Results tagged ‘ Bernie Williams ’

Bernie: This one’s for you, Jeet

Before taking the stage on Saturday night in Phoenix, Ariz., where he is participating in several Major League Baseball All-Star events, Bernie Williams passed on the following message to Derek Jeter.

STATEMENT FROM FORMER YANKEE BERNIE WILLIAMS REGARDING DEREK JETER’S 3,000TH HIT:

“Congratulations, Jeet, on No. 3,000. I wish I could have been at the Stadium today, but I was certainly glued to the TV in my hotel room in Arizona. In true Jeter fashion, you did not limp into the 3,000 hit club, but absolutely blew the doors off of it. I celebrate with you, your family and friends, all your teammates through the years, the Yankee organization, and baseball fans around the world. While the home run for number 3,000 is what everyone will remember from this day…knowing you…you probably are more satisfied with that eighth inning single up the middle that won the game. I was privileged to have the best seat in the house to see the majority of those 3,000 hits, and so many of your greatest moments, and while today is yet another one of those moments to add to your amazing career in pinstripes, I know there is still a lot more to come. Just exhale, enjoy it, and know what an honor it was to be your teammate for so many years. Tonight, my last song is dedicated to you my friend. “

Bernie: It’s tough to know when it’s time

Bernie Williams technically still hasn’t retired from baseball, although he spends much more time strumming a guitar than picking up a bat these days. It’s clear Williams isn’t going to be stepping up to the plate in the Bronx anytime soon. 

Perhaps this will be the year he finally makes it official, opening the door for the Yankees to celebrate his career by retiring No. 51 in Monument Park. No Yankee has worn Williams’ digits since his last at-bat in 2006, and the 42-year-old will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year.
But as Williams watches his remaining Yankees teammates as an interested observer, he acknowledged Saturday that it can be difficult for an aging veteran to accept it when the organization scales back your workload – as they are doing this year by moving Jorge Posada to the designated hitter role. 
 
“You still have this attitude that, ‘I can still do it, I can still do it. I know I can still do it,'” Williams said. “But now they’re sort of putting the brakes on you. It’s like, ‘You know what? Maybe not,’ and it is certainly hard. It’s certainly difficult. I think that the way that I dealt with it was the way that I dealt with everything in my career, which was to shut up and play.”
Williams said that it was tougher being a part-time player at the end of his career because he did not know when the next opportunities were going to come if he did not succeed. 
“At the same time, you’re a professional player,” Williams said. “And it is your responsibility to be at the best of your game whenever the team needs you. That’s what you sign your contract for, so that’s the way you’ve got to approach it. And at the end of the day, if the team wins, it’s great. You’re part of a winning team. You have a part of a situation in which you can contribute to that success, that’s all that matters.”
As arguably the strongest first-time candidate on the 2012 ballot for Cooperstown, Williams said that he can’t put much thought into his Hall of Fame candidacy. The voting is out of his hands, but he said it will be “great” to be considered. More immediately, Williams may drop by the Yankees’ Spring Training camp in early March for a few days and said that he could see himself becoming more involved with baseball somewhere down the line.
“I think when I get older,” Williams said. “Right now I’m having too much fun sort of reinventing myself in doing this [music]. 20 to 30 years from now, if I’m lucky enough, they probably will recognize me as this guitar player that used to play for the Yankees, as opposed to this Yankee that plays guitar. You never know.”

7/25 – Yankees vs. A’s

It’s another perfect summer afternoon here in the Bronx as the Yankees and A’s play the third game of this four-game series. The Yankee lineup has shifted a little bit as Derek Jeter is getting a half-day as the DH (Cody Ransom at shortstop) and Jorge Posada takes off the day game after the night game.

At some point, the Yankees are going to figure out how to give Alex Rodriguez a little rest. He’s played the first nine games coming out of the All-Star Break, so figure he’ll be on the bench for the series finale. Johnny Damon is on the bench but fine after taking that throw in the rear end last night on a run-scoring fielder’s choice.

