Via Ken Davidoff -
The Yankees are working with Bernie Williams to ensure that the centerfielder, who left the team with hard feelings after the 2006 season, says a public goodbye to Yankee Stadium this season.
The team invited Williams to Oldtimers Day on Aug. 2. For now, Williams has declined because of a long-planned vacation with his family. Club officials are holding out hope that he will change his mind this week.
Nevertheless, if Williams isn’t honored on Oldtimers Day, he will be on some other appropriate occasion. If it isn’t an entire day dedicated to Williams, then there will be some sort of public acknowledgment that will give the fans a chance to thank Williams.
The Yankees tried to arrange for Williams to pull the Stadium “countdown lever” when it went from 52 (regular-season home games left) to 51, Williams’ longtime uniform number, on June 6. But he had another commitment that night.
It’s been 660 days since Bernie Williams last wore a Yankees uniform. Therefore, in a sense, you can say that Bernie’s been on vacation for the last 94 weeks.
Williams should wake up and smell the coffee. With this “I’m busy” routine, he’s going to turn his Yankees legacy from a potential “somewhere between Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly” level to a potential “somewhere between Willie Randolph and Roy White” level – very quickly.
Further, at some point, soon, the Yankees should say “Hey, we tried to get Bernie back. But, enough is enough. From this point on, we’re done asking. And, now, he’s going to have to start asking to come back.”