Bernie’s Cold Spring

The Yankees have offered Bernie Williams a non-roster invitation to spring training. Whether he accepts is to be determined. LoHud’s Peter Abraham points out just how delicate a situation this is for the Yankees:

It’s a no-win situation for Joe Torre and the Yankees. If Bernie plays poorly, Joe has to call him in and cut him. If Bernie plays well for a few weeks, there will be a public clamor to keep a player the team really doesn’t want or need.

Do the Yanks owe Bernie the opportunity to win a job that probably won’t exist? Does he still want to play? Is there another team out there with interest? Tough.

91 comments… add one
  • > Do the Yanks owe Bernie the opportunity to win a job that probably won’t exist?
    My head says no. My heart, to my surprise, also says no.
    > Does he still want to play?
    Pete Abraham wrote a post in early January saying how Bernie, last season, was usually last to arrive, first to leave the clubhouse around a game. I don’t think we’re talking about an A.I. “Practice?!” situation.
    > Is there another team out there with interest?
    I’m sure Bernie could find a slot on many major-league rosters. If Sosa can get a tryout with Texas, how tough could it be for Bernie? Bernie had an average enough year as a role player for the Yanks last season at the plate. If he wants to go to another team, some owner will accommodate. Gosh, that would be hard for me to watch though.

    attackgerbil February 1, 2007, 9:50 pm
  • Offering Bernie nothing is a bigger no-win situation. He says he still wants to play and he only wants to be a Yankee. Can Bernie play first?

    john February 1, 2007, 9:55 pm
  • Malphabet>Bernie/Andy>Giambi I suppose.

    attackgerbil February 1, 2007, 10:01 pm
  • I don’t think they owe him anything, and vice-versa. Last season, as a role player, he put up plenty respectable numbers. A good season to leave on, to go out on top, so to speak.
    I’ve got as much respect for Bernie as any Yankee player not named Mo. Time to retire, old boy. Let YFs and BaseballFs alike remember you on the high note last year, rather than battling for a job the Yankees don’t have to give anyway.

    QuoSF February 1, 2007, 10:27 pm
  • If he wants to continue to play, I don’t see why anyone should have a problem with that. If he loves to play, why should he stop because of anyone else’s preconceived notions of what is and is not appropriate, and what constitutes “going out on top.” On the otherhand, this has become an uncomfortable situation for everyone. Accepting the trip to Yankee spring training causes the problems Abraham outlines. I think the best thing for all would be for him to take job elsewhere or retire.

    YF February 1, 2007, 10:46 pm
  • He does have a chance and if it doesn’t work out he can play, coach and mentor in Columbus, right? Maybe come back up to the big club if he’s needed? He can also remain part of the only organization he’s ever known. I like Bernie because I like loyalty, you don’t see that much any more in the world, let alone baseball. I think he takes the deal, unless I’m wrong about some of this.

    LocklandSF February 1, 2007, 11:03 pm
  • …as tough as this is to say with all the fond memories i have of bernie, particularly in his better days when he was actually a feared hitter in the lineup, and roamed center field with grace and speed, it’s time to say goodbye…i could be wrong again, i was last year when i thought the yanks should let him go, but i believe those better days of his career are clearly behind him…the hard spot for the yanks is that they don’t appear to have a roster opening…baseball is a tough business…it’s not necessarily about money or loyalty…he was a relative bargain at $1m this past season, but how long can he perform in that role…the yankees just don’t seem to have the heart to come right out and tell him they’ve moved on, and he doesn’t seem to want to see the proverbial handwriting on the wall…i don’t know how the yanks could do this, but i would like to see bernie and the fans have at least one game together at the stadium for goodbyes and thank you’s…the important part of that is for bernie to finally realize he’s done as a yankee…

    dc February 1, 2007, 11:03 pm
  • Didn’t expect that kind of response, YF. Sure, the guy might have it in him to give it one or two more seasons in a backup DH/OF role for another team. There’s no such slot available to him with the Yankees. I must admit, it would be awkward to watch him in another big league uniform. He’s been all about class and professionalism his entire career, it would seem a shame for him to possibly embarass himself in say, an Angel or Devil Ray uniform next season.
    Again, YF, I didn’t intend to belittle him, what I said was meant out of respect for spending his entire career as a Yankee and his accomplishments as a professional on and off the field.

