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January 18, 2007

Bernie Still Out There

From Michael Morrissey -

The Yankees haven't made a final decision regarding Bernie Williams, a source told The Post yesterday afternoon. But that doesn't mean Williams will be back since there is little room for him on the 2007 roster as it currently stands.

Williams' agent, Scott Boras, did not return phone calls yesterday, and GM Brian Cashman is on vacation this week. However, the source believed Cashman was still having dialogue with Boras and the Yankee GM may have even spoken with the 38-year-old Williams directly at some point this winter.

Last Wednesday, Boras told Foxsports.com that his client hadn't yet decided about the possibility of playing for another team. "When we get definition from the Yankees, Bernie will evaluate that and advise me," Boras reportedly said.

At this point, the Yankees should consider bringing Bernie to Spring Training as a non-roster invite. Let him go about his business the way that Al Leiter did last season - get your work in, have one last fun stay in sunny FLA on the Yankees tab, and have a chance to mingle (and say good-bye?) with some of the diehard fans.

Who knows? Maybe Giambi suffers a terrible injury in the Spring and then there's room for Bernie in 2007 as a righty DH? If that happens, would it not be good to be already in camp? At the worst, it also allows Bernie to showcase himself if another team is interested - and he wants to go that way. And, at the absolute worst, Bernie just goes home after spending one last March with the Yankees. It's a better send-off than no send-off.

It seems like a win-win way to handle this now, no?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at January 18, 2007 09:43 AM


Assuming there is no room on the roster for Bernie, I think the best way to handle it is for Cashman to tell him so, and then offer Bernie whatever he wants short of a roster spot (Spring Training invite, Bernie Williams Day, minor league coaching position, whatever).

At this pont, I don't think Bernie's limited skill set justifies a place on the team, but every time I read one of these "Bernie twisting in the wind" stories it makes me a bit sad.

Posted by: NewAmsterdamYanks [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 18, 2007 11:12 AM

Enough already. The guy should have been gone three years ago. I give you that he was ok last year, but there is no roster spot for him anymore.

The Bernie era is over. Let him go play guitar and make music, and we'll see him on Bernie Williams day, sometime later this year.

Posted by: Ghostwheel [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 18, 2007 01:39 PM

Bernie needs to just retire. I think what Steve suggested is a WIN-WIN. A non-roster invite, then he came gracefully retire.

He should not tarnish his record by going to another team. Just let it be....

Posted by: rmd0311 [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 18, 2007 02:03 PM

Ugh. I don't want Bernie to come to spring training as a non-roster invitee like some loser journeyman trying to show people he can still play. Bernie is a borderline Hall of Famer. If he's going to retire, then he should simply announce it and have the Yankees celebrate it and him throughout the year. He can raise the AL East flag to start the year like Donnie did. He can throw out a pitch if the Yanks make the playoffs. Etc., etc., etc.

I think it would almost be cruel for Bernie to play in one last spring training. Since he obviously thinks he can still play. Leiter meant nothing to this team and what he did was a favor to a nice guy and a future broadcaster. Bernie was an important part of a dynasty.

I hope he simply announces his retirement -- and if he shows up at spring training, it should be as an instructor or fan.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 18, 2007 02:21 PM

I think it's a good idea, Steve.

Thanks for all the memories and championships, Bernie. Next stop, Carnegie Hall.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 18, 2007 02:47 PM

Good idea Steve. As much as I'd hate to see him in another uniform, he's earned a chance to go out on the field and it's not like there's so many players the Yankees need to find out about during the Spring so play him. If he's got anything left either an injury will open a door or he'll get to go play somewhere else.

Posted by: Joshua Alper [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 18, 2007 03:54 PM