Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
2006-11-01 05:14
by Alex Belth

While Gary Sheffield appears to be the first order of Hot Stove business for the Yankees, Bernie Williams filed for free agency yesterday. You wonder if there is a place on the 2007 Yankees for the best center fielder in team history not named DiMaggio or Mantle. (Meanwhile, Jets running back Curtis Martin, another "soft superstar," will likely never play another game.)

The bidding for D. Matsuzaka will begin shortly.

Steve Lombardi has a link to a Phillip Hughes website.

Finally, The Times has more on the latest health scare for George Steinbrenner.

Comments (79)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-01 06:18:37
1.   Count Zero
You know, if I had a team of young position players -- say TB or Detroit -- I would pick up the GOB in a heartbeat. But for the Yanks...a team loaded with aging guys who play lousy in the field, need frequent rest and make better DHs...just say no to signing yet another one.

Bernie should retire rather than force the Yankees into this decision. He's pulling an Emmitt Smith and he's going to wind up playing someplace awful.

2006-11-01 06:32:20
2.   Sliced Bread
1 No chance Bernie ends his career with another team. It's the Bronx bench, or the retirement recliner for Good Old Bernie.

Whether Bernie decides to move on, and make way for the next generation of Yanks, or if he comes back for an official farewell tour as a million dollar mascot/pinch hitter, I look forward to reading his book, listening to his music, and going to his Hall of Fame induction.

2006-11-01 06:48:08
3.   Shaun P
1 I think Bernie could be great as a pinch hitter, and a part-time starter but only against lefties. That said, the Yanks OF and bench are already over-crowded, and both Kevins probably deserve a shot too before they get any older. I hope Bernie decides to retire, too. Seeing him in another uniform would hurt.
2006-11-01 06:59:01
4.   jakewoods
Well Bernie proved he can still play. I wouldnt mind if he was the 5th OF/DH.
2006-11-01 07:03:17
5.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i watched bernie play AA ball when i was a kid. my dad pointed to him and said, he's going to play for the yankees someday. (there must've been an article in the paper touting him or something, pops was no scout.)

i feel old.

and i agree... seeing him in any other uniform would bruise my soul.

2006-11-01 07:06:58
6.   Chyll Will
3 The problem with keeping Bernie, even as a PH/bench player is that Torre is admittedly too tempted to pencil him in somewhere, making it hard for the young players to establish any consistency whatsoever, nevermind get used to certian game situations they would likely see more of as starters either here or somewhere else.

Player development almost stops at the AAA level, then they ride pine in favor of established stars or trusted vets. If the injuries that occurred did not actually happen, you'd get no Melky, Kevins and very little Andy Phillips, and we'd either get no plaoffs or we'd wonder why we have kids we don't intend to use, yet don't trade either.

I love GOB, but his production could be duplicated by the younger players we already have. His presence can never be duplicated, no, but it didn't help us get past the first round, either. Going to another team is not a threat to anyone but himself, honestly. And if he does, what are we going to miss? His presense or his RH splits? Sorry, it's been real, but we gotta go. We'll see ya again in June on Bernie Williams Day. Peace!

2006-11-01 07:16:34
7.   Simone
Don't end up like Emmitt, Bernie, that was heartbreaking! The Yankees should just re-sign Bernie. Cashman can hold the line with Joe.

Glad to know that our fearless leader is not seriously ill.

2006-11-01 07:18:26
8.   Sliced Bread
3 I agree Bernie should move on, and make way for the next generation, and it's going to take the kind of tough love Chyll demonstrates in 6 to make that happen.

Bernie will be back only if Cashman allows it.

If Cash wants the Kevins to develop, and prove their worth as Major Leaguers, he's going to have to look Bernie in the eyes and tell him there's no room for him on the team.

Bernie's the type of player who has to be told to retire, (which is another thing I love about him) -- it's Cashman's job to do it.

2006-11-01 07:18:32
9.   jakewoods
There is a reason some guys are at AAA. We're talking Bernie Williams here. If he cant beat out Kevin Reese I think he'd be proud enough to walk away.

They also may not offer him a contract and be content with Kevin Thompson being the 5th OF. A guy capable of playing all 3 OF positions and pinch running. More versatile for the bench.

