Tag Archives: Posada

Earl Weaver dies

Earl Weaver, the HOF manager of the Orioles 1968-1982, 1985-1986, died yesterday at the age of 82.

Weaver led the Orioles to four World Series (1969-1971, 1979), winning one (1970). Five of his teams won 100 games in a season, one—the 1980 Orioles—not even making the playoffs (in that pre-wild card era, they won 100 but the Yankees won 103).

He also guided the Orioles into the ALCS in 1973 and 1974.

His lifetime winning pct. was .583, which would be equal to an average of a 94-68 season.

Meanwhile, the LOHUD blog states that Jorge Posada will be in spring training camp as a guest instructor. Considering the current state of the Yankees’ catching right now, it’s a good thing that he will be. He may have a lot of work to do (Cervelli, Stewart, Romine, etc.).

Yanks sign Mo, but now need a catcher

The Yanks and Mariano Rivera reached agreement on a one-year contract worth $10 MM + incentives on Mo’s 43rd birthday yesterday.

It’s expected that the 2013 season will be Mo’s swan song.

But the Yanks now need a catcher. Russell Martin, who hit .211-21-53, OPS+ 92, has signed a two-year contract with Pittsburgh, leaving the Yanks with Francisco Cervelli (who spent almost all of last year in AAA), untested Austin Romine, who missed most of last year with a back injury, and Chris Stewart, Martin’s backup last year.

Stewart hit .241-1-13, OPS+ 67 in 55 games last year. Romine, 24, was 3 for 19 in 2011 in a brief callup with the Yanks, but got into just 31 minor league games last year due to his back injury, hitting .243-4-15. It’d be a stretch to suggest he is ready.

Cervelli, who’ll be 27 next year, hit .246-2-39 at AAA last year. In 490 MLB at bats, Cervelli is .271-5-71, OPS+ 84.

Martin only hit .211 last year (and spent most of the year in the .180’s), but it’s still a dropoff.

Gary Sanchez, who’ll be 20 soon, is far from ready. He hit .290-18-85, and could be the catcher of the future, but he hasn’t played any games at all above High-A.

So do the Yanks trade for a catcher?

The two free agent catchers out there are Mike Napoli, 31, who is more of a hitter than a catcher. Napoli hit .227-24-56 last year for Texas, OPS+ 110 (but wags (like me?) would say his low average/high HR would fit in with the Yanks’ lineup). He had 30 HR for Texas in 2011, has postseason experience (10 RBI in the 2011 WS). But his defense isn’t good. He is a .259 career hitter with a very good OPS+ of 126. However he doesn’t seem to fit defensively, as Girardi, a former catcher known for his defense, would want someone in the same defensive mold as himself.

The other free agent catcher is A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski hit a career high 27 HR his past season, .278-27-77. OPS+ 118. His average year is more like .284-13-60, OPS+ 96. He, like Napoli, has postseason experience (and, in his case, a WS ring from 2005), but I don’t see his personality (he can be grating) fitting in with the Yanks.

The Yanks said that they didn’t have the money to compete with Pittsburgh on Martin’s deal. Like one friend stated on his blog, read that again.

It’s too bad Brian Schneider isn’t five years younger. Schneider comes from my hometown, and is a lefty bat. But he hasn’t played regularly since 2008. Since then he hasn’t played in more than 59 games in a season, and has hit just .214. Schneider, a fine defensive catcher, if he were 31 instead of 36, could have platooned with Cervelli until Romine is ready. But even if he were in his prime, and gave you 100 games, the best you would expect from Schneider would be .247-8-40 or so.

Maybe the Yanks force-feed Romine now into the starting role, but I doubt it. But instead of getting the year in AAA he needs, Romine could be force-fed into the backup role. But as of now, I see Cervelli #1 and Stewart #2.

That could change over the next few months. It most likely will, but who would be the new catcher? In any case, it appears that that new catcher would just be a stopgap. But you never know.

No, I don’t see Posada (41) coming out of retirement. Remember that Jorge hasn’t caught regularly since 2010, and his defense in the last few years of his career was highly suspect.

But considering the age of this team, with Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, A-Rod, Kuroda, and possibly Chavez and Ichiro, Jorge would fit right in, wouldn’t he?

Game 44. Teix back to 3rd in lineup today

The Yanks try to stay above .500 today. Teixeira is back up at 3rd in the lineup.

22-21, 4th in A.L. East, 5 1/2 back. Even with the Pythagorean mark, OPS+ 108, ERA+ 102.