    QuoSF February 1, 2007, 11:10 pm
  • I understand that Quo; I just disagree. I appreciate his Yankee time, and would be happy to have him go out as a Yankee lifer. But I guess the guy has earned the right to go out on his own terms–if he can find anyone to accept them. The other side of “embarass himself” is a sense of nobility in practicing a profession that you love even after your natural gifts have passed.

    YF February 1, 2007, 11:37 pm
  • I understand that. I didn’t really understand the tone of your original response, as if it was wild for me to have the opinion that he go out on top as a Yankee. I suppose there’s not a lot he could do on a ballfield in Tampa or LAnaheim(to re-borrow my arbitrary examples) to ruin his legacy in any way.

    QuoSF February 1, 2007, 11:41 pm
  • Actually, I’ve said this before, but I’d love for Bernie to go somewhere else and play a good corner spot; a park that has a small left or right could suit him fine, and I believe that he still has the hand speed to get around on most fastballs. I’d love to see him successful somewhere else. On the same note, I’d also love to see him outplay carreer fourth outfielder (of course I don’t know that) Melky Cabrerra during ST, and take that spot on the Yankees.
    On another note, can someone plese expain to me what happens if a team and player do not come to a deal for arbitration? ESPN has a nifty list of players who have asked for, and not yet recieved contracts for this year, but I’m not sure where it goes from there if they don’t get what they want. Are they eligible to go elsewhere? Do they have to sit the year? Does the new team have to give up draft picks? I can’t seem to find those answers anywhere.
    Please explain, if you know.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 12:53 am
  • I’m pretty sure they all get settled, whether through arbitration cases or just beforehand, Brad. From the moment they were offered arbitration, they were the property of the team, and the rest of it is just numbers, IIRC. Wish I could point to an article or something proving all this, but…I’m lazy.
    At this point, even if they do go to arbitration, I’m pretty sure there’s zero chance of an agreement not being reached. The player submits one number, the organization another. The arbitrator picks one or the other, no middle ground, and everyone who needs to signs the dotted lines.

    QuoSF February 2, 2007, 12:57 am
  • Thanks, Quo. I wasn’t sure about the issues there. I was under the (very hopeful, no doubt) impression that if they did not reach some sort of comprimise, the player was free to walk.
    I only mentioned because both big hitters (the current AL MVP, no less) for Minny had yet to see their contracts redone for them, and both are making pennies (not by my standards, of course).
    Thanks, Quo.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 1:26 am
  • Well, it’s not a great parallel, but arbitration years are like indentured servitude. Very little leverage for the player, the team has all the control. Pineiro is a result of the team control side, the M’s controlled his rights but decided to non-tender him. THOSE are the kinds of players that slip through the cracks.

    QuoSF February 2, 2007, 1:52 am
  • Sigh. It is indeed a no-win scenario. On the one hand, I’ve loved watching Bernie play and I’ll be sad when that’s over. On the other, watching him play the last two seasons as a shadow of his once-great self has been sad as well. And there really is no spot for him on the Yanks.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) February 2, 2007, 8:42 am
  • “…carreer fourth outfielder (of course I don’t know that) Melky Cabrerra…”…c’mon brad, i know you’re just kidding out of frustration in defense of bernie, but deep down you know mc is better than at least 2 penciled in sox starting outfielders, before drew was [officially] signed, that is…
    …according to the website “about baseball”: “Any player who has achieved three years of major league service time, but fewer than six, is automatically eligible for salary arbitration if he is not under contract.”…the cases are settled and the salary determined before the next season begins…