2006-11-01 07:45:33
10.   Count Zero
6 Amen to that Chyll. I'll be hanging onto that 51 t-shirt till it disintegrates, but I really don't want to see him on the roster in '07.
2006-11-01 07:56:54
11.   Shaun P
6 So few players stay with one team their whole careers, majors and minors, it would be nice to see Bernie be one of those guys. That's what I'd miss if he went elsewhere.

8 Then let's hope Cash does tell Bernie to hang 'em up, because Chyll is very right - Joe will overuse Bernie if he is on the bench.

2006-11-01 08:28:26
12.   kylepetterson
Anybody voting in the MLB announcers poll? I was going to, but then I found out that I couldn't make negative votes for McCarver and Buck.
2006-11-01 08:44:25
13.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 i was so disappointed when i saw this:
i am a sucker for the old-timers making appearances... and to think that buck and mccarver (and fox, of course) robbed me of seeing this moment is a case of adding insult to injury.

seven more post-seasons on fox. least.

2006-11-01 08:48:55
14.   Shaun P
13 Further proof that the boneheads at FOX are responsible for the ratings plunge more than anything else. I still haven't forgiven Zalasko for what she did to Ernie Harwell before the '05 All-Star game.
2006-11-01 08:53:53
15.   Peter
13 But at least we didn't miss John Cougar Mellancamp singing the Chevy song.
2006-11-01 08:59:19
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
1315 ...grrrrr...
2006-11-01 09:07:40
17.   ChuckM
I said it last year and I'll say it again-Bernie is only worth keeping at this point if he can play each OF position. Only this year, we KNOW he can't...
2006-11-01 09:20:43
18.   Chyll Will
16 Duck and cover, everyone...

15 at 0% interest, it's a good thing.

2006-11-01 09:27:19
19.   Count Zero
13 Wow - that is pretty sad.
2006-11-01 09:43:36
20.   YankeeInMichigan
In fairness to the FOX crew, one of my most memorable baseball TV moments was Buck's call of Scott Brosius' Game 5 "deja vu" homer in 2001. Buck said absolutely nothing as the ball sailed into the left field seats. It wasn't until Brosius was rounding first that Buck offered 5 words: "Now this is just sublime."
2006-11-01 09:44:55
21.   Ruben F Pineda
I fail to see how Buck and McCarver are responsible for Fox not showing Musial's first pitch. Im no TV executive, but I sincerely doubt its their job to determine what clips are run or what camera's are on at a certain time.
2006-11-01 09:46:10
22.   Chyll Will
13 Apparently the second time he was treated as an afterthought. Remember, he was supposed to throw out the first pitch the previous game to Joe Garagiola (aka Charlie Brown's favorite player next to Joe Shlabotnik)

Only problem was, Stan and Joe have a 30+ year-old grudge match. Of course, nobody can tell Stan the Man anything, right? (Yeah, that was MLB's screwup, but I blame FOX for the likely publicity they would have wanted and perhaps the cause of the second slight)

FOX. First in screwing up the political scenery. First in screwing with your childhood memories. First thing to reach for to induce vomiting. Feh.

2006-11-01 09:54:47
23.   Chyll Will
21 If you're an analyst or a play-by-play man, it's your job to know what's happening on the field. And with the clout they have as announcers, they could have said to the production crew, "Hey hold that thought, there's real history on the field right now." Even John Sterling (or particularly Kay)would have went ape-$#%+ on somebody about that because it would have made them look bad if nothing else.

Now if this were to be Musial's last appearance anywhere, how dumb do you think they would feel, knowing they blew a chance to highlight his last moment on the national stage?

2006-11-01 10:33:45
24.   Chyll Will
Hey, don't stop on my account! I'm just saying >;)
2006-11-01 11:02:23
25.   joejoejoe
My offseason plan:

1) Bernie stays as 25th bench player.
2) Trade Giambi + Pavano + $$$, for Bartolo Colon + G.Anderson
3) Shift Johnny Damon to 1B
4) Shift Melky to CF
5) Sign Matsuzaka
6) Resign Moose to 3yr. extension
7) Make Andy Cannizarro the utility INF
8) Sign 1B Eduardo Perez as platoon 1B
9) Try and trade for C Ronny Paulino of PIT with Wright and prospects
10) Free beer and donuts at the Stadium.