Jeter SS .341-5-16  3/4  130  Hit count: 3149
Granderson CF .250-13-24  1/3  134  Still want him to RUN!
Teixeira 1B .229-5-20  1/2  78   Needs to get it going. 
Rodriguez 3B .276-5-15  5/5  109   See below
Cano 2B .304-5-17  1/1  127
Swisher RF .239-7-27  0/0  102  See below.
Jones DH .217-4-8  0/0  93    See below.
Martin C .179-4-10  1/1  79   See Below.
Nix LF .263-2-4  0/1  129  5 for 19. 

Pettitte LHP  1-1, 2.51. ERA+ 171.   3rd start of his comeback.

Jeter leads the AL in hits. 3 behind Waner and 5 behind Brett on the all-time list. But since May 4, hitting .231 (15 for 65), with last night’s RBI as his only RBI in that period (16 games). All hits are singles except for one double, and there have been 6 GIDP.

A-Rod has just 1 HR since 4/27. Of his 43 hits, only 10 are XBH. Where’s the power?

Swisher:  .177 since 4/28, 1 HR, 4 RBI.  11 for 62, 17 strikeouts in that span (compare lack of HR to A-Rod; same time period).

I have to wonder if Mustelier, at this point, would be a better option than Jones. Mustelier in 42 games AA/AAA? .337-8-29. 5/9 in SB.

I also have to wonder if a 40 year old Posada could hit better right now than Martin. (Not catch better, mind you…)

Pettitte is looking for career win #242, Yankee win #205.

Game 6 lineup

Against the Orioles tonight. Yanks off tomorrow, home opener vs. Angels on Friday.

Jorge Posada will be throwing out the first ball on Friday, per Jack Curry of the YES network. You can imagine the applause he will receive. No word as to whether Jeter will catch it.

Tonight’s lineup (and let’s hope the bats are better w/risp!)

Jeter 6
Granderson 8
Cano 4
Rodriguez 5
Teixeira 3
Swisher 9
Ibanez DH
Martin 2
Gardner 7

Sabathia LHP (0-0, 7.50)

Posada retires today.

Jorge Posada announces his retirement at a press conference at Yankee Stadium today. See Bronx Baseball Daily (link at right) for a review of Posada’s career.

Cody Ross signed with Boston. He most likely will platoon in RF. Boston still has holes to fill.

Kevin Millwood signed a minor league deal with the Mariners. Omar Vizquel signed with Toronto. Vizquel, the active leader in games, PA and AB, will be 45 in April. He has 2841 hits.

Besides Ibanez, Damon, Vlad, Matsui… forgot another DH still out there: Derrek Lee. One off the board: Wilson Betemit, who signed with Baltimore.

Ex-Phils broadcaster Andy Musser died at the age of 74.


Posada retirement announcement to be Tuesday

Rob Abruzzese over at Bronx Baseball Daily (where I contribute the Classic Yankees series, check it out), has on his blog that the N.Y. Post is reporting that Jorge Posada’s retirement press conference will be on Tuesday.

I have written a Classic Yankees piece for BBD, which Rob most likely will run soon after the press conference.

Update: Rob has it set to run on Tuesday morning. (1/24/12).

These are the Celtics?

It’s funny looking at the standings and seeing the Celtics at 4-7. What makes it worse is that the NBA season is just 66 games this year because of the lockout, which means less recovery time.

Allen, Garnett and Pierce are getting old, and it’s showing. You wonder if, like with Bird, McHale and Parish, Boston hung onto them too long.

Pierce suffered through a long stretch of the Celtics not being any good, and now, they are reverting to what he dealt with for so long.

It’s hard watching the fabled franchise (17 NBA titles) struggle. You wonder what the long-range plan is, because it’s apparent that the Big Three (plus Rondo) are struggling.

I see one letter in the NY Post today. It asks “besides Yogi, what other catcher other than Posada, has five rings?” Now, Posada wasn’t there long in 1996, so that ring may not mean as much as the other four (1998-2000, 2009), but how about I give an answer? Bill Dickey. (1932, 1936-1939, 1941 and 1943).

A Catching Lineage.

As I mentioned in the previous post about Posada, NO team can match the Yankees’ catching lineage. NONE. Let’s briefly look at that lineage.

1) Bill Dickey. HOF. #8 retired by the Yanks. Yanks 1928-1943, 1946.
.313 BA. 202 HR. OPS+ 127. 5th, 5th, 2nd and 6th in MVP voting 1936-1939. 8th in 1943 (a WWII year) at the age of 36. (Yanks mgr. 1946).

