NEW YORK - Jorge Posada said his back got stiff and he needed a night off to clear his head. What is most certainly unclear, however, is where the five-time All-Star catcher stands with the Yankees right now.

Posada asked to be taken out of the lineup Saturday against rival Boston after the slumping designated hitter was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order.

Hitting .165 this season, the 39-year-old Posada was in the original lineup posted by manager Joe Girardi and said he understood why he was bumped to the bottom of the order for the first time in 12 years.

But at 6 p.m., Posada went into Girardi's office and requested that he be removed. Posada didn't play in New York's 6-0 loss to the Red Sox, and afterward he said he feels "a little bit" disrespected by the team.

"I told him I couldn't play today and that I needed time to clear my head, and that was it. My back stiffened up a bit," he said. "... I mean, nothing serious."

That's where it gets messy: Both Girardi and General Manager Brian Cashman told reporters that Posada never mentioned his back was bothering him.