Jorge Posada is 39 years old and having the worst season of his career, getting benched as the Yankees’ designated hitter last week, but the five-time All-Star indicated yesterday that he plans to play in 2012.
And that seemingly means putting on a different uniform for the first time in 20 years, because it’s tough to imagine the Yankees bringing him back once his four-year, $52 contract runs out.
Posada was full of praise for Yankees fans after returning to the lineup Saturday with a grand slam and six RBIs, saying: “I play for them” and “the fans are a big reason why I love playing the game and especially here.”
However, he also told Mark Hale of the New York Post that he “could” consider playing elsewhere next season because “I don’t know what’s going to happen after this year … we’ll see.”
Of course, finding another team willing to give him a job could be problematic unless he finishes this season on a very strong note and that will be tough to do if manager Joe Girardi sticks with plans to keep Posada mostly on the bench. Hale notes that Posada nearly left the Yankees for the Mets as a free agent in 2008, but the deterioration of his catching skills may limit him to AL suitors at this point and teams aren’t exactly lining up to sign 40-year-old, .700 OPS designated hitters.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?