Jorge, What is the Frequency?
One of the things I’ll always remember about CBS newsman Dan Rather was a nutty incident in 1986.
Dan was on his way to his New York City apartment when he was pounced upon and pummeled upon by two creeps. One of them kept asking, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?"
I thought about that phrase this weekend, when baseball fans learned Jorge Posada decided to pout instead of play for the old New York Yankees. The longtime catcher — now collecting his salary as a designated hitter who is not hitting much — saw he was batting ninth against the Boston Red Sox. He told manager Joe Girardi he wanted out of the lineup, preferring the bench over a spot in the game. And a big game, too — Yanks and Red Sox are the best rivalry in sports these days.
It was just a mystery, an oddity, a pickle even. Jorge, what is the frequency? What were you thinking?
The old boy later said he had a bad day, and made his peace with Girardi and the rest of the Yankee brass. It wasn’t as bad a day as the one Dan Rather had in ‘86, because Jorge didn’t get slapped around.
The Baltimore Orioles are my team, and I always cheer against the Yankees. But I do respect some of their players. Like Derek Jeter, always a class guy who would have been a great Oriole; Nick Swisher, who seems to play the game with a passion; and even old Jorge, who as a 14-year catcher has always played well. The position has to be the toughest on the field.
Too bad Jorge, at 39, is winding down. Old Man Time generally retires everyone from the game, and Jorge should know his time is coming.
Had it been me, I’d have just been happy to be in the lineup. Batting ninth? Big deal — know how many slobs would have traded places with Jorge? And made $71,978 for one night’s work, based on the player's $13.1 million salary for 2011? There would have been a line from Yankee Stadium to Utica.
Jorge later told reporters he had just had a bad day. I suppose if any of us complained to supervisors about an assigned task, refused to do it and just sat at our desks for eight hours, management would have had somebody warming up in the bullpen by the end of the day. Our positions would have been quickly filled, and we’d be looking for new jobs in the Appalachian League.
Glad Jorge has finally figured it out. It’s nice to have a job — any job — in Major League Baseball.