Dec
12

Bernie and the WBC

By

Bernie Williams has never officially retired. Now 40 years old and with a burgeoning music career, the former center fielder hasn’t been able to quite call it quits. Perhaps, he hasn’t filed out those retirement papers yet because he wants to play for Puerto Rico during the upcoming World Baseball Classic tournament. It would be a nice gesture if Bernie’s last baseball appearance could come during the WBC. Now all he has to do is convince the team to take him.

Categories : Asides
  • Sweet Dick Willie

    He’s 40 years old, hasn’t played in 2 years, and wasn’t that good when he last played. I always liked Bernie, so I just hope he doesn’t embarrass himself.

  • rbizzler

    Who wouldn’t want Bernabe as a pinch hitter/father figure on the PR squad? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  • jsbrendog

    who are other options? because you know, they kinda wanna win this thing

    • Ed

      Well, Luis Polonia is playing in the Puerto Rico winter league. I’m sure he’d gladly take a spot.

      • Mike Pop

        Mr. Sex with a Minor

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Actually, Polonia is playing in the Dominican Winter League.

        • Ed

          I thought Ian Kennedy was in the Puerto Rican league, and Polonia got a hit off Kennedy the last time Kennedy pitched.

  • Ed

    Is there any advantage to officially retiring? I’ve never heard anyone mention a reason to do it.

    • A.D.

      Potentially benefits with the union & perhaps something with pension… but its speculation

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Yeah, I would think it has something to do with getting his pension. It’s not like he’s hurting for money though.

  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

    Good for Bernie, hope he has fun. Bernie should play for PR because he IS FROM PR.

    Entenderse? Alex?

    • http://m.facebook.com/profile.php?r1fb85138&refid=7 Jamal G

      ARod has dual citizenship in DR and USA, why shouldn’t he be able to play?

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Because it makes him a traitor. Duh.

        I would love to see the reaction from everyone is David Ortiz decided he wanted to play for the US team since he was recently sworn in as a citizen. I bet you no one would have a problem with that.

        • Mike Pop

          Red Sox players never make mistakes though

          • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

            Ortiz to USA Team –> +20 to Grit

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              No, no. That’d be with Pedroia. With Ortiz it’s +50,382,832 X 10^53,484 to clutch.

              • jsbrendog

                its simple 15 sided die mathematics

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

        Not to turn this into politics but I think there should be no dual citizenship for anybody. I have a close friend who I grew up with that never became a US citizen because he thought it was pointless. Flash foward to September 11th 2001, after that he got some sort of notice that he had to declare why he was in this country. Guess what he became a citizen.

        Too many people died for us to have the right to be a citizen of this nation.

        Being able to team hop shows that the whole WBC thing is a joke anyway. Same thing with guys like Piazza playing for Italy (did that ever happen?, i heard it was going to but i did not watch the WBC thing)

        To answer your questions he is an American right? then play for America or do not play. He was BORN in the US and currently lives in the US that would make him an American.

        I know there are more marketing dollars for him to be on the Domincan team, he can be marketed in places where people might not yet know him to be a supreme phony.

        One of the reasons I love baseball and MLB baseball in specific is that you have guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team. Baseball to me is about unity, not some soccer mentality country vs country matchup. But if the whole thing is to be about a country vs country matchup why the hell is Alex the Purple Lipped Princess playing for a country he was not born in and does not live in?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          You sound like a fool for calling him Alex the Purple Lipped Princess. For someone so hung up on how old he is, you act like the most immature person around here generally.

          If you don’t care about the WBC enough to watch it, why do you care enough to write some jingoistic, ill-informed rant about citizenship and A-rod in a thread about Bernie?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

            Yes. Let’s leave the political OPINIONZ 4 U out of this.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          I believe he’s playing for them because of his mother’s wishes. To me, that trumps every silly sense of false patriotism or nationalism that anyone could drum up. Family, in my mind, is infinitely more important than some stupid, socially constructed idea of national loyalty.

