Overriding Cashman hasn't worked well
Shoot, all we needed to heighten the drama was everyone at Yankee Stadium holding hands and belting out a few verses of "Kumbaya."
For now, everything is relatively peaceful with the Yankees. Posada apologized Sunday for taking himself out of Saturday's game and for helping create a mess with his postgame comments. The Yankees announced they wouldn't formally discipline Posada.
The 39-year-old designated hitter still needs to start hitting, and even more concerning for the Yankees, they can set their pinstriped watches to more such agita down the road.
No better time than the present to offer free counsel to Yankees ownership: It's time for the Steinbrenners to reassess their role in baseball operations. Their overrides of Brian Cashman, driven by sentiment and public relations, haven't worked out very well.
"Ultimately, we're a unique organization, because we've been in the position to be able to retain some unbelievable legends for this franchise," Cashman said before the game. "And you pay honor to that at all times, but we also have to honor the 2011 season -- or whatever season you're playing -- and that, at times, can conflict with what people have done in the past, because you have to do what's best for your team in the present."
When Posada became a free agent after a monster 2007 season, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner insisted upon a four-year, $52.4-million extension to ensure that Posada didn't sign with the Mets. That same offseason, the Steinbrenner boys worked out the 10-year, $275-million package for Alex Rodriguez.
Hal Steinbrenner, now the Yankees' official control person, budged in last winter's negotiations with Derek Jeter, allowing Jeter to get the three-year deal for $51 million. And after Cliff Lee turned down the Yankees, Steinbrenner pushed for the three-year, $35-million package for setup man Rafael Soriano.
A-Rod, after a fast start, looks terrible. Jeter has played better lately, as we know, but it's difficult to be optimistic about how he'll play through the life of the contract.
Soriano? His right elbow is bothering him again. He doesn't seem to be a good fit here.
As far as we can tell, Steinbrenner has only the best intentions in running the Yankees. He has disagreed with Cashman out of principle, rather than as an unfortunate means of punishing his general manager.
Yet when you buy into the notion that your team absolutely, positively must have Player X -- whether because of that player's connections to the franchise to the fan base or because you're having a slow winter -- you're setting yourself up for trouble.
Girardi, unusually eloquent Sunday, said: "I'm managing some Yankees that have had wonderful careers that are aging in front of us, just like all of us have. And there's no manual on it."
It's a little easier from the front-office vantage point: Pay players for what you think they can do rather than what they've done.
The goodbyes will be ugly more often than not.
Bernie Williams essentially boycotted Yankee Stadium in 2007, the year that Cashman refused to offer him anything more than a minor-league contract. Better that, though, than paying Bernie one year too long, then having to release him.
When you let them stick around too long, or import them for the wrong reason, you wind up with situations like Saturday's. And Posada's uncertain situation, and more to come.