It’s official. According to the Yankees’ Jorge Posada, he will NOT be returning to the Yankees for the 2012 season. But after the Yankees made it clear towards the end of the 2011 season that his services were no longer needed, you pretty much figured this was coming.
Posada was part of the ‘core four’ in the late 1990’s. A group of four Yankees that consisted of Posada, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. The four came up through the minors together and continued their togetherness stretch on up into the 2000’s. They won four World Series titles in a five year span–earning the name ‘core four’. Three of the ‘core four’ members (Jeter, Posada, and Rivera) played together for 17 consecutive years (1994-2011.) Andy Pettitte’s retirement earlier this year (Febuary 4th) caused the ‘core four’ to become the ‘key three’. Which now–with Posada’s career as a Yankee over–makes Jeter and Rivera the last remaining members of the 1990’s Yankees.
You know Posada wishes that his time with the Yankees could continue for at least another season. A wish made apparent by the following statement that he made yesterday:
I will always be a Yankee. The New York Yankees, for me, is my second family. It’d be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn a new set of rules. But it’s one of those things where I have to see if I wanna keep playing. At the end of the day, it’s a business. You look back and you wish there were some things that could’ve gone differently, but they didn’t. Everything happened for a reason. I’m not bitter at the Yankees. I’m not bitter at Joe Girardi. I’m not bitter at Brian Cashman. It just happens.
It may “just happen”, but I hate to see him go. I’ve been a fan of Posada for as long as I can remember. I feel that he’s a great guy–on and off the field–and is one of the most unappreciated players in all of MLB. (At least as far as last season goes.)
In honor of Posada’s fantastic career as a Yankee, I decided to talk about some of the highlights from his career:
Jorge Posada’s Major League Debut–September 4, 1995
Posada’s first game of his career in 1995 was also his only game of the year. He didn’t play another game in a Yankee uniform until 1996 when he played in eight games. He didn’t make the post season roster that season, however.
Jorge Posada’s First World Series Ring–October 21, 1998
The 1998 World Series saw the New York Yankees taking on the San Diego Padres. The Padre’s were no match for the Yankees, as they were swept in four games. Posada had one home run in the entire series, but with the help of his teamates, was able to win his first World Series title, and ring. Posada, and the Yankees, would go on to win three more World Series titles. (1999, 2000, and 2009.)
Jorge Posada’s First All-Star Game–July 11, 2000
Posada was lucky enough to be on a winning team for the first All-Star game of his career. The year 2000 saw the American League winning 6-3. Posada has been in four All-Star games since, (2001, 2002, 2003, and 2007), with the American League team coming out on top every single time. (Unless you consider the 2002 All-Star game as a no-win for both teams. That years game ended in a 7-7 tie, after both teams ran out of players.)
Jorge won the first of his five career Silver Slugger Awards in 2000. That season he hit 28 home runs and collected 86 RBI’s off of 145 hits. Posada has won four Silver Slugger Awards since 2000. (2001, 2001, 2003, and 2007.)
Jorge Posada’s 1,000th Career RBI–July 23, 2010
Most of the fans in the stands for this game were there to witness Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run of his career. They didn’t get to see that, however they did get to see something just as awesome. For it was in this game that Posada collected his 1,000th RBI of his career off of a double to center field.
As you can see, Jorge Posada has had an amazing career with the New York Yankees. Whether he’ll come back to play for another team for the 2012 season is still yet to be seen. Posada did however make the following statement regarding his thoughts on next season:
I started working out again on Nov. 1 like I always do, but I have no idea what’s gonna happen. A lot of teams called after the season was over. I’m undecided. I don’t know if I wanna play or stay home. I’m having fun with the kids and my family, but I don’t know what I wanna do. I don’t wanna make the mistake of telling you that I’m not gonna play or telling you that I am gonna play when I don’t know what I wanna do.
No matter what happens, Posada will always hold a spot in Yankee history as one of the “good guys.” He was a great player on the field, and an even better person off of it. When a Major League ballplayer is as grounded as Posada is, it’s hard to not respect him. As they say, “respect is earned, not given.” I can tell you this: Jorge Rafael Posada has earned my respect.
Should Posada give up baseball altogether? Or should he come back and play with another team for the 2012 season? Let me know what you think: