Amid news that Jorge Posada is planning to retire I’ve written a couple times recently that he’s underrated, in part because catchers in general tend to be undervalued and in part because Posada specifically has been in the shadow of various other Yankees stars.
Some readers scoffed at the notion of Posada being underrated, but MLB.com Astros beat reporter Brian McTaggart just provided an example of what I’m talking about:
And then, in response to McTaggart’s tweet, Atlanta Journal Constitution Braves beat reporter David O’Brien replied:
(O’Brien went on to say about Posada: “If not a Yankee he’s not even mentioned as HOF possibility.”)
I tend to think Posada is a borderline Hall of Famer, but the notion that he’s on par with Ken Singleton and clearly behind Fred McGriff is exactly what I was talking about in terms of his being underrated.
Among all the catchers in baseball history Posada is 12th in Wins Above Replacement. McGriff is 19th among first basemen and Singleton is 102nd among outfielders. WAR isn’t the final word on anything and there’s also certainly room to quibble with those numbers one way or another, but you get the idea.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.