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Is Russ Martin the new Joe Girardi?

12/15/2010

This Tweet from Ken Davidoff really gets to the heart of things, doesn't it?

    Yankees signed Russell Martin with his versatility in mind. Can help out at 3B, 1B, in addition to C. But Girardi values experience at C.

Jorge Posada was blessed with Hall of Fame talents, and developed Hall of Fame skills.

Nevertheless, he might not wind up in the Hall of Fame. If he doesn't, it'll be largely because he didn't start more than 109 games in a season until he was 29 years old. As I'm sure you know, that's exceptionally old for a player with Posada's talents and skills.

Posada's manager, a fellow named Joe Torre valued experience at C, though. And Torre's favorite experienced C was a fellow named Joe Girardi.

From 1996 through 1999 -- years during which Jorge Posada could have been the Yankees' regular catcher, and on most teams would have been -- Joe Girardi played 379 games and posted a .317 on-base percentage.

Did Girardi play too often, and Posada not often enough?

The Yankees did win three World Series in those four years. And it's probably not a real stretch to suggest that Posada's exceptional longevity as a potent hitter might be related to the relative lack of punishment his body took in those first few years of his career.

I'm not saying that Jorge Posada should have played more then, or that Jesus Montero should play more now.

I'm saying that it's not hard to understand why Joe Girardi would be happy to have Russ Martin aboard.