Emotional Posada not ready to say goodbye

New York Yankees' Jorge Posada #20 walks back

New York Yankees' Jorge Posada #20 walks back to the dugout after grounding out to shortstop in the eighth inning of ALDS Game 5 at Yankee Stadium in New York. (Oct. 6, 2011) (Credit: John Dunn)

Overcome by tears, Jorge Posada abruptly ended a postgame interview session in front of his locker, covering his eyes as he walked into a side room of the clubhouse.

This was about a half-hour after the Yankees lost, 3-2, to the Detroit Tigers Thursday night, marking what might have been his final game in a Yankees uniform.

When the longtime Yankees catcher turned designated hitter was asked about that, the emotions proved to be too raw for him to answer without breaking down.

"I don't know," Posada said, when asked if he thinks this could have been his last game with the Yankees. "I don't know. That's a tough one. We'll see. I don't want to look at it like that. We'll see what happens in the offseason."

But if this is how Posada leaves the Yankees after 17 seasons, then he did so on a personally positive note. Following a season in which he struggled offensively, Posada had the best American League Division Series of anyone. He went 2-for-4 in the Game 5 loss, making him 6-for-14 in the series.

He was on base 11 times in 19 plate appearances.

"We lost," Posada said. "That's how I look back on this. It's tough to look back any other way. I really have no other words. We lost."

General manager Brian Cashman praised Posada for his strong postseason series but refused to discuss his pending free agency.

"No one is prepared tonight to talk about tomorrow," Cashman said.

That includes Posada. When asked if he would consider taking a job with limited playing time to remain with the Yankees, he looked away.

"I don't know," he said. "I don't want to answer that right now. We just lost."

And then he excused himself, perhaps for the last time as a player.

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