    dc February 2, 2007, 8:54 am
  • dc, did you just say that Melky Cabrera was better than Manny and Crisp? If so, you’ve said some crazy stuff here, but that takes the cake.
    The guy had a nice little first year, but look at the numbers, dc. He’s absolutely nothing to get excited about, and there’s a good chance he’ll be the fourth outfieder in the Bronx until someone else leaves; he’s absolutely not better than anyone they have now.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 8:59 am
  • melky cabrerra does not equal WMP, as well.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 9:00 am
  • manny…i ain’t that crazy…no, the outfield i was referring to was: manny, wily mo, and coco…

    dc February 2, 2007, 9:03 am
  • dc:
    Cabrera was a nice player last year. But it’s not likely that over the course of a typical average career season that he’d be more valuable than Pena, Crisp, or Ramirez. In fact, it’s likely that he’d be less valuable than any of them. Add in Drew, and Cabrera’s the fifth outfielder on the Sox, a good young player, a good defensive sub, and trade bait.
    On the Yankees, he was very much a fourth outfielder, until injuries hit. If he sticks with the Yankees, he’ll likely be a spot-starter and a career fourth outfielder: he’s probably not productive enough to take a starting spot on such a powerful financial team. He’d be a starter on many teams, however, which is your point, I think.

    SF February 2, 2007, 9:05 am
  • I don’t mean to sound heartless, but Bernie should have announced his retirement during last season. I say that for two reasons and none of which are he can’t play. One, it would have created some kind of finality and Yankee fans and front office could have given him the royal treatment he deserves. Two, he knew the Yankees situation with Melky and he knew he wouldn’t play for any other team. It’s unfortunate but he is getting the shaft, but most of it could have been avoided. I know it’s a difficult thing to hang up the spikes and glove, but this could have all been avoided and everyone involved would have a good taste in their most.
    Lockland, just a side note the Yankees AAA isn’t in Columbus any longer, it’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But I am sure everyone got the point regardless.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 9:09 am
  • Brad it PAINS me to agree, but you may be right on Melky. But even still he is a heck of a guy to have on the bench or to have fill in for an injured player. He is very versatile, plays a real good OF and has speed. He can bunt, move runners over, etc…Problem is, he isn’t as fast as Juan Pierre or guys who stay in the league and collect FAT checks based solely on their speed and he definitely does not have the power to be a starting corner OF right now. The best comparison I see is David DeJesus of the Royals and even he has more potential to develop power. Unless Melky learns how to swipe 40+ bases or jack a few to the black, Brad may be right……

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 9:16 am
  • Bernie:Yankees::Favre:Packers?
    Incidentally, dc, Pena’s 2006 VORP was 14.3, placing him 174th in the league, in quite limited duty. Cabrera was 240th, with a 7.8, and Crisp 243rd (in a career-worst year), at 7.5. Though VORP doesn’t take into account defense (and Pena’s isn’t great at this point), it’s very likely that Cabrera would (using VORP) be the fifth-best outfielder on the Sox. Last year Trot Nixon had a higher VORP than Cabrera as well.

    SF February 2, 2007, 9:17 am
  • To know more on the TRIBE and how Trot will fit in, read SWAP by Sam Moffie

    Harry Belinky February 2, 2007, 9:18 am
  • …i’d hold off suggesting that the sox outfield is deeper than the yanks sf, until we see just how crisp, pena, and drew hold up over a full season [of actually playing] in sox uniforms…my point was that i’d rather have him than crisp or pena at this point…pena has the potential, i won’t disagree there, but we need to see him over a full season [it may be to his benefit]…and in some ways mc is very similar to crisp, but a little better defensively and with a better OBP…

    dc February 2, 2007, 9:22 am
  • but a little better defensively and with a better OBP
    first, since MC can’t play CF, I’d hold off on that one. Crisp plays a good CF, and he could speed circles around Melky. dc, I’ve admitted that the kid is a good replacement player, stop trying to play advocate for him. He’s not a starter on the Yanks, and he wouldn’t be for the Sox. Either place, he’s the fourth or fifth guy. But, Crisp has made some of the best plays I’ve ever seen at Fenway, and he was gross in Cleveland too. Let’s not jump to far ahead of ourselves or get our panties all bunched up over facts.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 9:34 am
  • On another note, it took Coco’s worst year as a player, and MC’s best to even get them in the same conversation. Compare the year prior to Coco’s broken hand and brand new city. How’s that match up?

