Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Catcher Says Goodbye

Round Two in the Republican dogfight takes place today in New Hampshire. It took me a while to find a candidate in the Republican field who does not make this registered Republican want to throw up in my own mouth. Now that I have I reasonably anticipate that he will finish so far up the track tonight that he will announce this time tomorrow that he is suspending his campaign. I hope not.

Perhaps it was lost in all of the hullabaloo that went on the past several days, but hopefully you saw the announcement over the weekend regarding Jorge Posada's decision to retire. Posada has been among my favorite Yankees for the entirety of his career. The Yankees reportedly told him a couple of weeks ago that he was not part of their 2012 plan. I know not how earnestly he explored the possibility of playing in some sort of reduced role for another team. I know simply that according to the reports on espn.com, Posada decided that he shall not. He shall retire from professional baseball having worn the uniform of only one team - the Yankees.

His final season in the Bronx was not a thing of beauty. His struggles were well-documented and the nadir of his Yankees career occurred in May when he asked out of a game against the Red Sox after Joe Girardi told him he was going to have to hit 9th. For a long moment thereafter - as Posada feuded with management and certain media outlets - it appeared as if that might have been the final act of his career.

Fortunately it was not. And while the Yankees season ended sooner than either expected or hoped with a first-round loss to the Tigers, Posada went out swinging. He hit .429 in the ALDS and his mere appearance in the on-deck circle sent the Stadium faithful into apoplectic spasm. And I sat in my den cheering along with the throng. And when the Yankees season ended, it occurred to me that I had seen Posada play for the final time.

From where I sat to watch him play for more a decade and a half, he shall be missed. A lot has been written in Yankee land the past couple of years about the "can't miss kid" Jesus Montero. Promise is a wonderful thing. I reckon we shall see this season whether there is in fact a point of intersection between hype and reality. I know not whether we shall. I know that he has damn big gear to fill. As for Posada? Not much left to say except thank you for having been an integral part of so much Yankees success since the mid-1990's. And of course - good luck.

....and maybe, just maybe, "Hip Hip Jorge!"

Ah, I could not resist doing it one last time.


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