Sunday, September 25, 2005

Should've Been Gone Long Ago

Interesting hearing the Yankee fans serenade Bernie in what hopefully is his last home game with the Bombers (At least things are still tied). Unless the Yanks are dumb enough to bring the guy back for another year, that is.

But that said, even a Yankee hater can't discount Bernie's contribution to the Junkees' dynasty. The guy was humble, played hard, and got his fair share of clutch hits. And yes kids, once upon a time, Bernie could actually play a half-decent center field.

But Bernie should've gone out on top, like Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius. And Mattingly, to an extent (who of course was never the same after '89). Those guys knew when to leave, before they would start embarrassing themselves. Heck, Brosius hung 'em up a week after hitting the biggest homer of his career. And O'Neill even swiped a career-high 22 bases in his final year, although his .267 mark led to a lot of slammed helmets and smashed water coolers.

But Bernie didn't do so, for whatever reason. Even after hitting in the .260s in '03 and '04. Was it for the love of the game? For the love of the money? I don't know. But Bernie will go out like Robbie Alomar and David Cone, leaving us with a bunch of forgettable moments. Instead of the big HR in '96, or the batting title in '98, Bernie's legacy will be filled with all the botched fly balls of the past few years. Filled with all runners who weren't afraid of that arm. Filled with all of those frustrating slumps of '04 and '05, and, perhaps worst of all, being benched for Tony Womack back in May.

Many Yankee fans out there are saying goodbye to Bernie. But many of them ought to be saying good riddance, especially to a .251 hitter with a .696 OPS making $12 million per year.

2 comments:

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PizzaBagel said...

I thought I read it somewhere, and sure enough: Bernie Williams' agent is none other than Scott Boras. Nuff said. There was no chance in hell that at the expiration of his last contract he'd be bowing out gracefully on a high note. According to my research, back in November '98, he resigned with the Junkees for $87.5 million for seven years. There you go.