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05/16/11 1:00 AM ET

Bronx fans make loyalty to Posada known

NEW YORK -- The fans in the right-field bleachers usually reserve their nightly roll call for players on the field, but they made an exception on Sunday night for Jorge Posada, who started the game on the bench.

After finishing their attendance check with Alex Rodriguez, the so-called "Bleacher Creatures" chanted "Jorge, Jorge" and received a wave from the the designated hitter in the Yankees' dugout.

When Posada pinch-hit for Andruw Jones in the eighth inning, what remained of the crowd of 46,945 gave him a standing ovation. Posada drew a walk against Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard.

"Jorge is loved in our clubhouse," manager Joe Girardi said. "Jorge is loved by the fans. Jorge has meant a lot to this organization. I'm not surprised. This has been a great player for a long time."

"I heard the energy from the crowd," Bard said. "I think that's pretty cool that they're standing behind him, but I still wanted to get him out."

Posada, who asked out of the lineup on Saturday after being dropped to ninth, apologized to his manager before Sunday's game. He spoke with the media prior to the game but did not appear in the clubhouse afterward.

Yanks will rest Soriano through Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Rafael Soriano will not be available to pitch in the Yankees' upcoming two-game series against the Rays, as the right-hander has been shelved until Wednesday.

The $35 million setup man is experiencing recurring tightness in his right elbow.

"I'm going to throw a bullpen [session on Monday] and see how I feel," Soriano said after the Yankees' 7-5 loss to the Red Sox. "If everything goes fine, I'll be ready on Wednesday."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the tightness Soriano feels is different than what he felt last week, when the hurler requested an MRI exam to ease his mind.

"He had a little pain before," Girardi said. "Today, he was a little sore; he said he had stiffness. That could have been because he hadn't thrown in five days."

Soriano appeared on Friday against the Red Sox after having not pitched in a game since May 8 in Texas. He has been experiencing some discomfort since appearing in back-to-back games on April 30 and May 1.

"Until he gets through the clear, it's an issue," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "So until I'm not having to ask, 'How's he feel today?' it's obviously going to be a concern."

In the first year of a three-year deal, Soriano is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 16 appearances. He saved an American League-leading 45 games last year for Tampa Bay.

"It's not easy for me," Soriano said. "I'm with a new team. I try to do my best. I can't right now. Nothing happens because I cannot pitch."

In tough time, Posada has Jeter's support

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter has few friends closer than Jorge Posada, and after hearing his longtime teammate's explanation for Saturday's events, the Yankees' captain is offering his support.

"He's a brother -- we've been together a long time," Jeter said. "If I thought he did something wrong, I'd be the first one to tell him."

Jeter said that he was not aware of what was percolating with Posada during the Yankees' 6-0 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday, which was why the captain had not addressed the topic after the game.

Posada asked manager Joe Girardi to take him out of the lineup, later telling reporters he had dual reasons: minor back stiffness and needing a mental health day after beginning the season with a .165 batting average.

"It's not the first time I've had a teammate that's asked out of the lineup," Jeter said. "It's just that it's sort of a much bigger deal.

"One thing we've always been told, and Joe will be the first one to tell you, he's always told us if we feel like we need a day, let him know. It's my understanding that's what happened. He needed a day to clear his mind, and it's understandable."

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said that Posada's actions could be swiftly resolved.

"Yesterday, it definitely was [a distraction]," Rivera said. "It's over. Today's a new day. The sun came out today, and with that, we just have to go out and play baseball."

Posada apologized to Girardi on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, but Jeter said there was no need for the 39-year-old switch-hitter to address his teammates.

"Obviously, he's frustrated," Jeter said. "He's not the only one that's had a slow start. I know how frustrating it can be. It can weigh on you after a while."

Facing the unexpected part of Girardi's job

NEW YORK -- The Yankees may have spared few expenses in constructing their state-of-the-art home facility, but Joe Girardi can think of a few things he wishes came with the keys to the manager's office.

While Girardi might not have been able to forecast exactly how he would handle a situation with a proud veteran like Jorge Posada, the fact that issues would pop up on the radar weren't much of a surprise.

"The one thing about my job in managing great Yankees that have had great careers, they're getting older," Girardi said. "There's nothing that I can go to.

"There's no manual on my desk, there's no crystal ball on my table that I can go to and say, 'This is exactly how you're supposed to do it.'"

But, as he signed his first contract with the Yankees for the 2008 season, Girardi could look a few years down the line and accurately predict that there would be speed bumps on the horizon.

Girardi closely guarded Mike Mussina's secret that he planned to retire in 2008, and he had an inkling that Andy Pettitte might ride off into the sunset after last season.

Posada has given no public indication that this might be his last year, but he is a free agent after the season. While both are under contract past 2011, there are also clearly more yesterdays than tomorrows ahead for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

Girardi recalled the words of Kirk Gibson, who once said that a player dies twice -- the first time, when they rip their uniform off for the last time. It hasn't gotten any more pleasant handling the inevitable.

"I hate to say it's probably about what I expected," Girardi said. "But I knew in taking this job there would come a time that if I managed long enough, you would see some great Yankees retire.

"That necessarily wasn't going to be easy. I know how much they love to play the game, and I know how much they love being a Yankee."

Bombers bits

Sunday marked the 70th anniversary of the beginning of Joe DiMaggio's iconic 56-game hitting streak. He singled off the White Sox Eddie Smith in a 13-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. ... Entering play on Sunday, the Yankees had averaged 3.9 runs in their last 15 games after averaging 5.7 in their first 22. Saturday's game marked New York's fourth shutout this season. ... University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari was on the field during batting practice on Sunday. Cashman introduced him to Posada. ... Injured right-hander Phil Hughes said he made about 45 throws on Sunday from a distance of 90 feet and felt good. He will have Monday off and resume throwing on Tuesday.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bryanhoch. Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.