Jorge Posada had the busiest day of any Yankee yesterday, from his pregame comments in the clubhouse regarding A.J. Burnett to his strong performance at the plate to his uneven performance behind it.
First, the pregame:
Posada, answering why the perception lingered that he and Burnett didn’t get along raised eyebrows by saying: “I think Girardi is the perfect guy to answer that question."
Later when asked if the “issue” meant more to Girardi than Posada or Burnett, Posada said: “Ask him. I think he has the best point of view on that.”
A short time later Girardi gave his point of view.
“No, I didn’t [think it was more of a problem],” Girardi said before mentioning other pitchers like as Greg Maddox and Randy Johnson who used someone other than the starting catcher of their respective teams. “For me it took on a bigger picture because we’re in New York. It was an emotional time, fighting for the division and we were nearing the playoffs and it seemed to take on…it became a big story. But as far as them having a big problem, I wasn’t concerned about that. I didn’t necessarily see a huge problem there.”
Clearly, as we discussed on this morning’s Live Chat, if you watched Posada and Burnett’s body language last year on certain days there was some obvious tension and the topic certainly won’t die if tomorrow night’s start doesn’t go well. But, and I said this several times last year when the chorus of “they just can’t work together” was at his most fervent, one of the best pitched games any Yankee had last year was Burnett’s beauty against the Red Sox Aug. 7 (the 15-inning game won by A-Rod with a two-run homer) when he allowed one hit in 7 2/3 innings. His catcher that day was Posada. Let's see a few starts in 2010 before declaring this relationship over and out.
*** Posada, who hit the ball hard all spring, continued that last night, going 3-for-4 with a home run. While that performance wasn’t forgotten afterward, it was overshadowed a bit by what happened in the seventh inning when there appeared to be a couple of cross-ups between himself and Damaso Marte. Posada said both the wild pitch and passed ball in the inning were “missed locations.”
“One was a slider that was too far,” Posada said. “The other was a fastball that was supposed to be down and away.”
*** Posada is likely to have every bit as lively day tomorrow as he’ll be behind the plate for Burnett, who gave up a career-worst nine earned runs last Aug. 22 here – the “why, why, why” game that essentially finished the Posada/Burnett battery for the season (though they were paired one more time on Sept. 1 in Baltimore).
“Get it out of the way right away,” Posada said with a laugh last night of the pair's first start being in Fenway. “Looking forward to it.”