Those of us who opted for dinner and a movie on Saturday night were blessedly spared from a magnified soap opera that could really only take place in the pinstriped universe of the New York Yankees.
In case you haven't caught up with your breathless Twitter timelines, here's a quick recap of the story that painfully unfolded over the eight hours Jorge Posada(notes) decided he couldn't — or simply didn't want to — be part of the Yankees' 6-0 loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
• Manager Joe Girardi releases the lineup for the night's game and Posada — he of the .165/.272/.349 season slash line and no homers since April 23 — is slotted in the No. 9 hole as the team's designated hitter. It's the first time the 39-year-old has batted ninth since 1999. But if he has a problem with bringing up the rear, he doesn't let on during a pregame press conference. "I put myself in this spot," he says.
• At 6 p.m., Posada enters Girardi's office and tells him he's a no-go for the game. What exactly is said — and the excuse Posada offers — remains a case of "he said, he said." But it sets the storyline and the New York tabs smell blood in the water when sources tell several reporters that Posada told Girardi he was "insulted" at being placed ninth in the lineup and refused to play. The sharks begin circling ...
• ... and then they work themselves into a full-on frenzy when Yankees GM Brian Cashman meets with reporters in the back of the pressbox during the fourth inning and says that Posada pulled himself from the game. Cashman does not offer a reason and refuses to confirm or deny Posada's rumored insubordinate behavior.
• Laura Posada, wife of the 17-year veteran, takes to Twitter and Facebook during the game to act as her husband's PR director on social media. "Jorge loves being a Yankee [more than] anything," she writes. "He's trying his best to help his team win. Today, due to back stiffness he wasn't able to do that."
• After the game, Posada greets a massive media crowd around his locker. He says he didn't consider his "back stiffness" that significant to report to either Girardi or Cashman. He says he was available to play, but requested that he first have time to "clear his head." He dismisses a question about retirement and then lobs a volley at Cashman for speaking to the media during the game.
"I don't know why he made a statement during the game," Posada says. "I don't understand that. That's the way he works now."
• The main players go home, leaving the rest of the world to wonder what it all means.
Of course, with the benefit of the morning light, we can tell that the situation is really no different than it was before this highly publicized tiff took place. Posada is still a proud, but often prickly Yankees legend who must come to terms with his rapidly declining skills. (Anyone else not really see the shame of being able to still crack one of the best lineups in the major leagues — no matter the spot — at 39 years of age?)
Cashman, meanwhile, has to acknowledge that the Yankees' organization has created a rather sizable double standard when it comes to turning a blind eye to Derek Jeter's(notes) struggles atop the lineup. The very public way in which this played out doesn't speak too well of everyone involved, either. Some simple clubhouse communication could have placed everyone on the same page and the whole no-show could have been written off as the type of routine late scratch that happens all the time in sports.
Perhaps the situation's discord speaks to a larger rift forming between the veteran player and the team. Even if there isn't, I'm sure Sunday night's arena — a nationally televised game on ESPN — will give everyone an opportunity to blow this feud into a bigger deal than it's turned into already.