Dissecting the Jorge Posada situation

Updated: May 15, 2011, 5:21 PM ET
By Buster Olney

We will never hear just one unchallenged version of what actually took place on Saturday evening between Jorge Posada and the men for whom he works, because frustration, anger, pride and public relations seemed to spawn three or four different versions, like garden weeds. By the time Posada finished answering questions, his words contradicted, in one way or another, those of manager Joe Girardi, GM Brian Cashman and his wife, Laura Posada.

But really, the he-said, he-said, he-said, she-said is irrelevant at this stage. The bottom line is that Posada is 39 years old and failing at the last task the Yankees' decision-makers believe he can handle: being a designated hitter. The only thing saving his job this morning is his two decades of history with the franchise.

If his name were Jose Canseco or any of the other short-time designated hitters intermittently employed by the Yankees when Posada was an All-Star catcher, he would already be out the door, based on his production. His on-base percentage is .272 and he has a .165 batting average, which ranks dead last among 193 qualified players. The Yankees' offense has been atrocious, with a lineup that looks old and lethargic, and Girardi is desperately seeking some help. Nothing could be easier than to replace the guy with the worst production and stick somebody else's name in the designated hitter spot.

But it's all more complicated than that. Posada was part of arguably the greatest team in the last half-century, the '98 Yankees, and it was Posada who shared the embrace with Mariano Rivera at the end of the '99 World Series, and then again in 2000 and 2009. He is a five-time All-Star, a five-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award and somewhere he has tucked away five championship rings. His resume makes him a borderline Hall of Fame candidate, and regardless of whether he is ever honored at Cooperstown, there will be standing ovations whenever his name is called at Old-Timers Day games.