Saturday, November 07, 2009

After the boys of summer have gone


In sports news, the NYYankees, a small market team with the lowest payroll in the majors, staged an historic and heroic come-from-behind win, against all odds, to defeat the highly favored Philadelphia Phillies tonight in the World Series.

With their lack of well-known superstars, an old decrepit stadium, and virtually no fan base, the Yankees surprised even jaded sports journalists with their unlikely victory. When asked what it felt like to finally be a winner, catcher Jorge "Chinless" Posada said, voice breaking with emotion: "This is a win for the little guy, the guy who tries harder. We never expected to be here, and we're grateful, and humble".

Owner George Steinbrenner, racked with debt, and having tried unsuccessfully for several years to sell the money-losing franchise, remarked: "This is what can happen when guys have hearts larger than their talent. This is destiny".

Update & bump: While I mock Jorge Posada and his less than Dudley Do-right chin, he's a bad-ass player and a good guy:

In 2003, he hit 30 home runs (one every 16.0 at bats, ninth best in the league) and drove in 101 runs, both career highs. He batted .281 and was also fifth in the league in OBP (.405), and sixth in the league in walks (93; walking 17.5% of the time, a career high). He tied Yogi Berra’s record for most home runs by a Yankee catcher and finished third in the MVP voting. He also made the final out of that year's World Series, a groundout against Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett.

In 2006, Posada posted one of his best offensive seasons and he led the major leagues with 20 pinch hits.[4] In addition, work with new first base coach Tony Peña, a former catcher, helped him improve his percentage of runners thrown out stealing second almost 60 points above his career average.

In 2007, Posada batted at .338, with 20 home runs, 90 RBIs, and career highs in hits (171) and doubles (42). He joined Iván Rodríguez as the only two catchers in MLB history to record at least 40 doubles in two separate seasons. He was 3rd in the AL in on-base percentage (.426), 4th in batting average, 6th in OPS (.970), and 8th in doubles and slugging percentage (.543). Posada batted .395 in September, and became the first Yankee catcher since Thurman Munson, in 1978, to finish among the top 10 AL batting leaders. His longest hitless streak was only 11 at-bats. Posada is the first catcher to hit .330 or better with a slugging percentage of at least .540 and an on-base percentage of at least .420 since Mike Piazza in 1996-97. On the final day of the 2007 regular season, Yankees manager Joe Torre allowed Posada to act as the manager for the game,[5] an honor that Torre bestows upon a veteran player if the final game does not matter in the standings. The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-4 to give Posada an unofficial win in his 'managerial debut'.

On November 2, 2007, Posada openly backed new Yankes manager Joe Girardi, after reports claimed that he would have a difficult time playing under Girardi.

On November 12, 2007, Posada signed a 4-year, $52 million contract to remain with the Yankees.[6]

On July 21, 2008, Posada was placed on the disabled list.[7] Posada intended to recover from this injury in order to perform as designated hitter or first baseman. However, the team decided to acquire Xavier Nady, in order to allow him enough time to operate.[8] On July 28, 2008, Yankees officially announced that he would undergo season-ending surgery to repair the glenoid labrum in his right shoulder.[9] Consequently, Posada did not participate again until 2009 spring training. Through 2008, Posada has hit 162 homers from the left side of the plate and 59 from the right side.[10]

On September 21, 2008, Posada was selected to catch the ceremonial first pitch prior to the final game at the original Yankee Stadium. The pitch was thrown by Julia Ruth Stephens, the only living daughter of Babe Ruth.

On April 16, 2009, in the bottom of the 5th inning, he hit the first regular season home run in the new Yankee Stadium against Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians. Teammate Robinson Cano was the first MLB player to go deep at the new Yankee Stadium off of Chicago Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly on April 3, 2009 in an exhibition game.

On May 1, 2009, he hit the first walk off hit in a nine inning game in the new Yankee Stadium against Brian Fuentes to help the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10-9. On October 4, the last game of the season, Posada again served as the honorary manager, as the Yankees went on to win, 10-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays.[citation needed]

On October 11, 2009, Posada hit a tie-breaking HR to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the top of the 7th inning against the Twins. This was also the last home run hit at Minnesota's Metrodome. He hit another HR to tie it 4-4 on Oct, 19, in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Angels.

. . .

On January 21, 2000, Jorge married Laura Posada, an attorney and former model and actress from Puerto Rico. They have two children, Jorge III and Paulina.

Posada's son, Jorge III, suffers from craniosynostosis, which he was diagnosed with 10 days after he was born, and has endured numerous surgeries to correct the condition. Posada established the Jorge Posada Foundation to help find a cure for the disease and support families with children affected by the condition. Jorge released a charity wine in 2008 called Jorge Cabernet to raise funds for his foundation.[11]

Any team would be proud to have Posada as their regular catcher. Hey, Tony Reagins . . .

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