The Yankees season abruptly ended yesterday, and Jorge's last at bat of the game was a ground out. That may not seem interesting at all, but Jorge hustled down the line, and was thrown out. That was it. Nobody giving Jorge a curtain call, no one chanting "Hip Hip Jorge," and no fans honoring one of the greatest players in Yankees history.
Jorge Posada's ground out was likely his last at bat as a New York Yankee. A cruel twist of fate, if you ask me, as a player who was considered the greatest competitor lost out on a chance to give the Yankees a chance to win due to lack of speed, not lack of hustle.
There's a possibility the Yankees bring back Jorge to be a pinch-hitter vs. left handed pitchers, but it probably won't happen. Last night was almost certainly his last game with the New York Yankees. Assuming so, I'd like to thank Jorge Posada for his time with the Yankees, just like I thanked Andy Pettitte and thanked Gene Monahan, whose Yankees career is also over.
Posada's Yankees career started in 1995, but he only played in one game that season. In 1996, Posada pinch ran for the Yankees. No, that is not an error. Posada eventually took over the full time catching job from Joe Girardi in 1999, playing the position for the Yankees until 2011.
I can ramble on about how Posada is an amazing player, about how he won four World Series, made five All Star Games, won the Silver Slugger five times, and is the only Yankees catcher other than Yogi Berra to hit thirty home runs in a season, but that's not what Posada was all about.
Posada just wanted to win. To quote the book "Clubhouse Confidential" by former Yankees bat boy Luis Castillo, "You could see sensitivity in [Jorge's] expression, a real love of the game, and a deep liking for the competitive environment in which he thrived."
Can you ever remember saying "Jorge, you have to hustle," or "Jorge really didn't give his all there?" I know I can't. Posada never gave anything less than 100%, and that's a trait I love to see in a player.Jorge's final season with the Yankees was a turbulent one. Posada struggled throughout the season, and even asked out of the line up at one point. Despite that, Posada's ALDS was one of the best of any Yankees player in the series.
Posada may not have been honored, but his time with the Yankees won't ever be forgotten. When the #20 is retired, Posada will walk onto the field to deafening roars of appreciative fans that never got to give him a proper goodbye.
We may be down to two members of the core four next season, but the Yankees legacy still has all four members. #20 will always be known to me as the most competitive of the four. I also see Posada as the most likely of the four to eventually become a manager. Wouldn't surprise me if he's a coach next year, even.
So, I would like to thank Jorge Posada for his time with the Yankees. It truly was a blast.