2) Yogi Berra. HOF. #8 retired by the Yanks. Yanks 1947-1963, Mets 1965. Yanks mgr. 1964, 1984-1985. MVP 1951, 1954, 1955.
How about this run? 3rd, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st and 2nd in MVP voting from 1950-1956.
.285 BA. 358 HR. OPS+ 125.

3) Elston Howard. #32 retired, Yankees 1955-1967, Red Sox 1967-1968.
1963 MVP. Also 10th in MVP 1961, 3rd in 1964.
.274, 167 HR. OPS+ 108.
Had he not died at age 51, could he have become the first black manager of a NY team?

4) Thurman Munson. #15 retired. Yankees 1969-1979.
Untimely death at age 32.
Could he have become a Yankees mgr.?
.292, 113 HR, OPS+ 116; MVP in 1976. 7th in 1975 and 1977.

5) Jorge Posada. #20 (we’ll see). Yankees 1995-2011.
HOF? (We’ll see). Future Yankees Mgr.? (likewise).
.273, 275 HR, OPS+ 121.  3rd in MVP voting 2003, 6th in 2007.

Sources indicate Posada to retire

From Twitter:

YankeesWFANSweeny Murti

Jorge Posada will announce his retirement within the next two weeks, per source.

So Jorge will retire as a Yankee. #20 probably won’t be retired, but no team has the legacy of great catching that the Yankees can boast. From Dickey to Berra to Howard to Munson to Posada.

You only wonder if Jesus Montero could be next. His hitting isn’t in question, but there are questions about his defense. The 22 year old hit .328-4-12, OPS+ 159 in his brief stint with the Yankees in 2011 (20 for 61).

As for Posada, a great career, and he’ll see the HOF ballot after the 2016 season. I don’t think he’ll get in, but he should garner nice support (kind of like Bernie Williams now).

Let’s look at Posada’s record.

Full-time catcher for four WS champs (1998-2000 and 2009; he was there in 1996, but was 1 for 14 in eight games, so five rings).

He played on two other teams that went to the WS. (2001 and 2003).

.273 B.A., 275 HR (same career total as Maris, 12 behind Bernie). OPS+ 121. That OPS+ number is superb.

Tied with Yogi Berra for most HR in a season by a Yankees catcher (Jorge hit 30 in 2003; Yogi hit 30 in 1952 and 1956).

Five Silver Slugger Awards. A 5x All-Star.

Two top-10 MVP finishes (3rd in 2003 and 6th in 2007).

A .338 B.A. in 2007 (no leg-hits for Jorge!); he turned 36 in August of that year.

His intensity will be missed.

He played in 125 postseason games, about the equivalent of another full season for a catcher. In those games, he hit .248-11-42.His 162 g. average (a bit ridiculous when talking about catchers, but still) was .273-24-94.

Even if we take his 17 seasons and divide his stats by 14, we would get this:

131 games (more like a full Posada season), .273-20-76. Definitely not a bad 14-year average for a switch-hitting catcher. You’d take that anytime for one year, and you’d certainly take that as an average for 14 years.

Posada, 40, has these numbers on BaseballReference.com:

No Black Ink. Hurts him.
Gray Ink: 17 (Average HOF: 144) Hurts him.Now two others:

HOF monitor 98. Likely HOF? 100.  So close.
HOF Standards 40. Average HOF? 50. Close.

Similar batters, (an asterisk indicates a HOF player) Lance Parrish, Gabby Hartnett*, Bret Boone, Javy Lopez, Gary Carter*, Vern Stephens, Joe Gordon*, Bill Dickey* (surprise!), Bill Freehan, and Benito Santiago.

Note the catchers in that list, and note that Hartnett, Carter and Dickey are HOF catchers. Lopez comes onto the ballot this year, but like Posada, will most likely fall short.

Posada may not be a HOF player, or get #20 retired, but he may get a “day.”

He deserves a huge hand at the next Old-Timer’s day. Maybe one last “Hip-Hip, Jorge!”

From Yankees fans everywhere, Thanks, Jorge.

Jorge Posada

Mo to have surgery, Posada refutes claims he contacted and was rejected by Mets.

Mariano Rivera will have vocal cord surgery tomorrow to remove polyps. He should recover in a few weeks but will be completely silent for a while.

Jorge Posada’s agent refuted earlier reports today that Posada contacted and was rejected by the Mets.

In the NFL, Donovan McNabb asked for and was granted his release from the Vikings. There are reports that Dallas and Chicago could be interested, since both put claims on Kyle Orton, who went to KC. McNabb may be an OK backup for someone, but it appears more and more that his days as a starter are over….if not indeed his days in the NFL, period.