          He played for the American team in 2006 and this will more than likely be his last WBC so why not play for the Dominican team?

          Just because he lives here and makes his money here doesn’t mean that he has to play for the American team again.

          Regardless, the WBC, like the Olympics, is just a chance for sports to be sullied by nationalism. I’ve said it before: the WBC should be the champions of the various major baseball leagues playing each other, not some country vs. country match up. It’s stupid.

          I wish A-Rod wasn’t playing at all–along with Derek Jeter and ANY other player who plays for his national team in the WBC.

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            I believe he’s playing for them because of his mother’s wishes.

            As some one wittier than me said, “It would be nice if his mother wished for a few post season RBIs.”

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              That’s not witty. It’s cliche. And tacky.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

              If that’s a statement from someone wittier than you, then you must be sharp as a bag of marbles.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Not to turn this into politics…

          …but I’m going to…

          …but I think there should be no dual citizenship for anybody.

          Interesting position. I can only assume that since you only believe what you see with your own eyes, you’re going to defend this position with some extremely personal, narrow anecdote about some singular case of one individual person and their particular dual citizenship case and not have any meaningful big-picture discussion of the actual pros and cons of a nation enacting a dual-citizenship policy or the global ramifications on international law thereof.

          I have a close friend who I grew up with that never became a US citizen because he thought it was pointless.

          BINGO! Now, bring it on home by totally not explaining this point, but instead moving on to something else, preferably something about 9/11.

          Flash foward to September 11th 2001,

          YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

          after that he got some sort of notice that he had to declare why he was in this country. Guess what he became a citizen.

          Okay, let’s review:
          1) Position espoused
          2) Position barely explained
          3) Argument supporting position devoid of any real analysis
          4) Emotion and jingoism used liberally
          Excellent, looks like we’re done here! Let’s move on.

          Too many people died for us to have the right to be a citizen of this nation.

          OOOOH, damn, you’re GOOD. I did NOT see that one coming! You must have trained with Rudy Giuliani. That is a BRILLIANT dogmatic tautology: It doesn’t really say anything, it’s purely emotional so you’re almost forced to react to it, it’s virtually irrefutable because it’s designed to paint you into a corner of un-Americanism and unpatriotic disloyalty if you challenge it in anyway, but it has absolutely NOTHING AT ALL to do with the valid civic issue of dual-citizenship being a good or bad policy.
          I applaud you. You are one damn fine neoconservative spinner. Tony Snow has nothing on you, my friend. That was poetry.

          Now, then, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

          Being able to team hop shows that the whole WBC thing is a joke anyway. Same thing with guys like Piazza playing for Italy (did that ever happen?, i heard it was going to but i did not watch the WBC thing)

          WHAT?!?!?!?! HOW CAN YOU CRITICIZE THE WBC YOU DIDN’T EVEN WATCH IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES–MULTIPLE INTERROBANGS?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!
          To answer your questions he is an American right? then play for America or do not play. He was BORN in the US and currently lives in the US that would make him an American.

          And guess what: ARod playing in an international sporting competition for the Dominican Republic does not make him any less of an American. It just doesn’t. Nobody is signing oaths of unilateral fealty here. IT’S A BASEBALL TOURNAMENT. He doesn’t have to leave the launch codes to the nukes in his house before he goes to play.

          I know there are more marketing dollars for him to be on the Domincan team, he can be marketed in places where people might not yet know him to be a supreme phony.

          YEAH, YOU PHONY! YOU NO GOOD FINK, YOU, I’LL TEACH YOU WHIPPERSNAPPERS A THING OR TWO ABOUT LOVING YOUR COUNTRY!
          Was the Gipper a phony? Hell no. Was the Duke a phony? Hell no.
          I’ve made up my mind, Alex: I will NOT be sharing my sarsaparilla with you. And, I’m getting RIGHT on the phone with Joe McCarthy and the HUAAC and giving them one of my ol’ “anonymous tips”, you betcha…. you no-good pinko “phony”.

