Childish, baby like and potentially dangerous. That is what Jorge Posada’s actions were Tuesday night in the fracas that erupted at Yankee Stadium.
And I thought boxing was coming to the New, New Yankee Stadium a few years from now, but not as soon as last night.
Posada felt he should not be the recipient of the Toronto Blue Jays retaliation of “my hitter gets hit, so we must hit yours.” Actually, that is a badge of honor to be the recipient. It means the other team values you as a player, so as the player who was hit, Posada should have just taken his base and let it go.
I remember one time when Albert Belle was on the Cleveland Indians and in his prime. At one point the Red Sox couldn’t get him out, so someone on the Sox threw at Belle. Albert then hit a home run his next time up and when he got to the Dugout, he pointed to his bicep. In essence Belle was telling the Red Sox, “I am too strong for you, you might as well hit me because you can’t get me out.”
A badge of honor.
Posada, though, never lets anything go, which is sometimes good as clubhouse motivator, but oftentimes it puts the Yankees in a bad situation*.
* Posada holds grudges and thinks he is beyond things. I believe he still does not like Joe Girardi since Girardi stayed on as Yankee catcher for the 1999 season and taking time away from the early part of Posada’s career. But Posada still does not get that Girardi stayed on with the Yanks that year to help WITH Posada’s development. Posada had completely cool feeling towards Girardi the entire 2008 season, not helping the transition with General Joe’s first year at the Yankee helm.
Everything started in the top of the 8th when Mark Melancon plunked Toronto second baseman Aaron Hill, one of the bright, young hitting stars on this Blue Jay team.
Melancon appears to be the guy that Joe Girardi is authorizing as his late inning retaliator. On August 6th, Melancon beaned Dustin Pedroia, then buzzed Kevin Youkilis, leading to an agitated Youkilis. Melancon has hit four guys so far this season (in only 16 innings), two Red Sox players (Jason Bay and Pedroia) and two Blue Jays players as M.M. plunked John McDonald earlier this month.
I hope Melancon is not eager to get the reputation as a head hunter. That would not bode well for his popularity on the team amongst the everyday lineup players who likely would be on the receiving end of the retaliations.
Posada needed to leave well enough alone, as when the fight broke out, the last things the Yankees need is to have one of their big arms like Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte (already with a sore shoulder) or Chamberlain hurt like Boston Red Sox hurler Bill Lee was back in 1976 in a brawl against the Yankees.
It is good to see that Shelley Duncan always has his teams back. Duncan was in the mix early on, separating players and being a Yankee enforcer. He was in the middle of the scrum two springs ago with the Tampa Bay Rays after Francisco Cervelli had his wrist broken. Too bad the Yankees front office does not have as much love for Shelley as the Yankee fans do.
As much as the Rays probably hate Shelley, he would be a great fit for that team with his versatility (1B, OF, RH bat off the bench) and could do offensively for Tampa what Pat Burrell gave them this season…at a fraction of the price.
One more thing about that fracas last night. Michael Kay, the Yankee play by play guy on the YES Network harped on the slight swelling on Girardi’s left eye after TV camera’s captured the Yankee manager. Kay said repeatedly that John McDonald, the slightly built Toronto shortstop sucker punched Girardi when Johnny Mac entered the fray. That was the furthest thing from the truth as McDonald appeared to be a peace keeper.
Replays showed that McDonald’s left hand did make contact with Girardi, but had made contact with the RIGHT SIDE of Girardi’s face, and only by accident as McDonald was trying to pull people away. Girardi also said that he got his bruise from one of his own players who inadvertently elbowed him during the scrum.
If McDonald wanted to cheap shot someone, he definitely would have gone after A-Rod.
Posada could have caused more harm than good with his childish antics, and it is great that he got to spend last night on the suspended list while the Yankees walked off with another win.