    Brad February 2, 2007, 9:36 am
  • …my panties are just fine brad, thanks for asking…i’d say it’s you and sf overreacting to my somewhat humble opinion that at this point melky seems to be a little better defensively [go ahead and check the stats], and has a better OBP than coco…[again, check the stats]…if i were being completely fair, i’d acknowledge coco’s injury last year and the impact that had on his play, and that melky has had only one season, hardly a good sample size…
    …as for coco’s gross plays [and i think we’ve seen him grossly misplay a few], i thought only the stats counted in the sabermetric world, and spectacular plays are well, just another out [see jeter criticism]…

    dc February 2, 2007, 9:43 am
  • brad, i said at this point in time…thanks for proving my point that we haven’t seen enough of coco as a sox, or wily mo for that matter, for sf to make the claim that the sox outfield is deeper…i’ll concede on drew, only because barring injury he should be the second best outfielder on the sox, and could probably start on the yankees too…

    dc February 2, 2007, 9:46 am
  • and could probably start on the yankees too…
    This is funny.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 9:49 am
  • dc:
    I think you are advocating blindly. Almost all statistics show that Cabrera IS the least valuable player amongst:
    Crisp (they were effectively equivalent last year but that was clearly a anomaly for Crisp over a large sample size)
    Drew (VORP of over 30 last year)
    Why do you insist that this isn’t true? Just because you like Cabrera doesn’t make him a better player than any of these guys.
    In fact, I think you are jumping way overboard here, trying to pick a fight with me. I actually conceded that you might have meant something different than you said and that in those terms Brad was wrong: I admit that Cabrera would be a starter on many other MLB squads. So I disagree with Brad’s generalization that Cabrera is a “career fourth outfielder”. Were circumstances different, he’d be starting in many other cities.
    But on the Sox or the Yanks he is, in fact, a fourth or fifth outfielder, and will always be so, injuries excepted.

    SF February 2, 2007, 9:55 am
  • Who would Drew start over? Can he play 1st base, LOL. No way Drew starts over anyone in the Yankees OF. The only one would be Damon, but his lead off ability would still put him ahead of Drew.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 9:57 am
  • “career fourth outfielder”
    I meant on the Yankees, not if he were to head to Pittsburgh. Somewhere else, where there isn’t an all-star at all three spots, I’m sure Melky is a suitable outfieder, but not in NY or Boston.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 9:57 am
  • What if the Philly Abreu comes back? Trisk, the two players are very similiar over their careers, so really, no matter which one you start, the result is the same in my view.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 10:00 am
  • I think the “where would Drew play on the Yankees” discussion is going to end up in a massive flame war, and it’s a silly argument. Drew is a fine player, and would work just fine on the Yankees. For that matter, where would Matsui play in Boston? This is a dead-ender.
    Let’s get back to Melky and Bernie.

    SF February 2, 2007, 10:00 am
  • except for the fact that Drew is going to get to hit in front of Ortiz and Manny, and since A-Rods hit in the eight spot now (c’mon, that’s funny), BA’s protection isn’t quite what Drews will be.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 10:01 am
  • I agree.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 10:03 am
  • I will go with that Brad, equal/similar player, when you said start over, I assumed you meant better. Point taken.
    “where would Drew play on the Yankees”
    I was speaking to Brad and his “This is Funny” comment. So Sox fans can comment, Yankee fans can’t retaliate, got it. I will make a mental note. You are the boss after all.
    As for where would Matsui play in Boston, if they were smart RF. If you don’t think that Matsui is a more valuable player then Drew (with the exception of defense) then something is wrong.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 10:06 am
  • Sorry, I didn’t say Melky or Bernie in that last post, so Melky, Bernie. Good I met the quota.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 10:07 am
  • Trisk,
    Right field in Fenway is not exactly where you put the mediocre defensive guy. People seem to think that it’s a small corner, but in reality, that corner takes a real gem of a defensive guy to play well there. The corners and weird configuration, and not to mention the huge ground to cover over to center makes it very difficult. But, you are right, Matsui is a good offensive player, but in RF in Fenway, it would be tough to justify giving up the defense for such a small addition in offense.
    Red Sox fans saw first hand how spoiled we were when WMP played RF, which was a mess to say the least.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 10:13 am
  • And Yankees fans remember how well Karim Garcia did, so yes I know it’s tough out there. (and I am not making ANY reference to the fight FYI)

