When Jorge Posada went down for the season with a shoulder injury, the Yankees didn’t panic. Instead, they went out and dealt for one of the best backstops of all-time.
“We know we’re always going to try and improve this team around the trade deadline,” Andy Pettitte said. “That’s what you have to love about Mr. Steinbrenner and the job (G.M. Brian Cashman) is trying to do here.”
Cashman worked the phones hard last Thursday trying to find a replacement for Posada. One call led to a deal that sent reliever Kyle Farnsworth to the Detroit Tigers for future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez.
The 36-year-old didn’t have much time to settle into his pinstripes because manager Joe Girardi wrote him into the lineup the next night. Rodriguez, who caught Pettitte in the Yankees’ 12-6 loss, said it’s going to take time to get used to the pitching staff.
“I’m trying to learn how they throw and I promise that next time it will be a lot better,” Rodriguez said.
Girardi wasn’t pinning the loss on Pettitte’s new receiver.
“Pudge put a lot of work in today. He watched a lot of video, he talked with Andy. It just wasn’t our day.”
Pudge, a nickname Rodriguez received early in his career, brought family in from all parts of the world for his first game as a Yankee. The sellout crowd made him feel at home.
“It was a very nice ovation early in the game. I appreciate the fans for supporting me the way they did,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez brings a resume of 13 Gold Gloves, an MVP award and a .302 career average to the Stadium. The Yankees, who are gunning for their first World Series appearance since 2003, hope Pudge helps push them to the top once again.