          One of the reasons I love baseball and MLB baseball in specific is that you have guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team.

          Particularly when all those people from all walks of life, countries, colors, and creeds all agree that Don Mattingly is the finest man to ever have played the game.

          Baseball to me is about unity, not some soccer mentality country vs country matchup

          The World Cup = an international competition of national soccer teams played once every four years:
          The WBC = an international competition of national baseball teams played once every three years:

          ————————————–

          English Premier League = a professional soccer league, housed in one country, full of guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team
          Serie A = a professional soccer league, housed in one country, full of guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team
          MLS = a professional soccer league, housed in one country, full of guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team
          Bundesliga = a professional soccer league, housed in one country, full of guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team
          Argentine Primera Division= a professional soccer league, housed in one country, full of guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team
          Liga de Fútbol Profesional = a professional soccer league, housed in one country, full of guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team
          Major League Baseball = a professional baseball league, housed in one two countries, full of guys from all walks of life, countries, colors and creeds all playing the same game on the same team

          ————————————–

          Analogy fail = you

          But if the whole thing is to be about a country vs country matchup why the hell is Alex the Purple Lipped Princess playing for a country he was not born in and does not live in?

          Because the world is full of people able to think in terms of complex international relationships and not immediately leap to horrid, xenophobic anti-intellectual conclusions? Because not everything is a “You’re with us or you’re against us” Bushism?
          That’s my guess. But what do I know, I’m probably a “PURPLE LIPPED PRINCESS!!! OOOOOOH, YOUR AMAZING WIT STRIKES AGAIN!!!!

  • rbizzler

    FYI, here are the 2006 position players for the PR squad:

    Catchers

    Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
    Ivan Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers
    Javier Valentin

    Infielders

    Alex Cintron, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
    Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox
    Carlos Delgado, 1B, New York Mets
    Ruben Gotay, 2B, Kansas City Royals
    Javy Lopez, Baltimore Orioles
    Eduardo Perez, Cleveland Indians
    Jose Valentin, SS, New York Mets

    Outfielders

    Carlos Beltran, CF, New York Mets
    Jose Cruz Jr., Los Angeles Dodgers
    Ricky Ledee, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Luis Matos, Baltimore Orioles
    Alex Rios, Toronto Blue Jays
    Bernie Williams, New York Yankees

    The outfield reserves don’t exactly blow me away, but I am not sure who has come up since then that would now be under consideration. Any thoughts?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      So figure Ledee, Javy Lopez, Perez and Cruz Jr are off the team. The only obvious guy that should be added is Geovany Soto.

      Bernie standings a good chance to make the team, I suppose. Assuming he doesn’t embarrass himself in tryouts or something.

      • jsbrendog

        if he’s told he has to tryout and isnt guaranteed a spot then he will cry and go play his guitar instead of trying to earn it

        • rbizzler

          Why so harsh? He was/is a proud guy who didn’t want to come to grips with the fact that the game had passed him by too much for a spot on the Yankees.

          He very easily could have gone somewhere else and got AB’s for a non-contender. Instead, he is content making smooth jazz albums (coming soon to an elevator near you).

          • jsbrendog

            it was nto meant in spite, just fact. i love bernie, ti was the right thing to do for cashman to give him the invite but nto a guaranteed spot. bernie’s pride was hurt and he took a few snips at the yanks or cash ro someone i believe not too long after.

            love him and always will, even if he does make lame music.

        • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

          Why the Bernie hate, bro? He was solid for us, it’s a shame his career had to end (?) on a sour note in the Bronx…

          • jsbrendog

            no hate, just it didnt have to. they gave him a chance and i feel it was the right call to invite him to try and win a spot.

