Yanks' brushfire flares again, is doused

The Yankees' Derek Jeter, left, and Jorge Posada

The Yankees' Derek Jeter, left, and Jorge Posada talk during batting practice prior to their game against the Tampa Bay Rays. (May 16, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- On Sunday, through a team spokesman, members of the Yankees' hierarchy said they considered the Jorge Posada drama "closed."

Monday, they reopened it.

Word leaked early Monday afternoon that management was unhappy with Derek Jeter's defense of Posada's asking out of Saturday night's game, prompting frenetic damage control that ended with a conference call involving managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, team president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and Jeter.

Afterward, all parties read from the same script, with management apparently satisfied that it had misinterpreted, to a degree, Jeter's comments. "It was a great conversation," a team spokesman said. "They're all on the same page."

Said Jeter: "It's all good. Everyone's on the same page."

Jeter used "same page" nine times in his four-minute pregame meeting with reporters.

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Manager Joe Girardi, speaking before Monday night's game against the Rays, wasn't interested in delving into the topic.

"Sometimes things in New York go a while," he said. "But this is done. I'm happy with the way this got handled. We stuck together as an organization. We're here for each other . . . I think our club handled it well. We're all on the same page."

The Yankees arrived here in the early morning, and Jeter said he went to bed about 5:30 a.m. He awoke about 1 p.m., he said, finding out he would be having a conference call with the team power brokers.

Asked if he was surprised to wake up and find out Steinbrenner, Levine and Cashman wanted to talk to him, Jeter smiled. "Nothing surprises me."

Management's issues reportedly revolved around Jeter, who, while addressing the Posada situation before Sunday night's game, seemed to offer blanket immunity for his longtime teammate.

"If I thought he did something wrong, I'd be the first one to tell him," Jeter said.

Hank Steinbrenner, who was not on Monday's conference call, told The Associated Press he was fine with Jeter's defense of Posada. "I don't have a problem with that,'' Steinbrenner said. "They've known each other for a long time.''

Jeter declined to offer anything specific about the conference call. "This situation's over with," he said. "We're all on the same page. That's all you're going to get. I learned a long time ago, the more you talk about things, the longer they last. This is over with. It's a nonissue. There's nothing to report."

Although this latest fire seems to have been extinguished, it's fair to ask why and how a second blaze flared up with Jeter, with whom the team had contentious contract negotiations this past offseason. And whether that portends more such squabbles in the future.

Cashman, who did not return calls Monday, sounded eager Sunday to put the Posada issue to rest. "We'd like to get the page turned,'' he said, "and I think today's a good day to turn that page."

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Not quite. Maybe today.

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