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Yankees notebook

Here’s the catch: Posada out, Molina in for Game 2

By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / October 7, 2009

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NEW YORK - Every time it happens, it becomes a big story here, but Jorge Posada has been through it for much of his career.

Yesterday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided that Posada will not start in Game 2 tomorrow with A.J. Burnett on the mound. He will go with Jose Molina because, he said, “They’ve been in a real good rhythm when they’ve been working together. And we just felt we would keep it that way. Playoffs are all about pitching, and we just thought since they were in a good rhythm, we’re going to keep them working together.’’

In the past, Mike Mussina, David Cone, and Randy Johnson all preferred throwing to catchers other than Posada. Girardi was a teammate of Posada when Cone preferred throwing to him, so Girardi understands this story line as much as anyone.

Posada did seem a bit irritated by the decision, but said, “This was inevitable.’’ It was Posada, in fact, who announced the decision to the media yesterday.

“Jorge is going to catch CC [Sabathia] and Andy [ Pettitte],’’ Girardi said. “Jorge understood. We talked about it on Sunday and he was OK. Jorge would want to play every inning. I don’t blame him. That’s how I want him to be. If I was in his shoes I would want to play every game, too. And I’ve been through that in the playoffs, where Jorge caught certain guys and I’ve caught certain guys. It’s part of the game.’’

Posada said, “It’s not like I didn’t see it coming.’’

Posada and Burnett have had issues all season. They never appeared to be on the same page. Burnett never seemed able to get Posada to call the game the way he wants it, as Mussina, Roger Clemens, and Pettitte have been able to do over the years.

Girardi said he did not discuss the decision with Burnett.

“It was my decision,’’ he said. “As a manager, you have to make tough decisions and that was a very tough one.’’

It also appears that Posada will be on the bench when he doesn’t catch, because the Yankees like using Hideki Matsui at the DH spot.

See you later?
Girardi said pitchers Brian Bruney and Sergio Mitre and infielder Ramiro Pena are not on the Division Series roster, but they will stay in Tampa, to keep sharp for possible use later in the playoffs . . . It appears that Joba Chamberlain will be used as a reliever, though Girardi didn’t know whether he’d go with 10 or 11 pitchers. “He can do anything from being a one- or two-inning guy or even three innings or longer if we have to,’’ said Girardi. “You can draw it up where your starters give you six or seven and you go to your bullpen. But it doesn’t always work out that way.’’ . . . The Yankees have until 10 a.m. to finalize their ALDS roster. The players on the bubble are outfielder Freddy Guzman, catcher Francisco Cervelli, lefty reliever Damaso Marte, and righthanded swingman Chad Gaudin . . . Alex Rodriguez seemed eager to turn his postseason luck around. “I just want to go out and play free and easy and help this team in any way I can,’’ he said. “The past is the past. Not even thinking about what happened then, but focusing on what we can do now.’’ . . . Mark Teixeira said it was not a problem to not know the first-round opponent until last night. “It’s actually better,’’ he said, “because we can just concentrate on ourselves and what we need to do. I think it turned out well for us.’’

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