Jorge Posada officially retires

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The Jorge Posada retirement press conference just went down at Yankee Stadium.  It was a packed house. Even more so than Andy Pettitte’s last year. In attendance were Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia and about a zillion others.

It was also pretty emotional, as Diana Munson, the widow of Thurman Munson, was on hand. She said that Posada brought her back to baseball again following the death of her husband and that she admired and loved the way he played the game. Which is, just, wow. Video of her comments can be seen here.

As for Jorge himself, he said “”I could never wear another uniform … I will forever be a Yankee.”  In this he is a True Yankee. Just like others who never wore another uniform. You know, like Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra.

Kidding!  Posada was an astounding player. One who, as Aaron noted, was massively underrated in his career. Guys like him are what made it hard to hate the Yankees even as their dominance taunted you into wanting to hate them. So good. So competitive. Seemed so decent.

Enjoy your retirement, Jorge.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.