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 10:21 am
  • …i’ll say it again…melky would not have the difficulty cracking the sox starting outfield as it stands right now than he would have cracking the yanks starting outfield…if his competition is the coco and wily mo we’ve come to know so far…no, i’m not trying to pick a fight sf…i’m not sure what about my comments you think is confrontational, other than you don’t agree with them…

    dc February 2, 2007, 10:38 am
  • melky would not have the difficulty cracking the sox starting outfield as it stands right now than he would have cracking the yanks starting outfield
    You are nuts. The only way that Melky could crack the Sox starting three would be if a concrete panel fell on JD Drew while driving through the Big Dig on his way to Fenway.
    (and based on Drew’s HBP record, the Sox ought to have a clause in his contract that disallows him from driving through the Big Dig…)

    SF February 2, 2007, 10:42 am
  • Crisp v. Melky
    Crisp has had 5 years in the majors. Two of them have been better than last year. Three of them have been worse than Melky’s one year in the majors.
    In 2005, Melky had 19 abs in 6 games in which he obviously started badly. That’s too small a sample.
    In his first real year, he hit .280 .360 .391 .751, with 50 rbis in 460 abs. By the end of the year, you could see that Joe trusted him at bat in an important situation.
    In his first year, Coco had 127 abs in 32 games. He hit .260 .314 .386 .700, with 9 rbis. In his second year, he had 414 abs in 99 games and hit .266 .302 .353 .655, with 27 rbis, worse than Melky in every category.
    In his first year in Boston, Crisp had 37 rbis in 413 abs. By the end of the year, Sox fans were screaming to trade him.
    How Sox fans declare Crisp immeasurably superior to Melky, I’ll never know. I guess it’s like saying he can’t play center, his minor league position. And let’s not forget his assists.

    john February 2, 2007, 10:49 am
  • This is going to go nowhere. It’ll be a more substantial argument after this year. Oh wait, no it won’t. Melky will be a bench guy, so we won’t have an adequate sample size to analyze.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 10:57 am
  • and based on Drew’s HBP record
    wait, Drew has a redord of getting HBP???? All this time, I just thought he was an inury prone scab of a player, and bound to miss a ton of time! Who knew?

    Brad February 2, 2007, 10:59 am
  • So forget Crisp, for argument’s sake, John, and sub in Pena, who could probably do better in center at Fenway than he did in right there. In that case, Cabrera STILL can’t crack the Sox’ outfield.
    This is absurd. Cabrera could be a starter on a lot of teams. He’s young, talented, and has upside. But he is not a starter on either the Yanks or the Sox. What’s the big deal with this statement?!?!

    SF February 2, 2007, 10:59 am
  • But ol’ Wily’s not the starter, Coco is.
    Of course neither one of them could crack the Yankee starting outfield. :-)
    You are nuts. The only way that Melky could crack the Sox starting three would be if a concrete panel fell on JD Drew while driving through the Big Dig on his way to Fenway.

    john February 2, 2007, 11:04 am
  • I am not going to provide the numbers, but look at Coco’s best season 2005 and compare it to Melky’s first full season of 2006, they are very similar with the exception of AB’s, SB’s and HR’s. I didn’t realize how similar they are. I guess my argument earlier about Melky not being a starting OF’r could be now taken as offensive to Sox fans.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 11:06 am
  • This is crazy. If he was good enough to crack the Sox outfield, he’d be starting where he’s at right now. Why is this so hard to swallow for you guys?

