- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Jorge Posada asked to be taken out of the New York Yankees‘ lineup Saturday night after the slumping designated hitter was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order.

Posada, hitting .165 this season, was in the original lineup posted by manager Joe Girardi for the game against the Boston Red Sox. But general manager Brian Cashman said Posada went into Girardi’s office at 6 p.m. and requested that he be removed.

Posada’s wife tweeted that the five-time All-Star had back stiffness. But a person familiar with the discussion between Posada and the team told The Associated Press that he “refused” to play. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation was still not settled.

The person said the Yankees have been in contact with the commissioner’s office about possible recourse. The Yankees could fine Posada one day’s pay _ that would be $71,978 on his $13.1 million salary. If a player declines to play two days in a row, he could be put on the restricted list.

About 40 minutes before gametime, the Yankees announced that Posada had been scratched from the lineup and replaced by Andruw Jones at DH, but the team initially provided no explanation.

With specualtion swirling, Cashman met with reporters in a workroom behind the press box during the third inning to give an update. In an unusual scene, the GM said Posada is not injured, but wouldn’t comment on whether he had been insubordinate.

Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said Posada planned to speak with reporters after the game.

During the game, Posada’s wife, Laura, tweeted that her husband “loves being a Yankee” more than anything.

“He’s trying his best to help his team win. Today, due to back stiffness he wasn’t able to do that,” she wrote.

Before batting practice, Posada insisted he was OK with hitting ninth. He said he put himself in this position and he understood Girardi’s decision.

Posada was on the Yankees bench during the game, wearing a cap and sweat shirt.

Slumping all season in his new role as DH, the 39-year-old Posada has six homers and 15 RBIs. His batting average is the lowest for any player currently in the majors with at least 100 at-bats, and he hasn’t homered since April 23.

With the Yankees struggling to get big hits lately, Girardi said it was time to make a lineup switch in an attempt to get some of his sluggers going. He moved scuffling Nick Swisher down to eighth in the order and put Posada in the No. 9 hole.

“It’s all right. Just move some people around, get a W or two and get rolling again,” Posada said, adding that Girardi informed him of the lineup decision earlier in the day.

It was Posada who gradually supplanted Girardi as New York’s primary catcher in the late 1990s. The Yankees say the last time Posada hit ninth was exactly 12 years ago, on May 14, 1999, against the Chicago White Sox.

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