The comparison was inevitable. In fact, it was almost too easy. A year ago, Andy Pettitte showed up as a guest instructor, and within a month he was out of retirement. Today Jorge Posada showed up as an instructor, and the immediate thought was whether he would consider doing the same.
:I don’t think I could,” Posada said. “I don’t think I can. You get in there, you hit and whatever, it’s the everyday thing. It’s the grind of a long season, and I don’t think I could do that. … I’m happy where I’m at. I’m not second-guessing myself. I know I can’t play the game now. In my mind, I think I made the right decision.”
There was no real sadness in Posada’s voice, just a matter-of-fact analysis. His body took a beating for 21 professional seasons — most of them in the big leagues — and at 41 years old, he doesn’t want to do it again.
“I don’t want to be gone,” he said. “You retire to be home, and you don’t want to be gone for a month and a half.”
Posada said he’ll be in Yankees camp through Wednesday, then he’ll head home to Miami where his son is playing baseball, his daughter is playing tennis, and he’s serving as the taxi. He said he’ll come back later this spring, and he likes the idea of an occasional role as a catching mentor, but he doesn’t want to coach full-time, much less play.
“He’s in shape,” Derek Jeter said. “He looks alright. He looks like he could play. I think he’s comfortable in retirement.”
Joe Girardi said that, after Pettitte’s decision, people are going to wonder about any recently retired player who comes to Yankees camp as an instructor.
“Any time we have a guy that is doing what Jorge is doing, people are going to speculate,” Girardi said. “I think it’s fair to do. Jorge’s a guy that loved to play the game.”
This afternoon, Posada sounded more like a guy who still loves being around the game, but has found comfort in the separation. His most telling quote of all: “I want to be home,” he said.
Cell phone photo (unfortunately that’s the best I could do)