Another Yankee Goes Off Into The Sunset

January 8th, 2012 by Jane Heller

With the unofficial announcement yesterday that Jorge is hanging it up rather than trying to play for another team this season, I felt a pang in my gut. Not because JoPo’s retirement is a surprise; we all knew he’d go out in a Yankee uniform, especially after the dismal year he had. But because his leaving the scene is yet another goodbye we have to deal with. No more Core Three now. We’re down to Core Two.

And not for long, I believe.

Mo is recovering nicely from his throat surgery, apparently, and says he’ll tell the media at spring training whether this season will be his last. My guess is he’ll join the others in retirement.

I have a feeling he’ll want to avoid the Posada Fiasco (and the Bernie confusion) and choose to leave the game on a high note. What’s more, I think the situation with his polyps (thank God they were benign) and his recovery may have given him pause about the grind of another 162+ games. Does he need to keep pitching? No. His HOF credentials are established. His records are unassailable. He has all the money and steakhouses he needs. It’s time to move on.

Of course, just typing those words about my favorite Yankee makes my heart sink. But I know it’s coming. I should start buying Kleenex by the case.

On a happier note, pitchers and catchers are just around the corner.




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24 Responses to “Another Yankee Goes Off Into The Sunset”

  1. Ruth says:

    What a difficult decision it must have been for Jorge. Even though he didn’t have a great season, I suspect he
    was torn because he feels he could contribute to some team, other than the Yankees. I could see him being of some value to a team with a young pitching staff. But what a pain having to play for another team after a whole career with the Yankees. So, I’m sure it’s an emotional time for him. On the other hand, to be retired at that age (with that beautiful head of hair, to boot)???? Talk about a dream life. But I know no professional athlete looks at it that way. All the best to Jorge….what a class act! He will be missed.

  2. Jane Heller says:

    I’m sure he struggled with the decision, Ruth, but he hasn’t caught in forever so helping a young pitching staff wouldn’t really have worked out. Plus teams are loaded with better DH options. He did the right thing, as hard as it must be for him. Now he can come to Old Timer’s Day!

  3. Jeff says:

    I’m pretty relieved Jorge is hanging ’em up now and not showing up in another jersey this season. What a career he had! The Core Four may be breaking up, but boy did they deliver over the years.

  4. Ruth says:

    I guess the next question about Jorge is ‘does he deserve to make the Hall of Fame?’ Impossible for us to be objective, and honestly I don’t think it matters….he’s a Hall of Famer to us, no doubt!

  5. Jane Heller says:

    Seeing Jorge in another jersey would have been weird – for him and for us fans, Jeff. And I think he boosted his HOF chances by staying with one team for his entire career. (That’s what some reporters say anyway.) The Core Four did deliver. It’s sad to watch them age.

    I say he does make the Hall, Ruth. He was a great catcher who could hit. I’ll bet he gets in.

  6. margaret says:

    I struggle with horrific insomnia.
    But the other night in the wee hours I saw a Tim McGarver interview of Bernie Williams.
    The interviewer was terrible but seeing Bernie was great.
    That was worth my insomnia I admit.
    I never knew how he got drafted and that was a nice story.

    Selfishly I am glad I won’t have to witness Jorge in another uniform.
    I am sad but I understand. I hope he gets a bit of fanfare from the Yankees powers that be.

  7. Jane Heller says:

    It must have been a treat to see the Bernie interview in the middle of the night, Peg. Sorry about the insomnia though. Try counting backwards from 100 very slowly. It works!

  8. Nadine says:

    I’m very happy that I was able to see Jorge play at Yankee Stadium last year. And actually I’m happy we don’t have to see him in a different uniform, that would just be…wrong. Anyway, I’m going to miss him! But I think it’s the right decision for him and he can put his energy into his family. :)

  9. Jane Heller says:

    I’ll miss him too, Nadine. Just reading all the articles about him that have appeared in the last couple of days has brought back such great memories. But he did make the right decision, and I hope the Yankees find a way to keep him in the organization, maybe as a coach.

  10. Colleen says:

    Let’s get JoPo coaching in the minors! I bet he would be great.
    Hip hip…

  11. Jane Heller says:

    I bet he would too, Colleen!

  12. Melissa says:

    I’m glad he retired instead of hanging on and embarrassing himself. I also thought of him as a coach, Colleen.

    I think there should be consideration for the Hall due to how many winning playoff and world series games he called/caught. The catcher is more involved in every play than a center fielder.

    BUT, I am starting to think the Hall of Fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. McCarver wins for broadcasting excellence???????? That’s like Carl F. Pavano winning the Cy Young during his Yankee years.

