• Will Torre Let Bernie Bump Melky?

    Posted by on January 31st, 2007 · Comments (7)

    From Jon Heyman

    SI.com has learned that the Yankees have made Williams a standing offer to come to spring training as a non-guaranteed, nonroster invite.

    Since this is what I suggested two weeks ago, I’m in favor of this call…or, should I say was in favor?

    Now, I’m starting to get concerned about the Torre-factor when it comes to bringing Bernie to camp.

    Joe loves Bernie – as he should, considering what Bernie has done for Joe in the past. But, as Torre showed us last season, this is a dangerous thing. Joe put Bernie in CF last year 28 times – which was probably about 20 times too many – because of Torre’s thinking of the past instead of the present (when it comes to Williams).

    If Bernie comes to Tampa on an invite, and hits well this Spring, would Torre consider sending down Melky Cabrera (who I guess has options) in order to keep Williams on the team? I can almost hear Joe now saying:

    “Matsui, Damon, and Abreu never miss a game. With Mientkiewicz now at first and Giambi at DH, it was going to be hard for us to get Melky some regular At Bats. We don’t want to have him rust on bench here. At this stage of his career, Bernie’s better suited to play once or twice a week than Cabrera….that’s why we’re sending Melky down to Triple-A when we break camp this year.”

    Gosh, that would be stupid. It would be as bad as the Yankees decision in 1992 to have Bernie Williams start the season in Triple-A.

    I was pretty upset at that call back in 1992. If this happens to Melky in 2007, I think I’m going to be even more upset.

    Comments on Will Torre Let Bernie Bump Melky?

    1. baileywalk
      January 31st, 2007 | 2:33 pm

      As scary as it is, I think Torre WOULD do this. But I don’t think Torre is making decisions anymore. I think he’s basically a lame duck who’s riding out his final year and that every decision for the team is being made by Brian Cashman. Cashman, in just a few years, has gone from someone whose authority was nil (the “Tampa guys” made a deal for Womack behind his back) to the friggin’ Don. He is involved extensively in every aspect of the team.

      I don’t think Cashman would allow Torre to do this.

      And frankly, as much as I love Bernie, and wish he could be on the team again, I hope he would just retire and not have any sort of drawn-out, embarrassing exit.

      If he retires now, he can come to spring training (as a civilian and analyst) and have one last hurrah with the press, and then Opening Day becomes “Bernie Williams Day.”

    2. Twanger
      January 31st, 2007 | 2:51 pm

      Steve Lombardi nailed it ( see above ). AND baileywalk, I couldn’t agree more.

    3. rbj
      January 31st, 2007 | 3:33 pm

      I think Melky out performs Bernie in ST (two weeks away!) and that Bernie then finally sees the writing on the wall and hangs up his cleats.

    4. Gabe
      January 31st, 2007 | 4:42 pm

      Not that it will ever happen, but the real role for Bernie in 2007 should be as a DH against lefty pitching…

      V LHP 2006
      .323 .387 .549

    5. January 31st, 2007 | 5:15 pm

      FWIW, IIRC there are so few good LHP in the AL that it makes no sense to have a RH DH to use just against them.

    6. January 31st, 2007 | 9:34 pm

      You never know…Brian might be a daily reader of waswatching.com…

      By the way, I think that the stage is just being set so that Bernie doesn’t take up any room on the roster, but can make a proper farewell at the beginning of the season…

    7. January 31st, 2007 | 11:21 pm

      ~~~You never know…Brian might be a daily reader of waswatching.com…~~~

      Now, that would make my day.

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