Don't Close the Door on The Jorge Posada Story Just Yet

Yankees not happy with Derek Jeter's reaction to Posada flap

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, May 16, 2011  |  Updated 1:28 PM EDT
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Don't Close the Door on The Jorge Posada Story Just Yet

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Letting sleeping dogs lie is not the Yankee way.

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There were a lot of people invoking the memories of the darkest days of the George Steinbrenner era on Saturday night when Jorge Posada refused to bat ninth against the Red Sox.

It was certainly a wild night with bombshell accusations of hissy fits and voided contracts, but it was missing the main character himself. That became even clearer with Monday's report from Buster Olney that the team is now upset with Derek Jeter's response to Saturday's incident.

Jeter spoke about his reaction on Sunday. He said he would tell Posada if he thought the entire team deserved an apology for his actions, but made it clear that there weren't any bad feelings between the old friends.

"My reaction was that I didn't think it was that big a deal," Jeter said. "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."

All of that seems like a pretty good statement for the captain of the team to make in an attempt to put a bad situation to rest, even if it does let Posada off the hook rather easily. It also seemed like the expected move from a man who is forced to talk about the worst day of his best friend's career.

Throw in the fact that he's also in the touchy situation of indirectly talking about his own standing on the team and in the lineup and Jeter did pretty well to keep things from getting worse. Jeter isn't in the business of airing dirty laundry and he has always done his best to keep it out of the public eye.

Well, he did that until this offseason when contract negotiations brought out the worst in him. It seems that those feelings haven't all gone away because Jeter did decide to take a swipe at Brian Cashman for talking about Posada's situation during Saturday's game.

"Let the person dealing with it go first," Jeter said. "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."

Not the most diplomatic statement anyone's ever made, perhaps, but there's not much shock to learn that there's still bad blood between Jeter and Cashman. What is shocking is that someone from the Yankees decided to use that as a springboard to a bigger issue.

Olney reports that Yankees management was "surprised and frustrated" that Jeter exonerated Posada even after Posada apologized for his behavior. And so now the story will continue for another day, at least, as everyone gets Jeter's repsonse to the Yankee response.

All of which brings us back to Big Stein. This would have been a huge story if George was still rocking the blazer and turtleneck on the mortal coil, mostly because the owner would have made his feelings very clear to everyone and anyone within earshot.

The big difference is that he would have signed his work and left no doubt about who felt this way. Someone from the Yankees felt like they needed to speak to Olney, but they were too gutless to put their name to their words because they wanted to have things both ways.

Big Stein never worried about things like that, which was a strength and a failing at various times. It would be a big strength here because once Mt. Steinbrenner blew its top, everyone could move on to more serious business.

Instead we have this lingering stink that will only start to reek more as this situation plays itself out with Jeter and others in the years to come. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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