As weird as it is to imagine, there’s a very real possibility that Jorge Posada will no longer be an active member of the Yankees come spring training. As bizarre as it sounds, the Core Four by that point, could have been reduced to the Core Two. Although Jorge hasn’t officially hung the spikes up personally yet, the Yankees seem keen on moving on without the former backstop — basically, reserving the DH role for other aging veterans (and potentially Jesus Montero) while holding the catcher job for Russell Martin (and potentially Jesus Montero). While this plan is probably the most prudent decision for the Yankees as the team positions itself for the future, it still poses a somber moment for many of us who have really enjoyed Jorge’s contributions over the years.
Over the last seventeen seasons, Posada has been an integral (albeit often times overlooked) contributor of the Yankees franchise. Since joining the Show back in 1995, Jorge has hit to the tune of .273/.374/.474 (.848 OPS) as a switch hitter, and mashed 275 homeruns in the process. He’s been a member of four World Series Championship teams — all of course with the Yankees, the only team he’s ever known. He’s been given Allstar honors five times (four years consecutively from 2000-2003), finished in the top ten in MVP voting twice (the second time at the ripe age of 35!) and earned the Silver Slugger award each season from 2000-2003. For those interested in some of the advanced stats, Posada’s notched a career .366 wOBA, a 122 wRC+, and a 201 ISO.
Consider this. Since 1995, the only catchers to have accumulated higher career WAR ratings are Mike Piazza (55 fWAR) and Ivan Rodriguez (64 fWAR). In terms of Yankee legends, the only catchers to top Jorge in career WAR were Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. Since 2000, Jorge has produced the second most hits of any catcher (only Jason Kendall has had more), the most RBI, and the most homeruns (Russell Martin has had the second most HR during this time span, and he currently trails Jorge by 168). The man also uses dirt instead of batting gloves (sorry, had to throw that into this post somewhere!).
While Jorge’s bat has certainly been impressive over the years, his longevity has been even more so in my opinion. In a position known for its lack of durability and offensive prowess, Posada has largely withstood the test of time in rather prolific fashion despite less-than-stellar defense. Who would have thought a young kid from Puerto Rico, drafted in the 24th round as a second baseman, would go on to have so many memorable moments with the most recognizable franchise in all of sports?
I remember a New York Time’s article I read back in 2004 in which Posada was quoted. He stated, “I just liked the way he (Thurman Munson) played the game. He was a leader first, a teammate second and whatever he did on the field was second to him. He wanted everybody to feel comfortable. He wanted everybody to be on the same page, ready for every game.” As I look back at Posada’s legacy, a thought occured to me; future players will probably be saying the same thing about him some day.
Here’s to you Jorge; hip, hip! You’re a “True Yankee” (if there is such a thing) and we’ll miss you. When the time comes, I’ll argue fervently that you deserve Hall of Fame candidacy. I’ll also look forward to seeing you at future old-timer’s days and important ceremonial first pitches. But most of all, if your tenure in pinstripes has indeed run its course, I’ll look back and be thankful for all the great memories you’ve given us Yankee fans. Hip, hip!
Here are some of my favorite moments of Jorge’s career…
1998 | Posada catches David Wells‘ perfect game (120 pitches, 11 strikeouts). This was the first perfect game thrown at the Stadium since Don Larsen’s 1956 World Series Performance. (Joe Girardi, Posada’s predecessor, would catch David Cone’s perfect game in 1999.)
2003 | Posada gets into a heated argument with Pedro Martinez in Game 3 of the ALCS after Karim Garcia gets a fastball zipped into his back. Posada points towards the Boston pitcher as the shouting escalates; Martinez responds by pointing at his own head as a warning (Pedro would later go on to claim he was telling Jorge know that he’d remember an insult that was apparently said).
2003 | Posada, still heated from the argument with Pedro in Game 3 of the ALCS, responds by blooping a fastball past Nomar Garciapara and Todd Walker in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 7. The hit drives in Bernie Williams and Hideki Matsui tieing the score at 5-5. (Aaron Boone would hit the game winning walkoff homerun against Tim Wakefield in the 11th).
2003 | Posada puts up an MVP caliber season (comes in third out of ten in voting). Although he’d ultimately trail (then Texas Ranger) Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado in votes, his season was still outstanding (.281/.405/.518/.922, 30 HR) — good for a 6.1 bWAR.
2007 | Posada puts up an MVP caliber season again (comes in sixth out of ten in voting). Yankee teammate, Alex Rodriguez, puts up a monster season of his own (and winds up winning the MVP award), while Posada bats .338/.426/.543/.970. Posada also hit 20 homeruns and 42 doubles — good for a 5.8 bWAR.
2008 | Posada catches the ceremonial first pitch during the final game at the original Yankee Stadium. The pitch was thrown by Julia Ruth Stephens (the only living daughter of Babe Ruth).
2009 | Posada hits the first regular season homerun at YS3 against Cleveland’s Cliff Lee, tieing the game 1-1. (He’d also go on, later that year, to hit the final homerun in the old Twins stadium.)
2011 | After experiencing a largely disappointing regular season, Girardi shows faith in his beleagured backstop. Posada helps the Yankees win another AL East title with a big pinch hit single. This hit occurs in the eighth inning (with the bases loaded) in a tied ballgame against the Rays. The fans give Posada a standing ovation; Jorge responds to the call with his raise of his cap, an appreciative smile, and a tear in his eye.
2011 | In vintage form, Posada delivers with the bat as he hit to the tune of .429/.579/.571 (1.150 OPS) with four walks against the Tigers in the ALDS. After Game 5, Posada is very emotional during the postgame interview as he contemplates his future with the Yankees.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees