Was Bernie Williams was of the most unlikely clean up hitters in Yankee history? He sure didn't seem born for the part even though he was the Bomber's best hitter from 1996-01. Now, that he's well past his prime, is he one of the most over-qualified ninth-place hitters in team history? Maybe. But he handled batting last in stride on Wednesday night, going 3-4. He didn't give his manager any trouble about the "demotion" either. According to the Times:
"Bernie is unlike any player I have ever met," Torre said after the Yankees' 5-2 victory Wednesday night. "He never changes. I've been here 10 years now and he's the same person, personality-wise and respect-wise. It's refreshing. You hurt for him because you know he's struggling and he has his pride and is taking a beating. But he keeps coming back and that's what makes him special."
..."I'm not making this up - it doesn't really matter to me," Williams said before the game. "You have to wait a little longer. But it's kind of an advantage, because you see the guy pitch to everyone. Other than that, it doesn't matter."
Some guys would take the high road just to save face. But I take Bernie at his word. Regardless of how this year pans out for him, Torre's quote reminded me why Bernie is one of my all-time favorites.