  13. Jane Heller says:

    I hear you on McCarver, Melissa. LOL. But I’m glad Bernie got a little love his first time on the ballot.

  14. Bob Cerv says:

    And so, it ends for Hor-Hay. As we knew (or hoped) that it would. 4-ever in pinstripes. Just right.
    Yeah, he didn’t go gently into that good night. But how many proud longtime veterans do? Think of Willie Mays with the Mets, or Phil Niekro with the Yanks, or…on and on they’ve gone. Not right in another uni.

    Jersey Bob is jumpin’ for joy (but hey, he’s from NEWARK)…and altho’ when I first read it, the thought of Posada in the HOF seemed a bit far-fetched…maybe not. Voters DO like to see a guy spend a whole career with one team (see Larkin, Barry — congrats to him, but he was no shoo-in to me). And yeah, that McCarver thing sounds like a Career Kudo, for his catching too, albeit neither job seems HOF-worthy by themselves.

    Sadly, I agree, Jane. We may have seen Mo’s last show. We can’t complain, but there won’t be a dry eye.

  15. Jane Heller says:

    I hope I’m wrong about Mo, Dave, but I have a feeling he’ll make the announcement at spring training. The media will certainly hound him about it. I just dread the words….

  16. Emma says:

    Happy New Year Jane!
    I am glad Jorge did not consider going to another team. I love it when a player just plays with one team like Jackie Robinson that he rather retire than go to the Giants.
    Did you hear Vin finally agree to have a bobblehead? We are so happy but we know his day to retire is close. It could be that he agreed because this might be his last year. Is sad to think of our favorites retiring.
    I too like Margaret suffer from horrific imsomnia so I just read a lot.

  17. Jane Heller says:

    So cute that Vin will have a bobblehead, Emma. I was figuring his retirement was near. It’s very sad when our favorites go off into the sunset.

  18. John says:

    A Jorge story from spring training past.

    Jorge was never a big autograph signer. We did get him once at a weak moment after the episode below.

    About ten years ago he was taking batting practice on the main field in Tampa when he hit a screaming line drive over our heads into the stands along the first base line. A fan leaped up and bare handed the flaming rope and the ball literally stuck to his hand. Everyone left in the stadium that afternoon cheered for the guy as the first aid people zoomed to him swiftly. Joe Torre was behind the batting cage and told Jorge abouty the catch and pointed to the guy whose arm was still raised with the ball stuck to his hand. When Jorge finished hitting he came down to the stands and signed the ball for the guy and gave him the bat. He also signed a few more balls including ours. That was the most I ever saw him sign in all my trips to Tampa.

    I talked to the guy who caught the ball later and he took the ice pack the emergency workers gave him off his hand to show me the impression the seams of the ball had left on his hand.

    Jorge may never make the Hall of Fame but that bat and ball are surely in that guys “Home Hall of Fame” today.

  19. Jane Heller says:

    Great story, John! Thanks for sharing it.

  20. John says:

    A Jorge story from Spring Training past.

    Jorge has never been a big autograph signer but we did get him one day in Tampa after the following episode.

    Jorge was taking batting practice near the end of workouts in the main field in Tampa when he hit a screaming line drive over our heads. A guy a few rows above us in the next section leaped up and bare handed the ball. He stood there with his arm raised and hand up with the ball in it and got an ovation from the few fans left in the stadium. From behind the batting cage, Joe Torre pointed the guy out to Jorge and when he finished hitting he came down to the stands near us and gave the guy the bat he was using and signed the ball. He also signed a few other balls including ours.

    A while later I talked to the guy and he took the ice pack he was given off his hand and showed me the imprint of the ball stitches in his palm.

    Jorge may never make it to Cooperstown but some where that bat and that ball are in that guys “Home Hall of Fame”!

  21. John says:

    sorry about the repeat!

  22. Paul says:

    :( I still miss Andy, and I’ll damn miss Jorge, and I already miss Mo, even if He’ll play at least one more season……..I dare not think about The Captain’s turn, which will come too, sooner than later….
    And on that sad day, the last heroes of one of the most legendary and greatest teams of all time will leave the field and will become just one happy memory. That’s gonna break my heart is two. But afterall we can still smile, cause those heroes will be ours forever, will be YANKEES till the end of time!

  23. Jane Heller says:

    The only good part about having all those core guys retire, Paul, is that Old Timer’s Day at the Stadium will be rocking. Otherwise, it’s hard to picture a team without at least one of them.

  24. Paul says:

    You’re so right, Jane! :)