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New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi rests veteran catcher Jorge Posada for Game 4 of ALCS

NEW YORK — Yankees manager Joe Girardi's reason to have Francisco Cervelli behind the plate for A.J. Burnett's Game 4 start Tuesday rather than veteran Jorge Posada was to maintain the pitcher-catcher relationship.

But it put a spotlight on Girardi's future relationship with Posada.

Girardi made the decision sound simple — similar to the way Joe Maddon does with the Rays — because Cervelli had caught Burnett's past 11 starts, and 25 of his 32 overall.

"Those two have been together, and it was not a difficult process," Girardi said. "Cervy caught the simulated game the other day. Cervy has caught a lot of his ballgames and has played well for us, and we decided to go with Cervy."

But what Girardi said about Posada, and the little Posada had to say about the move, was more intriguing.

Girardi said the reason he started using Cervelli, 24, to catch Burnett is that Posada needed a break.

"One of the things that we have here is … a 39-year-old catcher that doesn't play seven, eight, nine, 10 days in a row," Girardi said. "Jorge used to do that, and Jorge was extremely durable. Jorge has caught a lot of games and done it very well. So my thought process was, if you have a guy that's not going to catch 10 days in a row, it's easier if the backup catcher catches the same guy every time."

Also, Girardi implied that Posada should get used to it: "Jorge wants to play every day; that's the bottom line. And when you've been an everyday player, your heart sometimes tells you one thing and your mind tells you another. I was never happy sitting, and I was an everyday player for a while, and then I was a platoon guy for a while, and I wanted to play every day. It's not always the easiest thing to accept. But Jorge is a team player, and Jorge will be ready for us."

Posada, who was similarly benched in favor of Jose Molina during Burnett's five 2009 postseason starts, was clearly not thrilled. "It is what it is, guys," he said. "It's tough not to play, but I'll be ready."

The interesting footnote is that Girardi was with the Yankees at the time his playing time dwindled in part because of the emergence of Posada.

DOUBLE VISION: The reversal call of Lance Berkman's homer was the third use of instant replay in postseason play. A homer by Philadelphia's Chase Utley was upheld in division series play this year, and New York's Alex Rodriguez was awarded a homer in the 2009 World Series.

PITCHING IN: Rangers LHP C.J. Wilson's start today will be his fifth against the Yankees this season, so he's going to try to at least make it look like he's doing things differently. "Something that I've taken a large amount of focus toward is being a little more mysterious out there when I'm throwing," he said.

MISCELLANY: Actor Patrick Wilson of St. Petersburg sang God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch. He wore a Yankees jacket. … The Rangers have homered in all nine postseason games. … Yankees SS Derek Jeter on Monday surpassed Manny Ramirez for most league championship series games played with 50.

Martinez off radar

Rays bench coach Dave Martinez is reportedly out of the running for the Blue Jays' managerial job.

The Canadian Press' Shi Davidi reported Tuesday that Martinez was among four candidates told they were no longer being considered. Also dropped were Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson and Toronto minor-league managers Luis Rivera and Sal Fasano.

Martinez, 46, has also been mentioned in connection with managerial openings in Milwaukee and Florida but is not believed to have been interviewed.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi rests veteran catcher Jorge Posada for Game 4 of ALCS 10/19/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 7:47am]
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