Hell hath no fury like a fading professional athlete feeling disrespected by his own team. Jorge Posada has written an autobiography, "The Journey Home: My Life in Pinstripes," that includes some not-so-happy memories of the end of his major league career with the New York Yankees. Why was he/has he been/is he so bitter? It stems from a lack of respect and bad communication Posada says he felt coming from manager Joe Girardi. The final blow was taking Posada away from his job as a catcher and transitioning him to designated hitter in 2011.

Via the New York Daily News, Posada writes:

Felix Hernandez
Jorge Posada still isn't happy with some members of the Yankees organization. (USATSI)

"When you take me out from behind the plate, you’re taking away my heart and my passion.

"I knew that my role with the club was changing, but I don’t think that anyone making those decisions knew how much the things being done hurt me.

“To have even that taken away from me without adequate explanation, hurt me and confused me.

“If I wasn’t even considered third-string, then what was I? How did I fit in?

“I felt like I wasn’t being treated right, that people weren’t always being as straightforward with me as I wanted them to be or treating me as I deserved to be treated, and I exploded.

“I’d just put up with enough.

Bernie Williams, a teammate of Posada's probably went through some of the same feelings toward the end of his career. As with many professional athletes, even some of the great ones, the transition Posada went through at the end of his career with the Yankees left a bitter taste. It was apparent Posada was unhappy earlier in that 2011 season when he took himself out of the lineup because Girardi put him ninth in the batting order. That led to other stories of Posada's disenchantment with Girardi, whom — Posada felt — acted more like a manager to him than did Joe Torre, who Posada considered a like a second father. Some of the discord went back to 2005, when Girardi was Yankees bench coach and Posada would ignore his scouting reports.

One detail not played up in the excerpts that hopefully Posada addresses in his book: The team apparently was protecting him from concussions. As Bob Klapisch wrote in 2011, Posada was experiencing ominous warning signs. Via Jay Jaffe in "Pinstripe Alley":

Though Posada was found not to have sustained a concussion after being forced out of a game by a foul tip against the Orioles last September 7 [2010], the Yankees followed a protocol which included a battery of tests, which they measured against a baseline taken in spring training. Last week, the Bergen Record's Bob Klapisch detailed the findings:

Although a CAT scan revealed no bleeding in the brain, the Yankees nevertheless had Posada undergo a comprehensive memory test. The computerized program, called ImPACT, was designed at the University of Pittsburgh concussion center. It runs for 15-18 minutes, measuring attention, memory, processing speed and reaction time.

Some NHL and NFL football teams use ImPACT, but it’s universally employed in the big leagues, including umpires. Players are tested in spring training for baseline readings, then tested again after any incident that might involve a head injury – a collision at home plate, for instance, or crashing into an outfield wall, or in Posada’s case, a direct hit from a foul tip.

Posada said the test results were “not good” after the September incident. In fact, his results were subpar in two of the three tests he took in 2010. Does this mean Posada is at risk for brain damage? No one knows for sure, but the data is troubling.

...Researchers say the key to protecting oneself is not getting that first concussion. Once that threshold has been crossed, the brain is more susceptible to the biochemical changes that account for dizziness and nausea in the short term, and possibly dementia down the road.

Deeper in the article, Klapisch discusses the position-specific dangers of concussions with former Giants catcher Mike Matheny, a 13-year veteran backstop who was driven into retirement by the cumulative effect of numerous foul tips off his mask, Butch Wynegar, who caught in the majors for 13 years and is now the Yankees' catching instructor, and Yanks manager Joe Girardi, who caught in the bigs for 15 years. Furthermore, he notes that the Yankees are serious about minimizing Posada's time behind the plate going forward.

It's possible that Posada's beef with Girardi is fair. It's also possible that Posada poisoned the relationship by not listening to Girardi when he was a coach. What's likely: Coaches tell players stuff they don't want to hear all of the time. Players who've played long enough feel entitled, and when somebody they don't respect comes into a position of power, this is a result. The stats show not only that Posada's game was in decline at the end — which happens to 99.9 percent of pro athletes — but also that he was at risk for permanently damaging his brain. A "thank you" might be a bit much, but you'd think that such precautions would temper his pride a little bit. Maybe in the entire context of his book, they do.

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