Good Riddance, Unit!

So says Jim Leyritz in an article in The Journal News by John Delcos.  "He didn’t fit in here from the beginning," Leyritz continued.

Both Leyritz and Lee Mazzilli have a hard time imagining Bernie Williams, who seems to not be a part of New York’s future plans until they retire number 51, in another uniform.  Me too, King.  Me too.

Update:

In a New York Daily News article, Jorge Posada says that he talked to Bernie and
"He’s not even thinking about (retirement) yet."

35 comments… add one
  • Bernie should get a Wakefield deal, endless club options that can roll in to a coaching/FO gig when they both decide it’s time to hang it up. He’s one of the Yankees I respect the most, loyalty should be rewarded, even evil loyalty. 16 years… Jesus.

    LocklandSF January 24, 2007, 1:18 pm
  • The only difference, though, is that Wakefield’s job — or more specifically the way he does his job — allows him to be useful long after the age at which most other players, including Williams, stop being a help to their teams. Still, Williams had a better season than most expected last year. He may not be done yet.

    Paul SF January 24, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • whoa, watch out, leyritz is on the loose!
    i feel bad for bernie. he’s my favorite player, and it’s tough to watch this unfold. i’m not sure what the right thing to do is. he can still hit, but his legs have given up on him, and it’s sad to watch him run down an easy fly ball. taking a minor league contract would be an insult, but it was clear he wanted to play more last year and this year he would be playing less.

    m.g. yanks fan January 24, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • Paul, I know, I was more thinking about the spirit of the agreeement. Bernie should get something that says as long as he wants to be in baseball, he’s got a job with the Yankees. I mean, keep him on for one more year and then move him to another role in the organization. I feel like 17 seasons is about all anyone can hope for in a baseball career.

    LocklandSF January 24, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • Leyritz might be right about the Unit not being right for the Bombers. Johnson, as far as I know, hasn’t ever been suspected of using HGH and PEDs (Leyritz was an admitted user of more than one type of PED), so that would have definitely made him all wrong for a team with guys like Giambi, Sheffield. No wonder he didn’t fit in.

    SF January 24, 2007, 3:12 pm
  • …nice

    Brad January 24, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • Seriously, to take character criticism from a thug like Leyritz would have been like taking medical advice from (the late) Jim Henson. Whatever his accomplishments and contributions were to the Yankees, Leyritz was a punk and a hothead. Where does he get off as any kind of authority on one of the games’ best pitchers ever (and a World Series champ and MVP as well)?
    I am no huge fan of Johnson’s personality, either, just for the record.

    SF January 24, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • Yankee fans like Leyritz. For one thing, we remember those two World Series home runs. (Braves’ fans can’t forget them.)

    john January 24, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • yup. the angels, rangers, sox, padres, dodgers, and mets all liked him too. i guess never enough for him to stick around for too long.

    sf rod January 24, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • “Where does he get off as any kind of authority on one of the games’ best pitchers ever (and a World Series champ and MVP as well)?”
    SF, whether you agree or not, the guy is entitled to express his opinion. Many posters on this site weighed in on Johnson at some point too; I daresay most are less of an authority than a catcher with a long career in MLB.
    Just to play devil’s advocate, someone reading the thread about Murray Chass could ask: Where do they get off as any kind of authority on a sportswriter in the Hall of Fame?

    Andrews January 24, 2007, 5:24 pm
  • mo rivera (a possible HOFer) seems to know a little about pitching, and thought RJ was a good clubhouse guy as well as a good fit with the yankees. where does a career backup backstop get off on calling mo a liar?

    sf rod January 24, 2007, 6:10 pm
  • Giving anything Jim Leyritz has to say any merit is like (taking a page out of Paul SF’s book) saying Manny is a good outfielder because he has lead the league in throwing runners out. Unlike most Sox fans Yankee fans do not love every player that ever wore the pinstripes. (Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield, etc….) Just because the man calls himself “The King” doesn’t mean we find the need to defend him. He is an outspoken moron.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 24, 2007, 6:19 pm
  • “where does a career backup backstop get off on calling mo a liar?”
    sf rod, C’mon, having a different opinion than someone doesn’t mean the other guy is a liar.

    Andrews January 24, 2007, 6:57 pm
  • Oh God, more generalizing about Sox fans from Yanks fans. “Unlike most Sox fans”…Jesus Christ.
    Look. One more time. One fanbase is no more something than another where emotion is concerned. One fanbase is not more prone to worshipping every player that passes through. One fanbase is not smarter. One fanbase is not more rational.