2006-11-01 11:09:09
26.   kylepetterson
Steinbrenner's offseason plan:

1) Return to health in anticipation of another championship
2) Sign Kenny Rogers to a 10 year, 1.85 billion dollar deal
3) Reassure Cash that he is still in control

2006-11-01 11:17:05
27.   jakewoods
Why in all that is holy would you shift damon to play 1b????

thats just crazy

free berr though is nice

2006-11-01 11:24:35
28.   jakewoods
why not get jared weaver, brandon wood and k rod in that giambi deal too????


2006-11-01 11:27:08
29.   rbj
28 Too risky -- Yanks may wind up with Jeff Weaver again, instead of Jared. "Wait, we got the wrong J. Weaver?!"

And don't go after Guillermo Mota, the newest recipient of a 50 drug policy violation suspension.

2006-11-01 11:32:41
30.   jakewoods
a pitcher uses steroids????

say it aint so!

only huge big home run hitters do!
this is all wrong!

2006-11-01 11:33:47
31.   Peter
26 With all that "emotion" Rogers displayed this postseason, you know he's a warrior.
2006-11-01 11:53:32
32.   jakewoods
I think many a pitcher would have emotions too if they had pine tar, vaseline, snot, etc on the ball.

only kenny himself could ruin a great story like his postseason run. Its fitting.

2006-11-01 12:07:56
33.   Shaun P
25 I continue to be mystified why you are so interested in Garrett Anderson. To put it succintly, Bernie Williams has put up better offensive numbers the last three years than Anderson.

If you're still not convinced, Anderson has played 94, 106, and 94 games in the OF the last 3 years. The last thing the Yanks need is another guy who needs to spend time at DH.

Your number ten, though, is the stuff dreams are made of!

2006-11-01 12:08:12
34.   Simone
I hope that Mota just comes out and admit that he cheated. I am so tired of all these athletes like Merriman, Landis, etc. claiming that it was a mistake, something in a supplement, or the they have a chimera twin (Hamilton).
2006-11-01 12:11:17
35.   Simone
I just saw Mota's comments. I'm grateful that he didn't spin a story.

"I have no one to blame but myself," Mota said. "I used extremely poor judgment and deserve to be held accountable."

2006-11-01 12:17:25
36.   jakewoods
These men are professional athletes. Their bodies are their livlihoods. I find it hard to believe he didnt know what supplement he was taking.

Keep in mind teams have all these supplements in their training rooms so these things dont happen.

and the drug merriman got caught with? It's not something soft. It's Deca which is a hardcore, bodybuilding for power, speed steroid.

2006-11-01 12:18:38
37.   jakewoods
Garret Anderson peaked in 2002. Last thing we need is a non versatile bench player.

We need guys who can run and play all 3 positions. Versatility. Id rather have Aaron Guil be the 5th OF.

2006-11-01 12:34:17
38.   Shaun P
36 Meanwhile, I don't hear any national media types saying that Merriman should forfeit all his stats to this point. Oh, wait. You say he plays football? Well, that just explains it all.

Related somewhat, I just caught this bit in Dr Z's power rankings at and wanted to share:

'Rookie QB, 40 mph Giants Stadium winds. "That's all, brother." Quickie quiz. Who am I quoting? Bob Sheppard, the old, old, and I do mean old, Giants' stadium announcer. He'd describe extra points this way: "Soar holding, Strong kicking, that's all, brother." All the kids in my neighborhood would quote that. How many years ago? Oh, try about 60.'

That brought a smile to my face. I hope Mr. Sheppard makes it to the new Stadium.

2006-11-01 12:37:39
39.   Mr Faded Glory
The only reasons to keep Bernie are all sentimental, and he's shown he won't retire unless he's forced to do so.

Force him, Cash. There are plenty of better options than Williams.

2006-11-01 12:38:53
40.   jakewoods
They found NFL players getting prescriptions to take steroids. A week before the Super Bowl. One of the guys was a punter. You think the O-line isnt using???

Imagine if they found out Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge were getting juice thru a doctor a day before the Series.

