Joe Girardi has been there before: The veteran catcher on the bench who's desperate to play, but is passed over for someone else.
The Yankees manager knows all too well what Jorge Posada is feeling right now, but the close relationship that – Girardi said – exists between A.J. Burnett and backup catcher Francisco Cervelli, is too important to overlook.
“It was not a difficult decision,” Girardi said of sitting Posada in Game 4 of the ALCS in favor of Cervelli, who caught Burnett’s simulated start last week. “Those two guys (Burnett and Cervelli) have been together most of the season.”
The manager said he informed Posada Monday night about his decision.
“I told him just be ready for anything tomorrow,” Girardi said, “and he said, ‘OK.’”
Girardi also said Posada’s struggles at the plate – he’s hitting just .238 in the postseason and is 0-for-10 in three games against the Texas Rangers – did not factor into his decision.
“Being a catcher for years and understanding sometimes what it was like to be the backup catcher, where you caught the same guy all the time, I believe in that catcher/pitcher relationship that people are able to form,” he said. “It really had nothing to do with offense. It’s just those two have been together most of the time.”
Cervelli had not played in any postseason games prior to Tuesday.