    Devine January 24, 2007, 7:07 pm
  • …man, i can’t believe all the vinegar about a leyritz comment…the guy was a yankee hero if only for a moment…he did more for the yankees than johnson did…sf, is he more of a thug than the suckerpuncher veratek?…now that guy’s overrated, and a big loser…he owes a lot to manny and ortiz for carrying him to a ws…i can’t wait for the news to come out about sox players…you’ll hide for weeks…

    dc January 24, 2007, 8:40 pm
  • Yeah, I mean, it takes a REAL man to swipe at someone with full catcher’s gear on. That’s not bush league. That’s pussy league. I’d always respected Varitek for his offensive performance, but after he landed that pussy-shot he lost all my, and many, many others outside RSN’s respect. Now that he’s a shell of his former self offensively (he was never really a great defender or pitcher’s catcher) I really think he should lose that obnoxious and absolutely unnecessary “C”. He’s probably not deserving of it anymore.

    Andrew January 24, 2007, 9:47 pm
  • Thanks Devine, you really cleared that up for me.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 24, 2007, 10:46 pm
  • Unlike most Sox fans Yankee fans do not love every player that ever wore the pinstripes.
    Yeah. We’ve all been pretty fond of guys like Carl Everett and Shea Hillenbrand in past years. Doug Mirabelli and Keith Foulke have never endured criticism, and there was never a Sox fan (only Yankee fans) to purport that Curt Schilling talks too much. Pedro and Manny have never had times of being criticized. And if your memory fails you, there was certainly an unbridled and unanimous love-fest for Damon in his first game at Fenway. Jeremy Giambi…wow. I don’t really have enough time to go on.
    And yes, agreed, the right thing to do in that situation would’ve been for Varitek to ask A-Rod to wait while he took his catcher’s gear off entirely. It’s not entirely a proud moment for me as a fan, and Varitek has never once spoken anything other than regret about how the situation ended up.

    QuoSF January 24, 2007, 11:02 pm
  • And yes, agreed, the right thing to do in that situation would’ve been for Varitek to ask A-Rod to wait while he took his catcher’s gear off entirely
    Not that this is up there in importance with global warming, but standard protocal for catchers is to throw their masks off before wading into a fight. Since there are situations that require them to take their mask off (like catching a pop-up), they can do that in a flash, without even thinking.

    john January 24, 2007, 11:17 pm
  • Agreed on the mask. But Andrew chose to make it this extreme: Yeah, I mean, it takes a REAL man to swipe at someone with full catcher’s gear on., so I responded in kind.

    QuoSF January 24, 2007, 11:39 pm
  • Yeah, and it takes a real man to try to swipe the ball out of a pitcher’s mitt as he’s about to get tagged out in a playoff game…

    Hudson January 25, 2007, 12:11 am
  • hudson…give me a break…it’s not the same…arod didn’t suckerpunch the guy when he wasn’t expecting it, he tried to knock the ball out of his glove like guys do with a catcher going to home plate…what veratek did with arod was very bogus, and any sox fan defending his cowardice should be ashamed…veratek is a jerk, and they rewarded him by making him the captain…that tells you something…

    dc January 25, 2007, 12:21 am
  • Sheffield is a jerk, and the Tigers rewarded him with a three-year contract. (And a certain team from the Bronx a few years ago as well)
    Kevin Brown is a jerk, and he had countless rewards bestowed in his career.
    Jason Giambi is a cheater, and was rewarded after a fake apology by not having to give up the rest(or all) of his contract money.
    Even if I were going to agree that Tek was a jerk(and I won’t), he’s certainly not the first or worst to be rewarded. I’m not really trying to get into a debate on this point, all of the above “facts” are just as verifiable as Varitek’s status as a “jerk” or “not a real man”
    I’ll agree with dc, swiping the ball out of Bronson’s glove with a manly slap of the hand is different. It was illegal and meant to change the results of the game. However, dc, it’s a lot different than knocking the ball out of a catcher’s glove at the plate. Runners are allowed to try to do so since the catcher will likely be physically in the way of them scoring a run. Bronson was not in the baseline, therefore A-Rod was not within his rights to intentionally knock the ball from Bronson’s possession. I don’t know if The Ump is still around, or has already said something about this, but A-Rod was interfering as Bronson was not in his path to first base.
    Look, what Varitek did shouldn’t be a particularly proud moment for a Sox fan, even if it was infinitely enjoyable. OTOH, Yankee fans who harp on it are wasting their time, to be honest. The target was one of the most prolific whiners in all of sports, and he plays for the Yankees. I’ll ask you this, dc, would that have all changed for you if Tek had taken his mask off? Really? I imagine it would still be a point of…concern for you.
    Either way, it IS an example of why Varitek is the captain. His pitcher was challenged and he responded in defense of the pitcher. This doesn’t neccessarily make what Tek did right, but it is an example of what a captain should be doing, in baseball, even if it’s a ridiculous thing to have in baseball in the first place.
    Captains should also be concerned about team unity and welcoming the more talented player who plays to the right of their position.