2006-11-01 12:38:54
41.   jakewoods
They found NFL players getting prescriptions to take steroids. A week before the Super Bowl. One of the guys was a punter. You think the O-line isnt using???

Imagine if they found out Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge were getting juice thru a doctor a day before the Series.

2006-11-01 12:39:07
42.   Peter
37 I wouldn't mind seeing Guiel play 1B next year.
2006-11-01 12:55:26
43.   C2Coke
25 So what about Sheff?

42 I actually find that quite ideal, afterall, not only we've managed with Giambi for so long on 1B, we also ended up with you-know-who on that base during PS...

2006-11-01 13:33:25
44.   jonnystrongleg
25 I don't like your plan, but it's thorough! But since you put yourself on the line, my plan would be (in order of importance):

1) Post & Sing Matsuzaka. (If not, fall back to Zito - not preferred)
2) Don't trade Arod for less than he's worth (which probably means, don't trade Arod).
3) Don't pick up Mussina's option. Get him back for less if possible. (If not fall back to Ted Lilly or other mid level Free Agent)
4) Don't pick up Sheff's option. (Or pick up and trade as is Cashman's wont.)
5) Get a righty hitting 1B who can field and hit a little (I'm stumped here: Helms? Nomar? Not a lot of options, maybe something in the Sheffield deal?)
6) Sign Gregg Zaun for a year.
7) Sign Justin Speier for 2 years.

2006-11-01 13:36:53
45.   David
The Yanks were wrong to sign Bernie last year IMHO, even though he hit better than the year before. Bernie prevented the team from finding out how good their prospects might be. Only because of the "luck" of the Sheffield and Matsui injuries, did the team discover how good Melky is. If only one of them had been injured, Melky would have spent the year in Triple A or on the bench. Even with two injuries, neither Kevin got a real opportunity.

With Bernie a year older, the case for not signing him is even stronger. He can't field. He's no longer a good base runner. He can't hit right-handed pitching. He can't hit for power. Most of all, he has no upside potential.

Bernie was a wonderful player, a leader of the team during their glory days. But, it's time for the team to move past him.

If the team releases Bernie, I would be happy to see him sign with some other team. Lots of great players spent their declining years away from the team where they achieved greatness.

2006-11-01 13:43:22
46.   Shaun P
42 I like Aaron Guiel, the flexibility he brings, and his bat off the bench. But, if the Kevins finally get their shot, the Yanks probably don't need yet another reserve OF, and there's probably no room on the bench either.

The other downside to Guiel is that he's 34, way past his peak. There has to be a mid-to-late-20s guy in AAA who is a regular firstbaseman, which Guiel is not, and who can hit at least as well as Guiel would. I do not know enough about the minors to id such a player, though.

44 That's a nice plan. Do you think Zaun will leave Toronto to be a fulltime backup, even if the Yanks offer a nice salary?

2006-11-01 14:09:39
47.   jonnystrongleg
46 I don't know about Zaun. He's clearly a part time player, but he's beyond a true back up. His ABs for the last three seasons: 338, 434, 290. In no other year has he had 300 ABs. He's not going to be happy with 100 ABs. If the Yanks could give him 200-225 ABs, maybe he'd be go for it. It would also give Posada a few more games at DH.
2006-11-01 14:13:12
48.   joejoejoe
Shaun P - I'm not in love with Garret Anderson but the Angels need to dump salary to take Giambi's salary back. Anderson is due $11M in '07 and $12M in '08.

The Yankees are an old team. One way to address that is to free up DH ABs. Giambi is a potent offensive player but he's not a good 1B, and he's a lot less potent against left-handed pitching. I like Giambi but I've always thought he was a bad fit with the Yankees because of all the veterans that are always in pinstripes. I still think that way.

More of my master plan...

