It seemed for a moment that the craziness surrounding Jorge Posada asking out of the lineup on Saturday had begun to die down: Posada apologized to Joe Girardi, and though Posada wasn't in the lineup against the left-hander Jon Lester last night, he got a huge ovation when he pinch hit for Andruw Jones. We didn't expect it go away entirely: Where Posada will bat when he returns to the lineup will grab some headlines, and it's not the last time the Yankees will have to make a call about an aging veteran. But the major story lines — Posada asking out of the lineup (and reportedly off of the team, too), Brian Cashman going on Fox to say that Posada asked out and that he wasn't hurt — had appeared to have come and gone.
But today brought an unexpected off-shoot of the story. Buster Olney reported that, according to his sources, Yankees management was "surprised and frustrated" by Derek Jeter's comments about Posada, "even after Posada acknowledged that he was wrong in his actions Saturday and apologized to manager Joe Girardi." So what did Jeter say?
From the Daily News:
"My reaction was that I didn't think it was that big a deal," Jeter said about the Posada incident. "If you need a day, you need a day.
"It's over. It's done," Jeter said. "It's not the first time a player asked out of a lineup. Joe says if you feel like you need a day, let him know. It's understandable.
"I need a day right now," he joked.
And also, this:
"Let the person dealing with it go first," Jeter said. "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."
We'd have to think the last of these most caught the attention of Yankees brass. It's hard to imagine they'd be surprised that Jeter would defend his pal Posada, but the last line would appear to reference Brian Cashman speaking to the press (and the public) before Posada had the chance to talk.
Yesterday, we wrote that Cashman knows he can't let his players — respected veterans or otherwise — dictate how they'll be used. But like we said then, this is a delicate thing. Because we're not sure what's gained by telling Buster Olney that the team wasn't pleased with Jeter. Is this just a power play — a way to demonstrate that the front office will run the team as it sees fit, no matter whose feelings they hurt or who they have to criticize? Because this much is clear: In doing so, they were "throwing gas on the fire," to borrow a phrase from HardballTalk.
It appears, at least, that they've already extinguished this particular fire: Jeter said he had a conference call with Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, and Brian Cashman today — the call wasn't his idea — and told reporters, "We are all on the same page."
Posada, by the way, isn't in the lineup against David Price and the Rays tonight. But considering his lifetime numbers against Price (he's 1-for-18), and his numbers against lefties this season (he's 0-for-24), that's not much of a surprise.