Even if you don’t know the exact date off the top of your head, you know exactly which day I’m referring to. It was perhaps the most bizarre day of the season — the day Jorge Posada couldn’t take it any more — and it might have changed everything for the better.
“Going back to that day, I’m not proud of (what happened) and you guys know that,” Posada said. “The way the relationship with me and Girardi and me and Cashman (was affected), I feel a lot more comfortable where I’m at. It doesn’t really matter (where I hit), I’m happy.”
Of course he’s happy. Since backing out of the lineup on an otherwise random Saturday in the middle of May, Posada has hit .291/.361/.444. Until that day he was hitting .165/.272/.349, and his slugging percentage that was only that high because of an early April home run binge. Since venting his frustration, Posada has gone from an absolute drain on the lineup to a productive hitter.
Because of his contract and because of his history with the franchise, the Yankees had little choice but to stick with Posada this season. They’re in a similar boat with Derek Jeter. They needed something to turn Posada around, and hitting rock bottom might have done it.
“We still have to produce,” Posada said. “That’s the bottom line. Obviously we want to do better than what we’re doing. We keep looking forward to things. That’s what (Jeter) has taught me and that’s what Joe Torre has taught us and that’s what Joe Girardi has taught us. It’s just a matter of really putting everything behind and looking forward to the next day.”
Posada couldn’t do that on May 14, but he’s been able to do it ever since. Something changed that day, and the second half will determine whether it was lasting or simply a reprieve.
Associated Press photo