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Bernie Will Be Back to Attack in 2006 - - On the Bench, Anyway
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Even though the exciting signing of Johnny Damon isn’t yet chiseled into proverbial stone, the Yankees have already lined up a backup for him.

You may be familiar with the man they selected as their fourth outfielder/DH. I’ll give you some hints:

1. He has played for the Yankees for the past fifteen years and has been their starting centerfielder for thirteen.
2. He earned twelve million dollars last season
3. He’s hit 275 homers in his impressive career, making him sixth in the Yanks’ all-time list.
4. He is a classical guitarist
5. His career batting average is the same as Mickey Mantle’s - .298

Still scratching your head? If so, I suggest you check the URL and realize that you are reading Yankees Chick, not howtoinstallagarbagedisposalinyourbathtub.com (I can see how you would get us confused).

Yes, I’m talking about Bernie Williams. Some have called him washed-up, useless, slow, past his prime…even I’m guilty of referring to him as “Old Man Bernie” (endearingly!). 2005 marked the end of his contract, and when Cashman made it clear that Bernie would definitely not be the starting centerfielder in ’06 many feared that he would end up spending the last year or two of his incredible career down in Tampa Bay or Kansas City. Dealing with Bernie’s free agency was not a high priority for the Yankees; with the gap in centerfield and the many holes in the bullpen signing and aging backup player seemed to not even be in Cashman’s master plan. However, with Ruben Sierra gone and Bernie’s arbitration deadline looming it made perfect sense to sign him as a fourth outfielder benchman.

Bernie’s one year deal will yield him $1.5 million and offers incentives based on performance. This year will be his sixteenth in a Yankees uniform, the only major league uniform he’s ever worn.


posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, December 21, 2005  
  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Neil M said…

    I'm happy enough Bernie's back, hopefully with no pressure to play the field he'll get that nice stroke back and be a productive player off the bench and as a DH.

  • At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bad move bringing Bernie back. He is done and they should have put a fork in him. Torre plays the loyalty card to much and it will now affect us with that monster average he put up last year. Cut the ties and move on. Big mistake by Cashman

  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger Yankees Chick said…

    I don't think it was a mistake at all. Bernie is old and slower, but he can still hit. I think his average will be much better than last year since he wont be exhausted every day. For a backup outfielder/DH the yankees could do a LOT worse.

  • At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Are you kidding me Chick. Torre will play Bernie to much out of loyalty to him. Bernie was done two years ago and it was time to rid themselves of that 96 million dollar player. Not once did Bernie ever hit 30 homeruns or 30 steals in a season yet this guy was over paid as far as I am concerned and the 1.5 million could have been spent more wisely elsewhere.

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