Every fan has one player on the team he roots for that for one reason or another, serves as your own personal whipping boy. Mine is Jorge Posada, he of the weak chin, big ears and red ass. Whenever I need to vent some frustration, Jorgie is the one who gets it. I can accept all of Bernie Williams' flaws, his lousy baseball instincts, his flakiness, but it's just the opposite with Posada. Even when he's doing okay, I'm usually cursing his ass out. This isn't rational, but it's the way it is. Maybe it's because Posada is such a spaz, maybe it's just his looks, I don't know.
Well, I have to give it up for him today, because he played as good a game as I came remember him playing. Especially on the defensive side of things. Posada made three sterling plays---nailing Ichio at second on a bunt attempt by Randy Winn, and then later throwing out both Winn and Ichiro trying to steal second. Jorgie threw Winn out in the sixth with a picture-perfect throw that had some mustard on it; he rushed his throw to get Ichiro later on, but it was on-line and shortstop Enrique Wilson made a nice pick to record the out.
Joe Torre told reporters:
"He's been terrific," Torre said. "He seems so much more calm. I'm not sure it's going to last all year, but right now, he's developed a lot more confidence, and pitchers are developing more confidence in him. It's affecting every part of his game."
Posada was hampered by shoulder problems last year, but he seems to have recovered nicely. Back-up catcher Joe Flaherty added:
"He's always had that little hop with his feet that made him so quick," Flaherty said. "And you could see from the beginning of spring training that he's worked hard on that. His feet right now are as good as anyone's. He's so quick."
Posada also added a solo home run in the Yankees taut 2-1 victory over the Mariners last night. Mike Mussina improved to 6-0, striking out nine in eight innings of work (he has K'd at least eight batters in each one of his starts); Mariano Rivera looked much sharper than he did the night before, and retired the M's in order in the ninth for his first save of the season.
Jason Giambi's slump continues, and he looks tense and constipated. Meanwhile Nick Johnson drew another walk, and now has drawn a base-on-balls in fifteen consecutive games. Oh, by the way, Lil' Sori hit a towering homer to left which proved to be the game winner.