The intangibles of Jorge Posada

Yanks release limited single-game ticket info
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The Yankees missed Jorge Posada last year. It was mostly for his bat — most catchers are there for defensive purposes, so it’s a huge plus when a team has a catcher who can hit. Jorge has been one of the top offensive catchers for years, and losing his bat, especially considering the drop-off to backup Jose Molina, was devastating. However, that’s not all the Yankees missed from their backstop.

Jorge has always been described as a strong clubhouse personality, someone who will get in your face if he thinks you’re doing something wrong. I know we can’t quantify what kind of effect that has on players, but it certainly means something. It might rub some players the wrong way, thus creating a negative effect, but it can also motivate players. That seems to be the case with Joba Chamberlain.

After Joba’s putrid start against Team Canada, Jorge approached the ace-in-training and let him know what time it is:

“I caught him in the bullpen after that and I told him what I saw was embarrassing,” Posada said Thursday before a spring training game against the Tigers. “I told him to throw the fastball and stop waiting for things to happen. I told him he has to pitch like he can every time no matter what. Whether it’s as a starter, reliever or even in the bullpen, people are watching.”

Would Joba have pitched the same game had Jorge not gotten in his face? Perhaps. We really can’t know. That’s why there’s always a debate over the value of intangibles. You can see something in someone — Jeter’s cool, calm demeanor, or Jorge’s firecracker personality — and say it’s good for the team. But how good is it really? And is it good at all? We can only know these things anecdotally, and no matter how strongly we feel we have no idea of how it actually affects other players.

That said, I’m glad Jorge got on Joba’s case. Young players often need reminders from vets of what the game’s all about. Jorge seems to understand that, and he’s not afraid to do something about it. I’m glad to have him back on the field and in the clubhouse.

Yanks release limited single-game ticket info
Open Thread: Blacked out
  • Steve H

    Posada’s career OPS+ is 124, Varitek’s career high for a season is 123. Nice when intangibles are backed up with the more meaningful stats. I have always (obviously) known that Posada is the much superior player, but I have to admit I was shocked that Tek’s career year is just an average year for Jorge.

    • Mike R. – Retire 21

      But…but…V-Tec is an all-star!

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    1. Jorge should be the captain instead of Jeter. Yes, that is a shot at Derek Jeter.

    2. Jorge Posada is quite possibly the best offensive catcher not named Mike Piazza of the last decade. It’s a shame that he probably won’t get any HOF love even though he deserves it.

    • Steve H

      Yeah, the fact that he’s been a Yankee both helps and hurts his cause. The rings, the market, etc. help, but I think he’s been overshadowed by his teammates thru the years (shot at Jeter). When you look at the 124 OPS+ as a catcher, along with strong counting stats, he really deserves a long hard look at the hall. He may even get there with another 2-3 solid years. Pudge, a 1st ballot HOF (until/unless he gets busted for PED’s) has a 110 OPS+. Obviously he’s a better defender than Jorge, but probably not as good as we’ve all been led to believe. Sure he threw out a ton of runners, but calling fastballs all the time sure helps. Fisk was 117 OPS+(and was at 155, 136 and 134 from 40-42), even Bench was only slightly better at 126.

      • steve (different one)

        i think the problem is that he DOESN’T have the counting stats.

        i would vote for him, but that’s exactly why he won’t get in. his counting stats are going to fall well short of the accepted standards.

  • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

    For the past few years, I’ve thought as Jeter as the soothing mother of the team, and Posada as the hard nosed father.

  • Drew

    “I’m glad to have him back on the field and in the clubhouse.”
    Amen brother

  • Rich

    Another instance of Posada’s intangibles are revealed in an article about Montero yesterday in NJ.com:

    The veteran Posada has noticed considerable improvement behind the plate and said Montero will benefit further from playing for Luis Sojo, the former Yankees infielder who will manage Class-A Tampa this season.

    “Knowing Sojo, he’s going to be a little tougher on the kid, because he knows what talent is.” Posada said. “And you’ve got to be a little bit tougher on kids who have that much talent.”

    Posada understands what it takes to be successful, and he’s not shy about sharing that knowledge.

  • BklynJT

    Posada was practically campaigning for Joba to be a reliever, so if I was joba, he would be the last person i listen to.

    • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

      Agreed. IMHO, in this case, Posada should shut the fuck up. I’m pretty sure Joba knows what he’s doing.

    • Rich

      How does this comment reveal a bias about Posada’s previously expressed sentiment that Joba would be better off as a reliever?

      I told him he has to pitch like he can every time no matter what. Whether it’s as a starter, reliever or even in the bullpen, people are watching.”

      You can’t really be saying that merely because he stated that preference that he is disqualified from offering Joba advice, especially in light of the fact that Joba has been struggling.

      Posada would not have been doing his job if he said nothing.

      • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

        The advice, though, is kind of obvious, no? It’s not like some sagely, revolutionary wisdom. He basically told Joba to go out there and pitch well every start. *shocker*

        • Rich

          It’s not about wisdom, it’s about caring enough to say it, because too many veterans don’t give a sh*t about anyone but themselves.

          No, he tried to impress upon Joba that you can’t take anything for granted. Joba has had a lot of success very early in his career. Sometimes a person in his situation needs to be reminded that it can all disappear as fast as it appeared.

    • Drew

      Well good thing you’re not a young pitcher.

  • Stryker

    to be off topic here for a second – wasn’t mlb network supposed to be airing the yanks/sox preseason game tonight? i’m seeing a white sox/red sox game now…

    • Stryker

      nevermind. hahhaah

  • Infamous Richards

    Jeter and Posada are obviously different types of leaders. I think all people involved in sports teams have seen it. There is the loud, vocal leader who tries to inspire. There are also the veteran leaders who try to lead by example.I’m not saying which one is better. All I’m saying is I don’t think we can sit here having not seen how they are in the club house and say who is a better leader and who should be captain. People respond to different types of leadership. I remember back in 1998 I think when Wells was pitching. It was hit out to either Shane Spencer or Chad Curtis. I’m pretty sure it was Curtis. Anyway, they misplayed what should have been an out. Wells then showed him up by putting his hands on his hips and staring out at him. I remember that Jeter then went out to him and said something to Wells. I wasn’t there but I am pretty sure he said something along the lines of, we dont do that here. Now Jeter would have been about 23. I think Jeter is a leader regardless of whether he is screaming or not.

    • RCK

      I agree completely. Jeter always says that just because we don’t hear about it doesn’t mean he doesn’t talk to guys. I don’t think any of us can really know for sure how Jeter handles his team leadership because he is very private about it.

      At the same time, whether or not he leads in other ways, the general impression that he “leads by example” is obviously true because, well, watch the guy. He sets a great example.

      But my completely not founded on anything but my own read on the bare flashes of his personality that he shows to the public opinion is that when it comes down to it, Jeter is a no nonsense type of guy. I think he’s probably kind to the people who are struggling until the moment he suspects that they aren’t giving it their all, and then I don’t think he’d have any compunction about ramming his foot all the way up their butts. (In a totally classy, Jeter-y fashion.)

  • RobC

    I’d love to be a fly on the bullpen wall when Mo is talking to the kids

    • pete

      who would make a better pitching coach – Mo or Moose?

  • Jay

    If Posada has valuable intangibles, the Yankees will win more games with him at catcher than without him behind the plate. I suspect they won’t.

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