When Jorge Posada pulled himself from Saturday’s lineup before the Yankees took on the Red Sox, it wasn’t just a case of a proud veteran’s anger over demotion to the No. 9 hole.
It was another crack in the team’s aging “Core Three," a sign that these are not the Yankees of old, but the Yankees of “Old.”
According to the New York Post, Posada apologized to manager Joe Girardi yesterday, saying, “I kind of apologized to him. Just had a bad day [Saturday].”
The Bombers have struggled mightily of late, playing uninspired baseball. And the Posada drama is emblematic of the troubles.
“This is what happens when you give aging players contracts based on past performance instead of what they’ll do during the length of the contract,” said blogger Benjamin Kabak of RiverAvenueBlues.com.
So just how worried should fans be about the Core Three? A lot, judging by the numbers. (with Tim Herrera)
At 41, Rivera is the one guy who seems ageless. Sure, he had two blown saves in April, but he’s reeled off six straight while allowing two hits and no runs in seven innings. Still, the clock is ticking. Girardi should pray hard for his continued efficiency — otherwise, it’s the struggling Rafael Soriano and the inconsistent Joba Chamberlain.
They don’t drop once-valuable veterans for no reason around Yankee Stadium. The front office would like nothing better than for the 39-year-old ex-catcher to take his .165 BA (0-for-24 against lefties) out the door. But Posada won’t walk away, and the Yanks would have to pay him his $13.1 million if they fired him. So they’ll try embarrassing him into retirement instead.
The .296 May batting doesn’t cover up his shrinking range at shortstop or the fact that this season’s .267 average sits three points under last season’s career-low .270. At 36, his days of consistency are likely behind him. If the Yankees continue their four-game slide and Jeter’s current 3-for-19 slump over the last four games worsens, could he be the next to fall?
(all stats through Saturday’s games)