Jorge Posada has a book coming out, so he’s had a few moments in the media spotlight this last week to plug his memoir, “The Journey Home: My Life In Pinstripes.” Despite being an insane Boston Red Sox fan, I always liked Posada. I say this as a disclaimer so that you are clear that my following response to Posada is not just opportunistic Yankee-bashing. I still like Posada, even if his memoir has a corny title and he just broke one of those unwritten rules of baseball. That rule is to never trash talk a teammate.
Personally, I think that rule is mostly garbage. Sure, in a team sport, you want to at least give the illusion of team solidarity in your pursuit of success. However, I think it serves only to further the bland and banal appearance of athletes when facing the media. To me, it’s fun to have the added bit of drama peppered in with the platitudes players usually serve to the media. Even better is the fact that Posada’s comments were to the detriment of two of the biggest baseball jerks in the last 30 years: Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez. I don’t have a problem with Posada breaking a ‘sacred’ rule. I’m tickled that he dropped the hammer on A-Rod and The Rocket. The rest gets a bit complicated.
Back on Thursday of last week, Posada was quoted as saying, “I don’t think it’s fair for the guys that have been in the Hall of Fame that played the game clean,” in regards to his opinion that A-Rod and Clemens shouldn’t be able to get into the Hall of Fame. Really? That’s a load of horse apples, if ever there was one.
Two problems here, in my mind. First, it feels like Posada is toeing the company line here with the Yankees. I bet Jorge probably snuggles up to a George Steinbrenner pillow and whispers that A-Rod also doesn’t deserve his performance incentive bonus for passing Willie Mays on the all-time home run leaders list. Hey, I hate A-Rod. Loathing of this level for another human being I’ve never met in person is a difficult achievement. I begrudge every home run of “redemption” he hits this season, but pay the dude already. I’m sure the stingy Yanks’ attorneys made sure that the language of the contract made it possible for them to back out on these bonuses, but that’s poorer form than bashing on old teammate in the press. Even Pete Rose thinks this is crap. Also problematic is how Posada’s comments betray his ignorance.
Does he really believe that everybody who is in the Hall always played the game ‘the right way’? Is he delusional enough to be convinced that nobody in the Hall played dirty or cheated or downed fistfuls of all sorts of drugs to get a leg up on the competition? Does he even realize that his career, the longevity of it, and the money he made was made possible, in part, by the salvation of baseball after the ’94 strike by the ‘Steroid Era’? Everybody turned a blind eye to glaring evidence of the PED pandemic and made a ton of money because of it. But now you want to perform surgical historical revisionism?
I’d rather have needles driven into my eyeballs than pretend that parts of the game’s history just up and disappeared. At least in their lack of representation in the Hall of Fame. Hey Jorge, do you know what the Hall of Fame is? It’s a g*******ed museum. You know how a museum is supposed to function? It allegedly should tell the complete story of its subject.
The Hall of Fame’s subject, Jorge, is baseball. And it should be presenting ticket-purchasing visitors with the full story. People should be able to decide for themselves what is good and evil in the course of baseball history. It is not the job of the Hall to moralize and edit baseball history. The BBWAA – and you, Jorgey – feel that it is their job to moralize and edit history. I’m sick of it and I’m sick of athletes who couldn’t beat me at Scrabble talking about things they shouldn’t (despite being a smart guy with a great vocabulary, I suck at Scrabble, so, yes, that’s a dis). To make matters worse, Posada backtracked on what he said and apologized for it. You tellin’ me you can’t even own up to what you say and do?
History is rough, brutal, and distressing, to say the least, but it is there for us to learn from. I know I’ve learned from history by not having cable television. That way, I don’t have to listen to fools like Posada talk on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.
History sure can be cruel, eh Jorgey boy?