    Brad February 2, 2007, 11:11 am
  • Having read this whole post, I’m amazed that we’re even having the discussion. I knew Melky was overappreciated, but come on. Better than Pena, whose power and on-base potential are exponents above Cabrera’s? Better than Crisp, whose power and speed are already above Cabrera’s potential? Cabrera actually would have a harder time cracking the Sox’ starting three, dc, because the Sox have four OF candidates better than him, instead of just three. I’m not going to get into the silliness about whose starting three is better — suffice it to say that Cabrera ain’t cracking either of them, and the Sox happen to have a fourth who’s better.
    It’s no shame to Cabrera. As someone up there said, he’d be an All-Star candidate on a weaker team in a weaker division. It’s his bad fortune to be where he is, but it’s not a reflection on his talent to be behind guys like Ramirez, Drew, Crisp, Damon, Abreu and Matsui (no particular order there).

    Paul SF February 2, 2007, 11:12 am
  • “You are nuts. The only way that Melky could crack the Sox starting three would be if a concrete panel fell on JD Drew while driving through the Big Dig on his way to Fenway.”…nice sf, so now i’m nuts for having a contrary point of view…i’m not sure why you always have to resort to insults when we’re trying to have what for the most part is a civil debate…you’ve conveniently substituted drew in the comparison v. melky, when i’ve already conceded that drew is the better player…go back and read my comments, apply your sabermetric measurements, and not your heart, and then try to convince me that melky couldn’t compete head to head with coco, and even wily mo for that matter…interesting stats john, sox fans have conveniently forgotten last year’s outrage against coco when it became apparent they couldn’t trade him this offseason…so now they’re forced to defend him…

    dc February 2, 2007, 11:12 am
  • AB’s, SB’s and HR’s.
    So, ignoring some pretty big stats, they’re the same player?
    Well, if you look at Beckett compared to Santana, and decide to ignore allowed HR, K, and ERA, they’re stats are nearly the same.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 11:14 am
  • “If he was good enough to crack the Sox outfield, he’d be starting where he’s at right now.”…brad, it’s because the yanks starting outfield as a unit is better than the sox…the sox have the best player, manny, but they have a big hole where wily mo and coco are supposed to be…and that’s still assuming [still my concession] that drew will be the drew you think he is…

    dc February 2, 2007, 11:16 am
  • I think the point here isn’t that Melky is a star, nor that he should be starting for either team, but that his numbers in his first full season are equal to/better then Coco’s best season of 2005. (Also better then his 2006, but he was injured.) So to just dismiss the Melky/Coco comparison is foolish. That’s all.
    As for Wily Mo Pena, his power intrigues a lot of people, but if he was truly that good the Sox wouldn’t have went out and spent 70 mill on J.D.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 11:17 am
  • Ok, this is idiotic. Not you, dc, but the way this debate is going.
    And I will never again stand for us Soxfans being accused of hypersensitivity, after watching some of the YFs work this thread.
    And now I am closing it.

    SF February 2, 2007, 11:19 am
  • OK, I opened the comments back up. But I ask for this to get this back onto Bernie, please.

    SF February 2, 2007, 11:39 am
  • Here’s a question for my fellow Yankees fans:
    Who would you rather have on the team: Mike Myers or Bernie Williams?

    Rob (Middletown, CT) February 2, 2007, 12:06 pm
  • If I say Mike Myers and back my statement with facts SF may lock the thread because A. It contained facts B. It doesn’t include something on Bernie. So my answer is Bernie.
    There’s no Bernie. Just go George. Excuse me you forgot my Bernie. You want Bernie $2. $2? Fine. No Thread for you!!

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • Trisk displaying some internet anger. Relax, man. It was a good arguement, but it wasn’t ever going to go anywhere. Let it go.

    Anonymous February 2, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • Sorry that was me.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 12:52 pm
  • Surely we can do better than Mike Myers.. can we?

    Lar February 2, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • Old Mike can be effective when he needs to be.

    Brad February 2, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • I personally enjoyed the argument, as ridiculous as it was to even be having. Sometimes a good old-fashioned row over something as useless as a backup outfielder’s spot in a nine-player sampling is good for the system.
    I’m curious, and I mean this sincerely, at what point Bernie decided he couldn’t leave the Yankees. He was set to sign with Boston back in the day until George panicked and coughed up the extra dough. So his loyalty is fairly recent. I’m just wondering if there was a certain catalyst (maybe the four World Series rings had something to do with it) to make it to where he’d rather go through all this than sign a $1M deal elsewhere with a better shot at playing in ’07.