  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com jane

    So it’s OK for Bernie to play for the PR team but A-Rod can’t play for the Dominicans? Both are US citizens, as far as I know, even though Bernie was born in PR. I’m just defending A-Rod here, who seems to get knocked where others don’t. (I know. Bernie doesn’t date Madonna.)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Everyone born in Puerto Rico is a U.S. citizen. That’s sort of a sore spot for the island. They’re putting a team together basically of U.S. citizens born on the island to play in the WBC. Bernie was born there, and based on this list, he’s probably still a good choice to play on the WBC team.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        It’s the same in the World Cup in soccer. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have teams, even though they are all part of Great Britain.

    • A.D.

      I for one don’t care where A-Rod plays, but for Bernie, he could never make the US team, you see in Olympics all the time where athletes compete for countries they have eligibility for because they wouldn’t make the US team.

      People are making a big stink about A-Rod becuase the want to see the US win… loose one of the best players, that isn’t going to help.

      Side note..do the Yanks let CC pitch in the WBC?

      • Rick in Boston

        Absolutely not. Cashman will definitely say no way to that one. Same for Mo with Panama, Wang with Taiwan. It seems the Yanks are okay with some position players (Posada and Matsui were held out in 2006), but definitely not with pitchers.

      • DoggonIt

        NO!

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        They can’t stop him if he wants to. The only players a club can stop from playing in the WBC are the guys that ended the year on the DL (Wang, Posada, Matsui). If CC wants to play, he’ll play.

        • Mike Pop

          I really hope he chooses not to

          • Rick in Boston

            They can ‘ask’ him not to. Wasn’t Rivera miffed because the Yankees asked him not to play, but he still went for it?

            • http://m.facebook.com/profile.php?r1fb85138&refid=7 Jamal G

              No, Mariano Rivera did not play in the WBC because the Boss said no when MO asked. I’m still pissed about that because the Panamanian squad would,ve easily won the games they lost with a shutdown closer. God damn you, Steinbrenner.

              • Mike Pop

                You from Panama??

                • http://m.facebook.com/profile.php?r1fb85138&refid=7 Jamal G

                  The family is; I was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  GO BACK TO RUSSIA YOU DUAL-CITIZENSHIP-LIKING PINKO COMMIE!!!!!!!!

              • Ed

                Interesting story… the version I always heard was Mo didn’t want to risk getting hurt playing for a team that was considered to not have a realistic shot of winning.

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                You’d’ve (double contraction, ftw) been even more pissed if he got hurt that year and couldn’t close for the Yanks.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

      “So it’s OK for Bernie to play for the PR team but A-Rod can’t play for the Dominicans? Both are US citizens, as far as I know, even though Bernie was born in PR. I’m just defending A-Rod here, who seems to get knocked where others don’t. (I know. Bernie doesn’t date Madonna.)”

      If I said this one right here there would be like 50 pictures of peoples hands on their heads.

      • jsbrendog

        disagree. this post has humor: (I know. Bernie doesn’t date Madonna.)”

        yours do not

        this post post has a valid reasoning and point: I’m just defending A-Rod here, who seems to get knocked where others don’t

        yours do not

        this post has facts: both are us citizens. bernie doesnt date madonna. arod gets picked on when others dont.

        yours do not.

        this post comes off as someone who is inquiring because they do nto understand why arod takes shit, nto making up silly nicknames and spurning factual evidence.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          QED.

  • JeffG

    Nice if Bernie gets another chance to play ball even if in a short lived tournament.

    … Was thinking that we should get involved in the Peavy talks. No, I’m not a crackhead that thinks Peavy could come here but it is obvious that the Cubs would like him but are having trouble with their payroll. A Soriano reunion? Move Nady out with Kennedy or a mix of players and we have our big bat – haven’t thought it through but I like the idea of him back in pinstripes. Contract is a bit long… but we will need to replace the corner outfield anyways and 16 mil this year and 18 going forward is probably less than what M Holliday will go for. Just a thought. Enjoy shooting this one down. Be merciless as usual.