There are no updates yet on Chien-Ming Wang, though it appears likely he’ll be seeing Dr. James Andrews early next week. And since we mentioned that Jeter passed Ted Williams (2,654) on baseball’s all-time hits list yesterday, it’s worth stating that today he ties Bernie Williams (2,076) in games played on the Yankees’ all-time list.

Some of the chatter in the press dining room – appropriate for a A’s vs. Yankees game – was about Rickey Henderson and how wonderful that Hall of Fame speech is going to be. Sadly, the John Olerud story (“I used to play with a guy who wore a helmet like that”) has been debunked, which is unfortunate because it’s a great story.

But Rickey’s malapropisms are the stuff of legend anyway. Here’s a guy who caused a stir in the A’s finance department by not cashing a $1 million bonus check, instead keeping it framed in his house.

My favorite is the tale (again, may or may not be true) about a player who, late in Henderson’s career, asked why he would sit in the front of the bus. As a veteran, Henderson would have had the tenure to take a seat in the back.

“Tenure?” Henderson is said to have replied. “What are you talking about?  Rickey’s got 16, 17 years.”

One of a kind.

ATHLETICS (40-55)
Kennedy 3B
Cabrera SS
Hairston LF
Garciaparra DH
Cust RF
Davis CF
Crosby 1B
Ellis 2B
Powell C

Pitching: Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 9.33)

YANKEES (59-37)

Jeter DH
Gardner CF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Swisher RF
Cano 2B
Cabrera LF
Ransom SS
Molina C

Pitching: Andy Pettitte (8-5, 4.62)

Well, I’ll be. Bernie Williams! He’s back!

williamsbtp.jpgYep, that was Bernabe Figueroa Williams walking into the Yankees clubhouse this morning, shaking hands with Joe Girardi and suiting up with the rest of the players.

Two years after the Yankees watched to see if Bernie would accept their non-roster invitation, Williams is here to work out for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, where he’ll play for Puerto Rico.

“You look good, Bernie,” Girardi said.

Williams greeted a few friendly faces, made the right turn toward his old corner locker – now occupied by Jose Veras – and walked past a roster that still lists his No. 51 as unassigned. WFAN’s Sweeny Murti suggested that Williams make Veras vacate the old digs, and Williams replied, “I’d need an extension cord to plug in my amp.”

Williams then found an extra pair of pinstriped pants and a black workout t-shirt, and headed off to the cages. He was in uniform at the Sept. 21 final game at Yankee Stadium, but this is the first time Bernie has hit in pinstripes since the 2006 ALDS.

He said he’d check in with reporters after he worked out — and no, he’s not in camp to compete for a job with the Yankees. But that’d be a heck of a story, wouldn’t it?

Joba says it again: Start me up

starter.jpgIn the argument that never dies, Joba Chamberlain once drew his line in the sand down in Tampa, telling the New York Daily News that he wants to start and not be in the bullpen. That pretty much goes along with everything he’s said all along, though he’d agreed to relieve because it was best for the team.

Just by chance (and maybe because I’ve been listening to a little too much sports talk radio lately), I made a similar point in a Yankees Inbox column today, answering a question about why Phil Hughes isn’t being considered for relief work. It’s unorthodox, but I’ll quote myself, I guess:

“Really, [the Yankees are] trying to wean everyone off the idea of Chamberlain
as a reliever as well. That was a move made because New York
desperately needed some bullpen help during the 2007 playoff push.

Chamberlain just happened to be available for a conversion, but
even then, the Yankees said they envisioned Chamberlain as a starter
going forward. It just so happens that we’ve seen more of Chamberlain
as a reliever — and he’s pretty good at it — but it makes sense that
you’d want your best pitchers throwing more innings.”

Other points in that article — the Yankees are in trouble if Jorge Posada can’t catch, the Xavier Nady-Nick Swisher situation, the Yankees’ 2008 Draft and Bernie Williams.

Fire your thoughts back at me if you’d like. MLB.com is allowing us to do fan mail articles more than once a week now – you’ll remember Mailbag used to run on Mondays only – so I’m going to try to get two or three up a week, depending on how busy the Yankees are. Just in the first week of this alone, I have more than 500 e-mails to sort through.

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