The Final Two

There’s something very appropriate that with Posada’s retirement today Jeter and Mo are the only two remaining links left to the Yankees dynasty. I’ve argued their exact order in these pages before, but I think everyone would agree that those two players are the 1-2 or 2-1 of that period of Yankee history. And, if you stop and think about it, the other three, Bernie, Pettitte and Jorge have retired in a fitting order. It’s a fun argument to have, but I would put their importance to the dynasty as Rivera, Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Williams.

But that’s an argument for a day not too far into the future. For now, let’s focus on Posada. He was a switch-hitting catcher who could absolutely hit. He played with passion and pride and I think it will be very interesting to see how his absence plays on Jeter. I could be totally wrong about this, but I have always viewed Jeter as the “Gretzky” of the Yankees and Posada his “McSorely”. When discipline needed to be handed out, Posada was much more likely to do it than Jeter.

Personally, I will really miss sitting in the stand next year and not hearing someone yell, “Hip! Hip!” prompting almost the entire crowd to finish the chant. It was wonderful to see #20 out there for all these years.
*****
A number of other pieces of news today. Let’s start with the Yankee part. They agreed to a one-year deal with Russell Martin. I addressed this before and I think the Yankees are taking a risk here. Signing Martin to a two-year deal would have kept him out of free agency next year and given Romine more time to develop. And, since they won’t be able to get Martin on a one-year deal next season, they now have to choose between signing him and eating into the 2014 payroll or letting him go.

Obviously, the big news is Prince Fielder returning to where his Dad mashed all those homers. I don’t know how Boras does it, but I am stunned he got that kind of deal from someone this late in the game. I scratch my head for Detroit because as Deadspin so accurately asked today, will Cabrera and Fielder reach 600 homers or 600 pounds first? For now, it won’t make it any easier to win the AL next season and think about all the talent coming into “our” league. Apart from Papelbon, I can’t think of a big free agent who left the AL for the NL.

Finally, scratch Wilson Betemit off your shopping lists (and stop the hate email!) He signed with Baltimore.