Jorge Posada has a big choice to make. Either retire and ensure his entire 17-year career is spent in New York Yankees pinstripes, or move on to another team and continue to play the game he loves. Whatever choice he makes, we think this Ballplayers Anonymous guide we created back in 2007 for Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, David Wells, Barry Bonds, and Kenny Rogers will likely help.
For the long time backstop, now 40 years old, there's no going back to New Yankee Stadium as a member of the home team. In fact, he says "there's not even a percentage of chance" that he can come back. Russell Martin took over immediately last season while Posada became designated hitter with one year remaining on a $52.4 million, four-year deal. The switch-hitter struggled against lefties and was batting just .165 back in May when he was dropped to no. 9 in the batting order, which was apparently the last straw as he asked to be taken out of the lineup, saying he wasn’t ready to play. However, he recovered and managed to hit .235 with 14 homers and 44 RBI in 2011.
You'd think five World Series rings, seven American League pennants and five All-Star appearances would be enough to call it a day and hang up his catcher's gear for good. However, we totally get why he wants to keep playing, if he does decide to take an offer from another club this winter. New jobs are exciting but can totally suck too, just like in real life:
"Do I want to do it for somebody else? Do I want to leave home? Do I want to do it all over again without knowing anybody? I will always be a Yankee. The New York Yankees for me is my second family. It will be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn another set of rules and all that stuff."
Posada said his agents had heard from about a half-dozen clubs expressing interest and he probably will wait until some time this winter to officially make a decision. It would be pretty weird to see Jorge in anything but a Yankees uniform, but his wife, Laura, had this to say Wednesday:
“I think after he stays home a few more months and he realizes how hard it is to stay home with the kids, I think he’s going to pay a team to have him play. Honestly, what I said to him was you need to really be sure about your decision, because you don’t want to have any regrets. You don’t want to feel in your mind that you didn’t accomplish something that you set out to accomplish when you started playing baseball. He has been playing baseball all his life, so it’s really hard to wake up and not have anything to do.”
She went on to suggest he stick around to get 300 career homers (he currently has 275) and that maybe he could play for the spankin' new Miami Marlins, since they make their offseason home in that area.
Since Bernie Williams retired to be a gospel rock star and Andy Pettitte retired out of shame last winter, Posada's exit leaves only Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera from the core group of guys who carried the Yankees to their recent run of excellence. Jeter is 37 years old and Rivera, who we kind of assumed was going to retire after this season, turns 42 later this month.