11) Sign RP Giovanni Carrara at all costs (minor league guarantee)
12) Give Cat Osterman spring training invite as LOOGY (Left handed one out gal)
13) Lure Pokey Reese out of retirement as 2nd utility INF
14) All batters must choke up on the bat with 2 strikes
15) Bring back Luis Sojo as a coach
16) Allow fans dressed in all black to sit in black bleachers
17) No more 'God Bless America' in 7th inning, replace with 'This Land is Your Land'
18) Kids sing national anthem, always
19) Expand facial hair rules to allow neat fu-manchu
20) Yanks miraculously stay in existing stadium forever

2006-11-01 14:15:36
49.   kylepetterson
44 it is a nice plan, although I'm not sure what singing to Matsuzaka will do for us.....
2006-11-01 14:17:57
50.   randym77
The 2006 Elias rankings:

Jorgie and Jeter are each ranked #2 in their categories. Andy Phillips...oy.

And how did Randy Johnson end up ranked so high?

Wang is tied with Bonderman...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-01 14:20:26
51.   jonnystrongleg
49 What, they have to pay him too?! I liked it so much better when players could be had for a song.
2006-11-01 14:29:28
52.   Peter
49 I'm picturing Cashman, Steinbrenner, too much sake, and a duet in a karaoke bar. It just may seal the deal.
2006-11-01 14:41:42
53.   Comrade Al
48 Shouldn't it be your cunning plan?
2006-11-01 14:57:31
54.   Bama Yankee
48 What about Karim Garcia as bullpen security?
2006-11-01 14:58:37
55.   joejoejoe
44 Eduardo Perez is a RH 1B who can hit and field a little. My cunning plan is catching fire!
2006-11-01 15:03:01
56.   David
50 is there any chance that the Elias ratings are based on more than one year?
2006-11-01 15:18:31
57.   Shaun P
48 I understand where you're coming from, but why pay Anderson that much cash for two years, and get bad production out of it, when you can pay Giambi for two years and get good production?

Giambi also has a full no-trade clause, so he'd have to approve the deal too.

55 Perez isn't a bad hitter, but he's 37, and really only a part-time player: .275/.331/.503 vs LHP, but a pathetic .152/.293/.212 vs RHP. If they're going to sign Perez, they might as well just keep Bernie.

2006-11-01 15:19:18
58.   randym77
56 I always thought they were just for the season, but now that you mention it...they always call it the "2005-2006" player rankings, or the "2004-2005" rankings. Maybe it's two years?
2006-11-01 15:34:50
59.   Marcus
58 That's right; the rankings are based on the previous two seasons.
2006-11-01 15:44:44
60.   JL25and3
48 The Angels scenarios are imaginative, but you've also got Giambi's no-trade clause to deal with.
2006-11-01 15:53:01
61.   mehmattski
54 Who is Karim Garcia?

I've got it! The perfect batting coach for the 2007 NY Yankees:

That's from this site, where that statue is a best-seller:

The burning question is, can Jesus make you hit better in the clutch? I think He can.

2006-11-01 15:55:36
62.   randym77
Jesus? Forget him. It's Jeter who can make you hit better in the clutch. At least according to SI:

"Jeter's no MVP: Captain's lack of leadership sank Yankees' hopes"

Good Gertrude. I'm really stunned at how the press has turned on Jeter.

2006-11-01 16:10:21
63.   Bama Yankee
61 Thanks mehmattski, I needed the WiKG? (it has been a while).

Also, that statue is great. Even though Cerrano said that Jesus could not help him hit the curve ball in the movie Major League...

I'm with you, He has alway helped me make it through those "clutch" times in my life.

2006-11-01 16:23:02
64.   Simone
40 It was the Carolina Panther punter and other players who had been using PEDs and only Julius Peppers on that team tested positive that season. They were all juiced as they cheated their way to the Superbowl beating the Cowboys on the way. Where is the outrage?

62 I think the media resents Jeter for squashing their annointment of A-Rod as the new prince of New York. I remember several articles (of course, Gollum lead the way) when the Yankees traded for A-Rod saying that Jeter better be prepared for be overshadowed by A-Rod's superior talent and persona.

Unlike the fans who blame Jeter for the criticism of "emotionally fragile" A-Rod and his "supposed" struggles, I chose not put any blame on A-Rod for the media's hack jobs on Jeter. Instead, I say with confidence that Derek Jeter is a big boy and he can take all the attacks that media and some Yankees fans throw his way.

Peter Abraham did write a piece defending Jeter in the ongoing attack and tear down Derek Jeter campaign:

2006-11-01 16:24:32
65.   JL25and3
61 He may be a great coach, but he still can't swing the bat for them.

