a brother. I mean, we’ve been together for a long time. If I thought he did something wrong, I’d be the first one to tell him.”
Joe Girardi said his conversation this afternoon was about, “being emotional and going through struggles and what defines who you are.” To some extent, Posada’s emotional response has always defined him. Maybe it flared up in a bad way yesterday. Nothing left to do but move on.
“Joe’s been on my side,” Posada said. “I think you’ve just got to understand, we’re trying to do something here that’s special, and it’s about the team now. It’s not about Jorge Posada. It’s not about Joe Girardi. I let some people down.”
He did that yesterday. Today Posada did what he could to pick up the pieces.
• Rafael Soriano probably won’t pitch tonight. Girardi said before the game that Soriano’s elbow was stiff last night, but it wasn’t the same sort of discomfort as before.
• It’s unclear whether Posada will be disciplined for refusing to play last night. “We’ve got everything going on today and then I’ll obviously talk to the people above me,” Brian Cashman said. “So I can’t answer that question right now, but when I talk to Hal Steinbrenner I’ll get some direction from him on everything after I fill him in on everything.”
• Girardi said last night’s situation with Posada had nothing to do with the decision to keep him out of the lineup tonight. Posada has not hit lefties at all this season. Literally, not at all. “The lineup I had made up today was made up today was made up like two days ago in my mind, so I didn’t really change that,” Girardi said.
• Seems entirely possible that Posada won’t play tomorrow against David Price either.
• Phil Hughes almost certainly did some throwing today, but I only saw him briefly and Girardi said he wasn’t sure what exactly Hughes did today.
• Still no player move to report. Amauri Sanit is still here and the Yankees are still carrying eight pitchers. They might have to do that because of the uncertain situation with Soriano.
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
David Ortiz DH
J.D. Drew RF
Jed Lowrie SS
Carl Crawford LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Associated Press photo