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Posada apologizes for Saturday's mess

New York Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada (20)

New York Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada (20) takes batting practice prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (May 15, 2011) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Taking a significant step in dousing what had developed into a raging wildfire, Jorge Posada apologized Sunday for the events of the previous day.

"I just talked to [Joe] Girardi and I kind of apologized to him," Posada said before Sunday night's game against the Red Sox. "I had a bad day, had a bad day Saturday. Reflecting on it, all the frustration came out, and I'm trying to move on."

Posada, slated to bat ninth Saturday night, asked out of the lineup an hour before first pitch. He said afterward that his back had "stiffened" up, but he had not told Girardi or general manager Brian Cashman that.

On Sunday the 39-year-old Posada, hitting .165, said that although he did tweak his back "a little bit" taking grounders Saturday, he could have played.

"I took that as an excuse [to ask out], to tell the truth," Posada said. "I just needed a day."

Of how he handled things, he said: "It's just one of those days you hope you can take back."

Before last night's game, Cashman said he talked briefly with Posada when the two arrived at Yankee Stadium. They plan to talk at length at some point.

That meeting occurred sometime before first pitch and, the Yankees said, Posada apologized, which the GM accepted. Cashman briefed owners Hal and Hank Steinbrenner and club president Randy Levine on the apology, and the team said there will be no disciplinary action taken and that it considers the matter closed.

Girardi said he accepts what Posada told him and is eager to move on.

"We had a nice conversation," Girardi said. "We talked about being emotional and going through struggles and what defines who you are . . . He apologized and said, 'I had a bad day Saturday.' I said, 'You know what? I've had bad days too.' "

On Saturday, Posada said he felt disrespected by the organization dating to November, when he was told by Cashman that his catching days were over. On Sunday, Posada said he didn't want to get into details but said of Cashman, "We need to talk."

Before the pair did meet, Cashman said, "Him and I will talk and, obviously, we'll get this behind us as soon as we possibly can."

This is not likely to be the last drama to take place with a Yankees legend. While Posada reiterated Sunday that hitting ninth wasn't a factor in what happened, Girardi said he will do what's best for the team when it comes to making the lineup. If that entails batting Posada ninth, a slot in which he hasn't batted since 1999, so be it.

But the manager said he might handle things differently next time, both with Posada and the next iconic player (Derek Jeter?) to whom he might have to deliver some unflattering news.

"The one thing about my job in managing great Yankees that have had great careers and they're getting older," Girardi said, "there's nothing I can go to, there's no manual on my desk, there's no crystal ball on my table that I can go to and say this is exactly how you're supposed to do it."

Cashman dodged a question about how much longer Posada will remain the DH if he continues to struggle. "If at some point we feel we have to do something different, we'll do something different," he said. "We're not at that point right now."

On Sunday, Cashman said, was about "turning the page."

"Jorgie's a great Yankee, he's a great Yankee," he said. "He's a world-class champion. He's been here a long time, done a lot of great things. We've done a lot of great things together. Family members can have problems from time to time, but collectively, we've had a lot of great times together and they all add up to a lot more than one bad day."


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