    Paul SF February 2, 2007, 1:30 pm
  • “He was set to sign with Boston back in the day until George panicked and coughed up the extra dough.”
    Actually, it was Bernie that called in the middle of the night looking to meet halfway.
    In terms of loyalty, I have no idea what you mean by ‘fairly recent’.
    The Yankees are the only pro organization he’s ever played for. That might be why he can’t see playing anywhere else.

    lp February 2, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • I’m guessing part of it is that, while baseball is great to play, he has another options still booming for him. And also maybe because he’s very very well off now, since let’s not forget that huge contract he finished..

    Lar February 2, 2007, 1:48 pm
  • By the way, what are the odds of Williams playing first? I don’t think his hitting will compensate enough for his (presumably) lack of defense at a new position, but 1B is easy (relatively) to learn, right?

    Lar February 2, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • Well, I just meant that at some point during his peak years, without knowing all the details, it seemed like Bernie was willing to go elsewhere. But that seems not to be the case now. I imagine at some point, after being in one place for so long, you stop being able to imagine or look forward to moving from that place. I was just wondering if there was anything else I didn’t know about.

    Paul SF February 2, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • The Yankees are the only team without a “no excruciatingly white jazz fusion guitar playing” rule in the clubhouse, which might explain his desire.

    SF February 2, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • “….it seemed like Bernie was willing to go elsewhere.”
    It was a bluff. His agent, Scott Borass if I’m not mistaken, engaged Boston to jack up the price. At the 11th hour Bernie went behind Scottie’s back and called the Yanks.
    “excruciatingly white jazz fusion”
    I’m not even going to touch that because somebody’s feelings might get hurt and they’ll have to shut down the thread and then accuse others of not having a sense of humor.

    lp February 2, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • “The Yankees are the only team without a “no excruciatingly white jazz fusion guitar playing” rule in the clubhouse, which might explain his desire.”
    That’s hilarious. LOL
    “but 1B is easy (relatively) to learn, right?”
    From what I’ve heard, that is much more perception than reality.

    Andrews February 2, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • lp:
    Shutting down the thread had nothing to do with hurt feelings, but with a debate gone completely haywire that was becoming unbecoming generally speaking. I reopened it because I realized that we self-police here.

    SF February 2, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • “At the 11th hour Bernie went behind Scottie’s back and called the Yanks.”
    I wonder what Boras thought of that. He doesn’t seem to like having players involved.

    Paul SF February 2, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • i almost gave up, but i’m glad you reopened the thread sf…i’ll give you credit for rethinking that, since it doesn’t seem appropriate just because a largely civil disagreement just doesn’t happen to be going your way…bernie’s a class act, and there doesn’t seem to be any debate about that…things went awry when brad took a swipe at melky…all i tried to do was give you guys the facts, and give you some proper perspective on the relative depth of our respective outfields…you and brad took exception in rather dramatic fashion, in lieu of debating the facts and stats that were presented…stats are something that i pointed out your organization relies on quite heavily…no harm no foul…another occasion where we disagree…this site would have no reason to exist without disagreement…

    dc February 2, 2007, 2:50 pm
  • just doesn’t happen to be going your way
    Again, this has nothing to do with “getting my way”. It had to do with a debate that was veering badly off course, tone-wise. I was trying to pre-empt what I thought was going to be some uglier ugliness. I decided against it afterwards and trusted that we can self-police here, as we’ve done for a few years.
    I don’t want any thread closure to be interpreted as a method to close down debate that doesn’t corroborate one of our opinions. They have been used rarely (maybe once or twice,ever) and not for those reasons. None of us at the site would ever think of truncating a thread just because people disagreed with us. I will not accept accusations of that on my part, and knowing my co-bloggers I will defend them against the same charges.
    Let’s stop these accusations now.

