So Spring Training has finally begun, and like any other year, there’s plenty of drama with which to usher in the baseball season.
Not that my opinion is different than what else is out there, but:
- The Yankees should re-sign Rivera now, he’s worth it.
- I don’t really care about the conflict between Jeter and Rodriguez. They’re big boys and it’s the Yankees Clubhouse, not Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.
- Carl Pavano can’t just rejoin the team like nothing’s happened after sitting out more than a season because of various, non-career (or even life) threatening injuries.
- The new spring training caps are horrible.
The one news item that’s been the most difficult for me to wrap my head around is the seeming retirement of Bernie Williams. His skills have been in decline for the past few years, and he wasn’t even a starter last year. The team doesn’t have room for him, and I don’t disagree with the way the Yankees have handled inviting him to spring training. Still, I’ve watched him for the past 15 years and have seen him go from prosepct to superstar to what he is now.
Back when I lived in the NY-NJ area, I went to a lot of Yankees games. Two games stand out for me- the first time I ever saw Bernie playe was July 25 of ’91– he led off and went hitless in a Yankees loss, but I remember before the game, him and Ken Griffey Jr. joking around by the on-deck circle of the Yankees dugout. The other memory is from August 16 of ’98–it was Babe Ruth Day at the Stadium and Bernie hit a walk-off home run to beat the Rangers.
There are a lot more memories –ones that I saw firsthand and ones that I watched on television. And it’s just weird thinking that in an age where players go from team to team, the one guy who has been a big-league Yankee for 15 years won’t be there anymore.
I also wanted mention something about one of my least-favorite former Yankees, Tony Womack. Turns out Anthony Darrell is a non-roster invitee of the Washington Senators. And he’s been assigned the uniform number 00. Seems fitting for a guy with about that much talent.