    QuoSF January 25, 2007, 12:46 am
  • Yankee fans will miss Sheff. He had a big mouth, a very strange and sometimes self-destructive ego, and he may have taken steroids and be breaking down, but he played hard, he played hurt, and he sure could hit the ball.

    john January 25, 2007, 9:19 am
  • …quo, i have to agree with you [by disgreeing with my own earlier statement] that the arod swipe is not the same as running into the catcher at home plate…had bronson been in the baseline with the ball however, i think it would have been fair to run him over, but that was not the case…and yes, “the swipe” is not the same as a suckerpunch…
    …i’m a little surprised you used the incident to declare it to be a reason why veratek is a good captain, since you also said: “…[it] shouldn’t be a particularly proud moment for a Sox fan, even if it was infinitely enjoyable…”…really, thugism is cool?…i’ll be darned…he was defending a pitcher who didn’t need to be defended…a pitcher who was throwing at people…arod never charged the mound, and never would have…like you say he’s a big crybaby and just wanted to shoot off his mouth, but that all changed with the cheap suckerpunch…
    …veratek is the best choice for captain on the sox…they probably should have gone without one, but i suppose they figured if the yanks have one, well darnit we need one too…he’s the captain by process of elimination…who from either the team 2 years ago or today would be a possible candidate?…wakefield’s the classiest guy on your team, but i think they felt he’s less likely to be around long term, and it’s good to have the captain be someone who’s actually on the team…
    …nice shot at jeter by the way…i guess that’s your way of making your guy look better…not effective…

    dc January 25, 2007, 9:40 am
  • Who really cares who the captain is? Has Jeter’s captaincy led to a World Series championship in the last six years? Was Varitek’s captaincy responsible for anything, measurably? Team accomplishments shouldn’t be attributed to something as gestural as who is named the captain. It’s ludicrous to blame a “bad” captain (how do we even know?!) for the ultimate failure of a team, the opposite is true with success. Captains may be important for team morale at moments, but I subscribe to the idea that quality players, wise management, depth, and a lack of injuries are much more important. Who the captain is therefore falls at best 5th on the list of “important factors in successful ballclubs”, but probably somewhere around #26 or #27, were I to think a little harder. And I will not get near trying to pass judgment on whether our teams have the “right” captain. We aren’t privy to the locker room dynamics, and are hardly authorities on who should be given a special arm patch.
    The only sport I ever though captaincy had any impact in at all was in hockey, as the captain was afforded certain rights to speak with referees (not that it would have impact on a decision, but that ability to speak with a ref certainly was a quantifiable right that no other player had). But I was also nine years old when I thought that.
    Captaincies are symbolic. Varitek is in that position because of both real leadership and perceived authority. Jeter is in the same exact spot. And that’s about all there is to it.

    SF January 25, 2007, 10:04 am
  • …i couldn’t agree more sf…most of my comments were tongue in cheek, since i agee with you that baseball captain is largely a ceremonial post [like the queen], and there are way more important factors that influence the outcome…you may not be guilty of this so i don’t want to unfairly indict you, but many of your fellow sf’s have made a big deal out of jeter’s captaincy, and how his perceived uncaptain-like behavior has had a seriously negative affect on arod specifically, and the team in general…i don’t think anyone’s gone so far as to suggest his being captain is the reason the yanks are not winning ws’, but it certainly is implied…besides everybody knows the real captain of the team is joe torre…those players, including jeter, love and respect that guy…

    dc January 25, 2007, 10:41 am
  • but many of your fellow sf’s have made a big deal out of jeter’s captaincy, and how his perceived uncaptain-like behavior has had a seriously negative affect on arod specifically, and the team in general
    Not sure that I see it the same way. I think much of the derision leveled towards Jeter has to do with the perception (right or wrong) that Yankees fans themselves regard Jeter’s captaincy as some sort of majorly important and high-impact title. I have always read the cheeky “Captain Intangibles” stuff from Sox fans ultimately as a kind of skepticism about how much that captaincy actually impacts game results, and a repudiation of how much credit Yankees fans give Jeter for what are many times team accomplishments. I feel the same way about Varitek’s “C”, as well, for the record.