Or can he...

For those with a taste for similar irreverence, I highly suggest

2006-11-01 16:40:07
66.   randym77
65 LOL! The testimonials are a hoot.
2006-11-01 16:58:51
67.   yankz
I tried not to make this thread about Arod, so I avoided posting that link this morning, but the dude is just inevitable, huh? :)

I've voiced this opinion dozens of times. WHAT exactly was Jeter to do? His BODY LANGUAGE gave it away? What, SI, should he shade closer to 3rd when playing the field? Would that be good enough body language?

If there really is tension between the two, would Arod actually appreciate Jeter standing up and saying "Hey, lay off him, he's doing well, and he can't handle all the pressure you put on him!!!" If you had a bad week, would you want someone you dislike to remind everyone about it, and remind everyone that you're a bit fragile?

None of us knows what goes on between the two. For all we know, Jeter offered his help in private, and Arod asked him not to go public. Perhaps he doesn't want the most influential player on the team describing him as a big baby to the press.

I really doubt a little f*ing horseplay for the camera would've made Arod hit better (NOT THAT HE NEEDED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE). And no sane person could believe that Captain's BODY LANGUAGE towards Arod made the Yankees sh*t the bed vs. the Tigers.

Sorry about the rant.

2006-11-01 17:31:54
68.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Apparently the Reds want to trade Adam Dunn for Brain Bruney and Sean Henn.

I would have done this in a heart beat if i could land a Adam Dunn for scrubs like Henn + a small sample size success like Bruney, but we're already super over loaded with lefty and guys who needs to DH...

2006-11-01 18:07:18
69.   weeping for brunnhilde
48 Numbers 14, 17, and 20: Right. On.
2006-11-01 18:56:18
70.   manila boy
68 If that's true, then go for it! Dunn may be another 1B/DH type, but aside from having serious power and a .400+ OBP, he's young (26?) and plays RF too.

Get rid of the 1B/DH types who are OLD.

2006-11-01 20:40:39
71.   Yu-Hsing Chen
70 that's Jason Giambi, unfortunately he also has a no trade claus, and is ours to at least the end of 08. (that's why you don't sign 7 year deals espically not to 30 year olds. aragh)

All we can hope is that he gets healthier and at least play part time at first.

2006-11-01 20:49:10
72.   manila boy
71 Agreed about Giambi, but that's not a reason NOT to go after Dunn, if it's true it will only take Bruney and Henn to get him. Worst case, the Yanks can flip him to another team for what they really need (a young catcher, young arms).
2006-11-01 20:54:28
73.   Yu-Hsing Chen
72 i agree, though that would probably prove that the Reds are indeed morons if all they want for Dunn are those 2. we could probably flip a pretty good player for Dunn.
2006-11-01 21:48:49
74.   manila boy
73 Ha ha. Didn't they already prove themselves morons? What did they get for Kearns again?
2006-11-01 22:09:46
75.   joejoejoe
I don't see the Yankees being interested in Dunn. He makes $10.5 million a year. I think the Red Sox are a better fit as they have a lot fewer LH batters and Trot Nixon is a free agent.
2006-11-02 03:56:43
76.   The Mick 536
Phii charges $5 for his autograph. What nerve.

Berie cannot play for anyone but the Yankees. The Mick never did. Willie embarassed himself with the Mets. Hank, the Babe, Spahnie, ugh.

Pitching. Pitching. Pitching. Bye Sheff.

2006-11-02 04:15:23
77.   manila boy
75 Good point. If he's making that much money, it might be a bad idea to get him after all. In 160 games this year his BA was .234, his OBP .365, and his SLG .490, all three-year lows. And he struck out 194 times.

Seems a wee bit underwhelming for 10.5 mil.

2006-11-02 04:18:38
78.   yankz
76 I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, but all the money goes to charity.
2006-11-02 06:43:07
79.   jakewoods
Why would u go after Dunn? So we get an all or nothing guy? Who's not versatle?

I'd keep my pitching. Bruney throws close to 100 and Henn is a young lefty.

But I also dont think the Reds give up a 50 HR guy for 2 bullpen guys.

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