    SF February 2, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Just curious, what comments fall under that “veering badly off course, tone-wise” I thought everyone was being civil and providing facts? Not trying to keep up an argument, just trying to learn in case I am the offender.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 3:03 pm
  • uh huh

    dc February 2, 2007, 3:05 pm
  • I really don’t think SF had anything to worry about in terms of whether the debate was going his way. I won’t say anything else, lest that can of worms be reopened. My previous comment when the debate was going on speaks for itself.

    Paul SF February 2, 2007, 3:13 pm
  • Trisk:
    I re-opened the debate because I realized I was wrong to shut it down, my critique of things going off-course was wrong.
    That’s entirely different than shutting down a thread because people disagreed with me. We NEVER do that here. End of story.

    SF February 2, 2007, 3:24 pm
  • he’s in denial (link)

    the chief February 2, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • Bernie can definitely still hit LH pitching, so in a platoon he would be better then average.
    His numbers last season vs. Lefties:
    .386 OBP .568 Slg .328 avg. 7 HR
    Just as a comparison, Trot’s numbers Vs. righties are:
    .385 OBP .420 Slg .288 avg 6HR
    Reason I am comparing the 2 is because Trot just got his contract from the Indians to do just that, platoon.
    That said we can’t say Bernie is “In Denial” or worthless to a team. He just doesn’t have a spot on the Yankees.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • He is, I suppose, worthless to the Yankees as a player. It’s truly sad that both siudes have let it creak and groan to this horrible train wreck of a conclusion. But he’s certainly not a worthless player, as you showed, Trisk. That Bernie/Trot platoon would be pretty dang good, it seems.

    Paul SF February 2, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • I wonder if I can draft Bernie Nixon or Trot Williams for my fantasy team. That would do!

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • This is a “train wreck”?! Do YFs think this is a train wreck, the Bernie situation? I have lived in NY for almost the entirety of Bernie’s career, he’s probably been my favorite Yankee player (if there’s been one), so I completely understand his position and stature with the Yankee organization, but this doesn’t quite strike me as “train wreck” material.

    SF February 2, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • Agreed SF. I think the better phrasing would be embarassing to both sides. I know Yankee fans don’t hold Bernie in the same heights as Donnie Baseball, but what if Donnie wanted to play in 96? If this same situation happened to him I bet Yankee fans would be in an uproar. For Bernie, it’s just considered unfortunate.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 2, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • I wouldn’t say it’s a train wreck. It’s more like a funeral for a person who’s lived a really long life. You’re sad to see him go but it’s to be expected.

    lp February 2, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • As a YF, I don’t think it’s “train Wreck” material, either. I dispute the assertion that he is “worthless” to the yanks as a player – if so, they would have just shown him the door (a la Trot) rather than leaving it open by inviting him to ST.

    Andrews February 2, 2007, 4:12 pm
  • Bernie, time to retire.

    Anonymous February 2, 2007, 5:30 pm
  • Good point. I prefer the way the Yanks treated Bernie to the way the Sox treated Trot, even though the Sox made a sound business decision.
    Bernie’s given the Yanks plenty and has nothing to be embarrased about. If he’s till hoping to catch on, more power to him. He knows he probably won’t, and he knows he would like another season, with the Yanks alone. So he’s doing what he wants, and not embarrassing anyone.

    john February 3, 2007, 10:27 am
  • This has really been a bizarre thread. Yanks fans are supposed to see there’s something wrong with them because they don’t see the incontestable brilliance of saying that Melky can’t break into four man rotation in the Sox outfield even though, 1) there’s plenty of rational reason to see Melky as a better fourth outfielder than Wily Mo, 2) when you compare Melky’s one year to Coco’s five years, it may well be that give them both 400 abs in 2007 and Melky would have at least as good a year at a lower price (and has 5 years until free agency – remember “getting younger and cheaper”?), and 3) Coco couldn’t break into the Yankee starting three.
    For some reason, some Sox fans say that’s a meaningless point, while Melky breaking into the Sox four is profound.

    john February 3, 2007, 10:52 am
  • melky’s good?

    dc February 4, 2007, 11:58 am

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