Saturday, February 18, 2006

Randy Johnson, Jorge Posada Learning to Work Together

Randy Johnson and Jorge Posada are hoping for better results this season.

Johnson was a 6-foot-10 mystery in his first season with the New York Yankees, uncomfortable on the mound and at times on the streets of the big city. Backup John Flaherty wound up as his personal catcher, and Johnson was 12-2 when Flaherty started, 5-6 when Posada began games behind the plate.

But now Flaherty is gone, replaced as the backup by Kelly Stinnett, so Johnson and Posada are trying to forge a new relationship, on and off the field.

After the Big Unit's first bullpen session of spring training in Tampa, Fla., Posada walked up to give him a handshake.
"Start all over again," the catcher said later.

Johnson said repeatedly that he doesn't care who is behind the plate, that he'll pitch to anyone. He had 12 or 13 mound sessions before coming to spring training, about two more than usual, trying to work on the mechanics that were so hard to find last year.

He said he spent the second half trying to "get back to what I used to do."

"I got away from it the first half, and I think me and Posada need to talk about that quite a bit," the five-time Cy Young Award winner said Friday. "We need to talk about how I got away from what is my bread and butter and what I was trying to be out there that I wasn't. It was very evident the first half of the season that I wasn't the pitcher that I was comfortable being out there, with my mechanics, with my delivery, with setting up hitters. And then everything kind of came together the second half."

Read the whole article here.


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