    SF January 25, 2007, 10:47 am
  • I think the captaincy is awarded for in-clubhouse leadership, as opposed to on-field leadership. So in the respect of clubhouse management, maybe I give a little more weight to the title than SF. I’ve been one of those to criticize Jeter for not publicly defending A-Rod, something I felt that Jeter, as captain, maybe should have done, since he did it for Giambi earlier. Thus far, the Sox have not been in a comparable situation, but I would be pretty disappointed if a player — say, Manny — was being universally trashed by media AND fans, booed every at-bat, etc., and Varitek didn’t tell the fans to give him a break.
    Even in the clubhouse aspect, of course, the captain’s role I’m sure is limited. After all, they’re all adults, and at some point, everyone’s gotta take care of himself.

    Paul SF January 25, 2007, 11:15 am
  • fair enough, sf…we just don’t agree on this one, and that’s ok…you and i rarely agree on anything, and we both seem ok with that…i do have to point out though that i have seen more than a few comments on this site from sf’s and some yf’s, some probably with humorous intentions, that have questioned jeter’s leadership specifically, and its impact on certain players and the team as a whole, and fewer comments that question the need for a captain in general…what we do agree on is that a captain has little if any impact on the team’s performance…so the next time i see someone blame jeter’s insensitivity for an arod miscue, i’ll just ignore it…

    dc January 25, 2007, 11:20 am
  • I am not entirely sure we disagree, dc.
    Personally, I don’t have a real problem with blaming individual players for their failures. Captains aren’t at fault. I believe in consistency, first and foremost. So it oftentimes seems (as Paul pointed out with the whole A-Rod/Giambi thing) that even when Jeter acts inconsistently as the team captain, it’s irrelevant to his fan-base. He gets amazing amounts of credit for his leadership and by extension that leadership’s impact, but when it seems that he doesn’t exercise such leadership (at least publicly) he’s never criticized by his fanbase. He’s immune, and I understand why.
    Again, I don’t think that this is all that important in the grand scheme of things, I don’t want this thread to spiral out of control.

    SF January 25, 2007, 11:30 am
  • …i know we’ll agree on this one: personally, and don’t share this with anyone, i don’t think jeter was such a great choice to be captain…i would prefer to go captainless, as the yankees have done for many of their years…he’s no thurman munson or don mattingly in the leadership department, so i think being named captain was just a ceremonial thing to reward him for service…like i say, i’d prefer no captain, no expectations, and leave the leadership up to torre, the coaches and the senior members of the team, or which jeter is only one…

    dc January 25, 2007, 11:41 am
  • Serious questsion: was Mattingly a great leader? I didn’t live in NYC during his heyday, but wasn’t Mattingly quite the stoic, an introvert? Can YFs help out here?

    SF January 25, 2007, 11:45 am
  • …not actually being on the team, it’s hard to say what kind of leader he was behind closed doors…anecdotally however, i’ve always heard that he was a “lead by example” type of guy…always ran out every ground ball, never took a play off, never hot-dogged, he was not a highly regarded recruit so he had to work his butt off to get attention…that’s probably the biggest thing i hear from teammates and other players was the respect they had for his work ethic…probably he was stoic, no fire and brimstone speeches, but he clearly had the respect and admiration of his teammates and all of baseball for that matter…for me, the best validation is that so many baseball people, even non-yankees, feel bad that a guy who meant so much to his team, and worked so hard to be great, never got a chance to play in a world series…he still gets one of the loudest ovations at the old-timers game…i have nothing but fond memories of old donnie-baseball…

    dc January 25, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • “he was a “lead by example” type of guy…always ran out every ground ball, never took a play off, never hot-dogged”
    I’m not one to swoong irrationally over Jeter, but it does seem to me that he’s that type of guy too. But that’s about all he brings to the table, I think, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that he really does have a grudge against ARod, which is petty at this point.
    Someone else here (in a different thread) brought up Mo – and I agree he’d likely be a better Captain. But Jeter isn’t bad, just not perfect. And it’s done now. You don’t switch.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) January 26, 2007, 9:42 am

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