Jorge Posada caught 4 innings today, and reportedly stated that he felt fine afterwards. He will catch on alternate days going forward, as he continues to prepare to be the full time catcher when opening day rolls around. I have stressed on many occasions the importance of a healthy Jorge Posada to this lineup and clubhouse. However, you do not have to take my word for it, as Brian Cashman feels the same, (quote courtesy of Lohud):
I need Matsui’s knees to be fine and I need Posada to be a catcher. That gives our lineup length and depth, with guys with plate discipline, with guys with the ability to give professional at-bats. Those guys know what they’re doing. Without them, it changes the lineup radically, especially 6, 7, 8, 9. I don’t want to be in that position, honestly.
He’s feisty, he’s hungry and he wants to win. He doesn’t get enough credit for the leadership he has in that clubhouse. He is intense. We missed him both on that field and in that clubhouse last year.
Losing Wang and the way our pitching went last year was devastating. But our biggest loss was Jorge Posada.”
Cashman’s last statement is spot on. There are two types of leaders in sports, and every team needs some form of both. There are those who lead by example, only speaking up when asked to by the manager or when the situation desperately calls for it. On the other hand, there are players who lead by showing their emotional investment in the team, vocally leading by speaking for the club and becoming a representation of the team’s heart. On the Yankees, Derek Jeter is that first type of leader, while Jorge Posada fills the second role. The club seems to feed off of his obvious intensity, and the loss of that passion hurt the Yankees when they needed to come back from a huge deficit in the division during 2008. Obviously, the loss of his bat was devastating as well, and would be similarly injurious to the Yankees’ title hopes in 2009. The Yankees cannot afford to lose Jorge again, and today was a good first step in the right direction.
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