Jorge Posada borrowed a favorite phrase from Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid when asked about the growing criticism leveled at Posada’s good friend and former Yankee teammate Derek Jeter, now the owner of the Marlins baseball team: Trust the process.
Posada, one of the honorees at Tuesday’s Thurman Munson Award dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in midtown Manhattan, said he’s been following the media coverage of Jeter’s business decisions in the last few months, which have mostly centered around a fire sale of the club’s star players, including reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton being traded from the Marlins to the Yankees.
“He’s getting very bad publicity, but he’s trying to do everything he can to make that team better,” Posada said of Jeter, the Marlins’ chief executive officer. “Criticism is tough to see, because he’s trying to do everything he can to make the organization a winning organization. I see some frustrated fans. But they’ve got to understand that it’s a process.”
Besides Stanton, Jeter has traded away Christian Yelich (to Milwaukee), Dee Gordon (to Seattle) and Marcell Ozuna (to St. Louis), and has jettisoned nearly all the vestiges of the previous regime, when Jeffrey Loria was owner.
“It’s got to take time – the Astros did it, Chicago (Cubs) did it. I think it’s just people frustrated to see their players go,” said Posada. “Just got to wait a little bit. I think (Jeter) likes to prove people wrong. He’s up to a challenge. He loves challenges. This is another challenge in his life.”
Posada said that he would consider working for Jeter if offered a position, but that any job would have to be limited in travel.
“I like being home (in Miami),” said Posada.
Retired player Carlos Beltran said that he came out of his interview for the Yankees manager vacancy last year thinking he had aced the test with general manager Brian Cashman. But the job went instead to Aaron Boone. Still, Cashman so respects Beltran, a former Yankees and Mets player, that Cashman offered the retired switch-hitter a front office position with the Bombers. Beltran turned down the offer. “I love the game. I love to be around the guys. I did feel tempted,” said Beltran Tuesday at the annual Thurman Munson Award dinner. “I’m good where I am right now. It was going to be a front office job, watching the game from a different standpoint.”
Yankee reliever David Robertson, another honoree at the Munson Award dinner, said he’s been in touch with pitching coach Larry Rothschild this winter, but that Robertson’s bullpen role was not outlined to him yet. “I’d spoken to Larry about it, ‘Am I going to be multiple-inning guy? One-inning guy? He’s like, ‘Well, we’ll see.’ I was like, ‘OK, great.’ It doesn’t matter to me.” Robertson said he was surprised to get Stanton in a trade, and that the current rotation should be strong enough to carry the team if Cashman doesn’t acquire another starter. “I’m excited to get Giancarlo on this team. His bat definitely is gonna help us. We’ve got plenty of talent in the rotation. Having Sonny Gray a full year, (Luis) Severino had a good year last year, CC (Sabathia) is back, got (Masahiro) Tanaka, (Jordan) Montgomery. There’s a lot of options,” said Robertson.
When asked whether Eli Manning should be the starting Giants quarterback next season, former Big Blue defensive end Justin Tuck said, “Absolutely. I don’t see anybody better than him.” Tuck was honored at the Thurman Munson Award dinner as well. “I think if we’re able to get everybody healthy coming back, I don’t see why Eli doesn’t have a few more good years in him,” said Tuck.