Who Wants To Be The Yankees Catcher?

February 9th, 2011 by Jane Heller

This spring training has the makings of an entertaining reality show when it comes to the everyday catching position – “The Biggest Non-Loser” or “Top Catch” or maybe “Survivor: Bronx.” We have so many contestants.

#1 Jorge Posada

Yes, he’s been told he’s the Yankees’ primary DH, but he’s a proud guy and he still wants to crouch behind the plate. He can’t throw runners out anymore, and pitchers like A.J. aren’t wild about working with him. Still, he’s one of the Core Four Three. He could sway voters.

#2. Russell Martin

Dodger fans out here loved this guy – until recently, that is. For awhile he was everybody’s favorite player with the potential to be a real star. Can he rebound from surgery and from what he’s referred to as his “out-of-whack mechanics?” Those who’ve watched his decline think he partied too much and made excuses. He needs to establish credibility as a Yankee.

#3. Francisco Cervelli

He was beloved. He was scorned. He was everything in between. He’s still young and he has the drive to do better, as evidenced by his workouts with Cano this winter. Plus, who can resist his enthusiasm and energy? Given the choice, CC would rather pitch to him than to anyone else. Does that count?

#4. Jesus Montero

He’s the prospect everyone’s been waiting for – the Anointed One who nevertheless nearly got traded for Cliff Lee. We know he can hit. We know he’s strong. We know he’s been working on his catching skills. We know he thinks he’s ready for prime time. But is he?

#5. Austin Romine

Never mind. He can’t compete with the others.

All we need is a host for the show. Any ideas? I have one.

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19 Responses to “Who Wants To Be The Yankees Catcher?”

  1. Antonella says:

    I vote for a catch off! LOL. Put Grandy & Gardy on base stealing and see who can throw them out the most. If Cervelli doesn’t start putting the bat on the ball.. He will start putting his ass on that pine. [Just Saying] I don’t know much abt Martin so I won’t speak on him lol and Jesus Montero, well.. Let’s just hope he lives up to the hype. Even though, I am a fan of this “don’t rush it” thinking.. He’s only 21.. he has to pay his dues still.

  2. Jane,
    Russell Martin was suppose to come in there and shake Yankee Stadium from top to bottom and take that catching position away. But lo and behold, he is not the second coming the Yankees were promised. Heck Cervelli has already given up his number to Rafael Soriano, wonder if he sees some kind of ghostly writing on the walls?
    Seriously, I think it is Cervelli’s to lose with Martin getting the back-up slot if Posada feels like not squatting down every fourth day. Montero might just be a victim of the logjam, but if Martin doesn’t prove his worth this Spring…he could have a short pinstripe era.
    Talent is there, but I got to go with the incumbent until he stutters or gives the job away.
    Cervelli by a stirrup….Martin by the hairs on a baseball for the back-up. Montero might be the Wild Card.
    Gosh I love Spring Training. All the cockiness and bravado can not save your job if you bat .198.

  3. A.J. says:

    I like the “Top Catch” name, lol. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these guys throughout Spring Training.

    http://martelli.mlblogs.com/archives/2011/02/investigative-baseball-journalism-did-i-just-solve-a-mystery.html

  4. Jane Heller says:

    Great idea for the catch off, Antonella. But I’d just use Gardy to run the bases. He offers the biggest challenge to pick off. Perfect. Whoever nails him wins Week 1 in the series. Next up should be hitting, so we can see if Cisco has improved and if Jesus is god-like. I do hope Montero lives up to the hype. I’m ready for hype. Hype is exciting!

    Martin has already been told he’s the everyday catcher, Renegade, but he said he’s treating spring training as a competition and I think that’s exactly the right mindset. As you say, nothing’s written in stone just yet. Posada is not the everyday catcher, according to the Yankees. It’s not up to him. Yup, spring training sure is fun.

    It’ll be interesting all right, A.J. Lots of competition at that position as well as for the #4 and 5 spots in the rotation.

  5. Dan says:

    How about “Catcher Boss”? :P If not posada I vote Cervelli, love his fist pumps. :D

  6. Jane Heller says:

    Cervelli has to prove he can hit, Dan. Right now he’s the underdog, but maybe he can fist pump his way into contention.

  7. Kristen says:

    Ooo, great idea! Think of the elimination challenges Girardi can come up with! And baseball already has the perfect catch phrase for when each week’s loser is voted out of the shin guards: That’s it, you’re outta here! Although, to increase ratings, you could also go for a kind of reality TV show fusion – Who Wants to Be the Next Iron Yankees Catcher – and have Mo devise bizarre cooking challenges to earn an advantage in the elimination challenge round, or just for sheer entertainment value.

  8. Peter says:

    It’s taken me a while, but I finally stopped by, just sorry it took so long… Love the new virtual digs.

    I think it’s the perfect year for the Yankees and catchers, they can prime Montero for the full time job knowing that he doesn’t have to do it everyday, using Posada to give Montero his breaks from the Yankee lime light and all the time allowing CC to have his own catcher in Cervelli so his routine doesn’t get broken.
    Martin will need a good spring training to have a shot, unless they use Martin in Posada’s place, but thats a lot of catchers on the staff when they need other pieces.

