Posada, a five-time All-Star catcher who’s batting .165 in his first season as designated hitter, was demoted to the ninth spot in the batting order yesterday from seventh. He approached manager Joe Girardi at about 6 p.m. before the game at Yankee Stadium, asking to be replaced in the lineup.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman spoke to Fox television during the game, saying Posada’s decision wasn’t because of injury. After the game, Posada said minor stiffness in his back suffered during warm-ups led him to the decision.
“Jorge came into my office and said he needed a day, he couldn’t DH today, and that was basically the extent of the conversation,” Girardi said at a televised post-game news conference. “I was not made aware of his back in our conversation or today at any point.”
Posada said he didn’t tell Girardi why he asked out of the game because the back issue wasn’t serious.
“I told him I couldn’t play today, that I needed time to clear my head,” Posada said in a televised interview with reporters. “My back stiffened up a little bit. I was taking a lot of ground balls at first base, and I walked out and wasn’t 100 percent.”
‘Little Bit’ Disrespected
Posada, 39, also expressed disappointment that Cashman made a public statement during the game, and said he’s felt “a little bit” disrespected by the team since losing his position as catcher.
“I don’t know why he would make a statement during the game, in the middle of the game,” Posada said of Cashman. “I don’t understand that. That’s the way he works now.”
Asked if there was a problem between him and either Girardi or Cashman, Posada said: “I don’t know. I hope not. I hope we can go on and go out and play the season.”
Girardi said that he hasn’t decided on a lineup for the team’s game tonight as New York (20-17) tries to avoid a sweep by the Red Sox. He also said he understands what Posada is going through.
“This is a situation that we will take care of,” Girardi said. “Players go through difficult times in this game, we all do. Sometimes we need days to clear our head and to just take a deep breath. I’ve been there, I’ve been through struggles and this season has been a struggle for Jorge.”
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