Posada apologizes to Yankees, no team discipline
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 at the time, the situation was unsettled.
The person said the Yankees had been in contact with the commissioner’s office about a possible penalty. The Yankees could have fined Posada one day’s pay _ that would be $71,978 on his $13.1 million salary.
The embarrassing episode brought to the forefront several sticky issues for the Yankees:
_ Did Posada quit on his team, even for a day, and is his legacy affected? Scottie Pippen had a Hall of Fame basketball career, but few fans forget that he refused to take the court in a Chicago Bulls playoff game when the final shot was drawn up for someone else.
_ The Yankees have parted with several popular players recently, often taking a tough stance with former stars such as Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and Andy Pettitte. Are they showing icons like Jeter, Posada and Mariano Rivera the respect they deserve?
_ How does an aging star say goodbye with grace and dignity? With great athletes like Willie Mays, Brett Favre, Shaquille O’Neal and others, it’s often been sad to watch as their skills declined. Is the same thing happening to Posada and Jeter?
“The reality of it is, my job is to win today and I have to deal with that,” Girardi said. “I try to show respect and I try to show sensitivity and truly care about my players, and that’s the things that I have to balance, and that’s not always easy. Because as I said, players always think they could still do it at the same level, or today’s going to be the day that it turns around for me. If they didn’t think that they wouldn’t be successful in their career. … I’ve told my players I’m doing what I think is best at the time.”
Red Sox manager Terry Francona pointed to his relationship with Ortiz as the Fenway Park favorite struggled early last season.
“Last year we went through a tough April. It doesn’t always work out the way you want. When you balance the team, personal, you want everything to mesh. It doesn’t always do that. What I think is more important is not that you’re not going to run into problems but how you get through them and where you go from there,” Francona said. “David and I kind of had to slug it out a little in April last year. There’s no getting around it. But we did get through it and got better for it. That’s what you try to do.”
AP Sports Writer Howie Rumberg, AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker and AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.