    -peter

    Phillies Outside

  9. Jeff says:

    Yeah, little bit of a backlog there at the Catcher position. I vote Cervelli, just so that “big-boy” helmet gets more air time ;-)

  10. Jane Heller says:

    Love the catch phrase “You’re outta here,” Kristen. And combining the competition with cooking is my kind of show. Iron Catcher works for me as long as “the chairman” presides. He’s my favorite guy on the Food Network with his somersaults. LOL.

    Welcome, Peter. Glad you like the new digs. I guess the question is, Will the Yankees carry three catchers? Doubtful. I would think Montero will stay in the minors unless there’s an injury – or unless Posada is no longer considered a catcher and his DH role frees up a roster spot for the others.

    HAHA, Jeff. The big-boy helmet deserves to get a good wearing this season.

  11. Paul says:

    You’re too cool to host a reality show.
    Mike Francesa was asked about Russell Martin and he uttered six sentences of generalities that are designed to fool the masses into thinking he knew what he was talking about. Naturally, I saw right through the facade.
    http://paullebowitz.com.previewyoursite.com/blog/?p=342

  12. Melissa says:

    Loved the big boy helmet! And Cercelli’s enthusiasm.

    I was trying to think of a TV show for the pitching staff, but a song title got stuck in my head when I think of them- “Helplessly Hoping.”

    Am I totally stupid or does anyone else have trouble entering the codes?y

  13. Bob Cerv says:

    Fear not, Melissa. I’m usually messing up those codes too…of course, I was up almost all nite watching Duke-UNC hoops (can’t sleep afterwards…in a couple of hours, up for work — just like a playoff game with the Yanks), so today’s been hard to see anything too clearly…
    What a great idea for She-Fan to host(ess) a catchin’ and cookin’ show! Call it The Backstop Gourmet, or make a play on words, like “Bang The Pan Slowly,” or “The Catcher Cooks With Rye,” or sumthin. Paul’s right that Our Jane is too cool for a NORMAL reality show…but one that combines two of her fave passion expertise topix? She could issue them a challenge of how to cook sumthin, make analogies of beisbol to culinary competition like nobody else could, and then break down spring training while the catcher-chefs break eggs, talkin’ beisbol the entire time…Noo Yawk would be the ultimate winner, because Our Yanks would end up with NOT ONLY a prime-time first-string catcher, but also a Man of Taste…gotta be so-phisticated for the Big Apple, don’cha know…

  14. Jane Heller says:

    You’re right, Paul. I’m much too cool to host a reality show. I’ll let Ryan Seacrest or Simon Cowell do it.

    A note on the codes, Melissa. I resisted using them for signing in, as I wanted to make the experience as pain free as possible after the debacle at MLBlogs. But I got so much spam that it was taking me a ridiculous amount of time to delete it all every day. So I put in the anti-spam code thing and now it’s all better. At least for me. If you have trouble typing in the funky word, just try another word. Sorry, but what can I say. Nothing’s perfect.

    The Backstop Gourmet. Nice, Dave! But I have a feeling our contestants don’t know beans about food. Well, maybe that’s not true. Posada probably dines fine, given that Jeter is a regular dining companion. And Martin comes from French speaking Canada, so he must have a sophisticated palate. Can’t speak for Montero and Cervelli though.

  15. mike fierman says:

    I wish the Yankees would let the MLB network follow them around like they did the white sox last year and the Phils the year before. I love nothing more than the behind the scenes stuff. i know it’d never happen though…not the yankee’s style. too secretive etc…
    I loved seeing that clip of Cervelli in the Dominican talking to one of the YES guys about working as hard as he can to be a “starting catcher” I think he knows he can never be that with the Yanks and is looking to prove himself so he can be that once he is traded to another team. he’ll be missed…for his enthusiasm and his seemingly good skills at game calling…but not for much else. he can’t throw out guys or hit …
    I predice he will be the backup for this year though…maybe he could be moved at the deadline in a package to get us a pitcher. a small part of a package that might feature Banuelos instead of Montero?

  16. Melissa says:

    I under stand why you need the codes, Jane. I just keep messing them up!

  17. Jane Heller says:

    I would LOVE it if the MLB Network would do a show like that about the Yankees, Mike. But it would never happen, not only for the reason you gave but also because the rest of country would scream “New York bias! We hate the Yankees!” And then nobody would watch. You’re probably right about Cisco being the backup catcher and maybe getting traded for a pitcher – IF Montero is ready to take his place.

    Don’t feel bad, Melissa. I always mess them up too.

  18. Barbara says:

    i say you should be catcher, melissa should join the rotation and i’ll be the team therapist.
    50 days until opening day but i can’t imagine the snow and ice will be gone.

  19. Jane Heller says:

    Sounds like a plan to me, Barbara, although we fans may be the ones who’ll need a therapist. Will you give us a group discount?