Jorge Posada to retire – and here’s why the HOF talk is wrong

24 Jan

Yankee catcher, Jorge Posada, is ready to call it quits after 17 years. Posada lost his starting job last year to Russel Martin and never adjusted to the DH role. Over his career, Posada was behind the plate to receive from a bevy of future HOF pitchers (or strong candidates) including Mike Mussina, CC Sabathia, David Cone and possibly Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens when the writers decide he has been punished enough. Posada is never going to be remembered for his work behind the plate though. Ivan Rodriguez overshadowed Posada there and even if I-Rod wasn’t around, Posada had limited abilities behind the dish. What he did, and what we will remember, is he hit.

Posada was the 2nd best offensive catcher of his era behind Mike Piazza. Posada hit for power, he drove in runs, and when his contract was expiring he hit for average. Posada never got the spotlight like Jeter, Rivera, Bernie Williams, A-Rod or any other teammate. he just played day in and out. His teammates liked him for the most part – even the pitchers that didn’t like throwing to him liked his passion for the game and respected what he brought to the team.

There was plenty of speculation that Jorge may try to hang around 1 more year, but retiring is the right thing. There is no need to go to another team and play with half your heart. This way, he goes out the way he came in – a Yankee. With Yankee fans that counts for a lot. Now he can come back, throw out a first pitch and have Jorge day at the stadium. That’s how the fairytale is supposed to be written.

There are some fans, and even writers, already discussing Posada as a hall of Fame candidate – a really serious one at that. I’ve admittedly never been a big Posada fan, but that isn’t why I say no to him as a HOF’er. The YES network says he’s one of the greatest catchers of All-Time. I understand it is their job to pump up the Yankee PR machine, but they have to be high as a kite to say that.

Posada hit well – not like Piazza though with only 275 homers. He was a .270 hitter with a big fluke season. Even when it comes to his career stats overall – not just the glamor stats, Posada falls short. he never dominated at his position for a decade. Not even for a three year stretch – and that is just in the AL – not MLB wide. A HOF’er needs a better line than this:

Hits – 1664

HR -275

RBI – 1065

Runs – 900

AVG – 273

In those 17 seasons (actually more like 15 to account for September call ups) Posada went to only 5 All-Star games and only appeared on two MVP ballots. The only category he ever led the league in is GIDP and he did that twice. Actually that isn’t true. Posada also led the league in passed balls 3 times, runners allowed to steal once, errors twice and putouts 3 times – hey that’s a good one! He never came close to a gold glove. It doesn’t add up. Not even with 6 World Series appearances under his belt.

I love the Yankees. I respect what Posada brought to the team. I just think it is insane to say he is a HOF caliber catcher. He’s no Thurman Munson, and he’s sure as hell no Ted Simmons. Either of those guys outplay Posada everyday and should be inducted before Posada is even a twinkle in the BBWAA voters eyes. I thank him wonderful memories and wish him the best. He was fun to watch. I just think we need to be rational before we seat him alongside the kings of kings.

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