A couple of weeks ago I returned to a major league clubhouse for the first time in, oh, a year. It was nice being back, the comfortable rhythms of a life I once knew very well. Players dodge the press. The press congregates. A star goes to his locker. The press follows. Ah, like home.
Yet whenever I long for a true comeback to covering baseball, I’m reminded why it’s a job I no longer crave. This time, the reminder is the Jorge Posada mess.
As you know by now, Posada—batting .165—took himself out of the Yankee lineup because he was insulted that manager Joe Girardi batted him ninth. This because an enormous story—first here in New York, but quickly across the nation. How dare Posada! How dare the Yankees! Shame! Shame! Shame. Because we, as a people, are lemings, a predictable course of acting ensued. The press flocked to Posada, then to his teammates, then to Brian Cashman. It all landed on the front pages and the lead broadcasts. Posada apologized—but was it enough? No! Yes! No! Yes! Then, to cap off my all-time favorite routine, we (the press) asked the Yankees whether this would be a distraction. “This” is supposed to be, on the surface, Posada asking out of the lineup. But “this,” in actuality, is us asking and asking and asking whether it’ll be a distraction. In other words, it’s the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy: By asking whether it’s a distraction, we’ve created a distraction. Love it!
To say I hate this shit is an understatement. I loathe this shit. Loathe it, loathe it, loathe it. When I was at SI, and an editor told me I had to report on such garbage, I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. It’s like we’re really bored with our own lives, and we need to be entertained by the misdeeds of others.
PS: On a side note, why did the Yankees think Jorge Posada, 39, would be a fine DH? He’s old, he’s been beaten down by years of catching and he’s never been an overwhelmingly amazing hitter to begin with?