So, in an extra dollop of schadenfreude to go along with the Yankees being swept at home by the Red Sox this weekend, GM Brian Cashman called a mid-game press conference on Saturday night to call out slumping DH Jorge Posada for asking out of the lineup. Everybody’s since hugged it out, but the fact remains: the Yankees are hamstrung by aging team legends playing out the string at key positions. And so, if you write about the exalted Bombers for the local tabloids, you have quite a balancing act to perform between loyalty, sentiment and gratitude on the one hand, and cold-eyed just-win-baby objectivity on the other hand. Let’s see how Post and Daily News columnists have handled it…
With an omnidirectional spray of almost gleeful masochism. See Joel Sherman, the Post:
… as successful as the Yankees were at executing Public Relations 101 yesterday, the underlying problems that caused the rift persist: Posada’s poor offense, the abundance of aging/declining legends and a roster that has betrayed significant flaws.
So the embers to ignite a new blaze still burn, ready to spark anew if Posada cannot lift his average or if, say, Derek Jeter must fall in the lineup (he’s slumping again, with three singles in his last 23 at-bats) or if the offense and bullpen are not the strengths anticipated.
With a juvenile, morally hyperbolic sense of denial. See Mike Lupica, the Daily News:
A great Yankee, a great, champion Yankee in decline behaved badly Saturday night at Yankee Stadium… Before Posada gets to give his version, “Yankee officials” go to the media and say that Posada “threw a fit.” You wonder what Yankee official said that. Somebody who never played big league baseball is a good way to bet…
No one will ever know who these “Yankee officials” are who wanted so badly to get their version of things out there before Posada got his chance to talk. Whoever they are, Posada is worth 20 of each one of them.
With tear-eyed lashing anger and empurpled tragedy, borne of idolatry. See Filip Bondy, the Daily News:
There is something about an aging ex-catcher—the sore-kneed, swollen-fingered symbol of sacrifice—that is easy to cheer… Joe Girardi had dropped Posada all the way to the ninth spot in the lineup, needlessly throwing salt on oozing wounds. Posada, the proudest of men, reacted with emotion, not in his best interest…
What the Yanks need to do, very clearly, is to shut up and let Derek Jeter handle all public relations and disciplinary matters… Unlike Cashman, who rushed to judgment, Jeter wisely waited until heads had cooled before commenting on the issue.
With a vague sense of panic and a creeping sense that none of this would have happened if Joe Torre were still with us. See John Harper, the Daily News:
Indeed, everyone knew Girardi potentially was in a terribly difficult spot this season. Only a couple of weeks ago it looked as if he was going to have to drop Jeter in the batting order, before the captain started at least mixing in some line drives with all his ground balls…
But now they’ve got turmoil in the clubhouse, which is something new in the Girardi era. It’s no small matter, especially considering that Jeter has been Posada’s best friend forever.
How Girardi handles this could well set the tone for the rest of the season. There is no manager’s handbook for handling these types of moments, either.
Girardi had to know they were coming. But it doesn’t mean he’s prepared for them.
In disgust that this hallowed franchise has been lured down from the moral high ground by demon Mammon. See Kevin Kiernan, the Post:
For too long the Yankees have been a privileged team. After the humiliating loss to the Royals on Thursday, I wrote that Yankees pride had left the building, along with Mystique and Aura…
They are middle of the pack millionaires in so many ways… They have played like a group of individuals, concerned about their own personal performance more so than the big picture of really understanding how to play to win. They have been a ragged team for quite some time.
They haven’t done the little things right.
With some wry comfort in the fact that Yankee fans are myth-perpetuating goons with selective memories, anyway. See Mike Vaccaro, the Post:
Both sides of the debate are correct, in truth. And all will agree to something else: They will remember selectively. Most don’t remember David Wells the moody boor, only the pitching anchor of a team that won 125 games. Most don’t remember Mickey Rivers mailing in games or caring too much about slow horses, just that he was a bat-spinning sparkplug of two champions. Posada will be afforded every such courtesy.
DiMaggio always did thank the Good Lord for making him a Yankee. Now we know one of the reasons why.