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Blame the manager, er, media

4/4/2010

Among the many entries on Jorge Posada’s resume -- four-time World Champion, five-time All-Star and still, at 38, one of the best-hitting catchers in major league baseball, add one more item -- revisionist historian extraordinaire.

Last year, Posada’s place behind the plate was famously, and publicly, taken over by Jose Molina on the days A.J. Burnett pitched, up to and including Games 2 and 5 of the World Series. It was no secret Burnett didn’t like throwing to Posada after getting chased off the mound in the third inning of a game at Fenway Park last June 9, having allowed 5 runs, throwing 84 pitches and shaking off what seemed like 284 signs.

After that, Molina gradually became Burnett’s regular catcher, an arrangement that clearly burned the proud and sensitive Posada especially during the postseason. But now, with Molina gone, Posada and Burnett are being forced to work together again, beginning Tuesday night in Boston.

However, to hear Posada tell it, the problem was never between him and Burnett, but with manager Joe Girardi’s perception of it. “We never had a problem,’’ Posada said in the visitor’s clubhouse before the Yankees-Red Sox season opener at Fenway. “We just had one bad game.’’

So why did it become such a big issue in the postseason? “I don’t know,’’ Posada said. “I think Girardi’s the perfect guy to answer that question. I think he’s got the best point of view on that. Ask him.’’

So I did.

“There have been a lot of guys in the big leagues that have had different catchers than the starting catcher catch him during the season,’’ Girardi said. “Greg Maddux did it all the time. It was not a huge story in Atlanta. Randy Johnson always had one wherever he was. There wasn’t a huge story in Arizona when he was there. To me, this took on a bigger picture because we’re in New York. It became a big story, but as far as them having a problem, I wasn’t concerned about that. I didn’t necessarily see a huge problem there.’’

Whoever was at fault, all that is behind them now. Posada and Burnett are on the same page. Besides, they never had a problem to begin with.

They swear.