    • A.D.

      The issue is Soriano isn’t what he was when we traded him. When we traded him he was young, cost controlled, healthy, played a premium position, and was a near 40/40 man.

      Since then he’s had injuries, which has sapped some of his SB & overall numbers from missed games, still only wants to bat leadoff, is signed for 18M through 2014, and is 32 years old.. none of which are things the yankees need.

      • JeffG

        He had a calf strain and a couple of finger issues… I see what you are saying about not playing a premium position and the age is of course a concern (I did mention the contract was long) but I would not put it past him to have some big years ahead. I still think he can hit 35-40 over the next couple and his annual dollars are similar to Abreau. Obviously he doesn’t see the pithches Abreau does… just thinking aloud I guess.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          You raise good points, but I just can’t justify tying up a roster spot with Soriano’s massive contract when he only has a career OBP of .329…

          He’s being paid like a #3 bat when he hits like a #5 bat. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but look at it this way:

          He’s going to give you 40HR’s and 100 RBI’s. So is Adam Dunn. But Adam Dunn will be much more productive outside of those 40HR and 100 RBI, because he’ll be on base more.

      • JeffG

        You think Matt Holliday will be with us some time after the All-Star break via the money ball ass raper?

        • A.D.

          No… the Yanks won’t pay in prospects to Beane, who never sells cheap

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Absolutely not. That would be awful. AWFUL. First, like AD says, we’d have to give up GOOD prospects. Lot’s of them. For half a season. And unless they negotiated an extension, which I doubt Boras would allow, Holliday would probably walk.

          2009 is going to be one big tryout for Matt Holliday.

          • JeffG

            Hope not as well but at times when midseason comes around and that extra piece is needed for the final push bad moves happen.
            I really worry that we may come to regret losing Tabata.

  • Colombo

    I think Bernie should do what franchise football players do…sign a one-day contract with the Yanks just to announce his retirement as a Yankee.

    • Ed

      But he already ended his career as a Yankee.

  • http://poormansanalyst.wordpress.com/ dan

    Is it just me, or did the alternating gray/white on comment replies disappear? It’s difficult to know where replies start and end.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Nope. Same as it always was.

      • steve (different one)

        i get it at home, but at work, it’s all white. no idea…

      • http://poormansanalyst.wordpress.com/ dan

        I realized I changed my screen contrast slightly. My bad.

    • radnom

      Have you taken any sharp blows to the head recently?

      I still see the color difference.

  • Beau

    If Bernie plays great winter ball you can forget about Manny Ramirez being looked at by the Yanks. Bernie gets 4 years 68 million guaranteed. We could then pick up Julio Lugo for some extra lineup support. Lol… This does make it more fun to watch though. I never felt like Bernie left baseball on the right note. I hope he does well. I doubt that any team would really consider him for anything after this however.

  • Miguel in PR

    One of the local newspapers over here (Puerto Rico) reported that Bernie is also gonna play the last two weeks of the Winter League season with the Gigantes de Carolina, so he’s probably going to use that to to get in baseball shape and tryout for the team

    • Beau

      A lot of people have played in their early 40’s. Ya never know. He could be a pinch hitter, provided he can get his timing back.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        “A lot of people have played in their early 40’s. “

        HELLO? …llo? …lo? …o?
        ECHO! …cho! …ho! …o!
        PINCH HITTING FOR PEDRO BORBON, MANNY MOTA! …ota! …ta! …a!

  • X-Man(Angel)

    Sign Manny 49/2

    • Beau

      I think the Yanks would have to consider that, but Manny’s agent won’t. The years of the contract are obviously important.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Or you could sign Adam Dunn for 3-4/48-60MM. He’s younger, cheaper, and can hit just as well. He’s also a much better fielder than Manny Ramirez if he needed to play the field. He’s also left-handed, which would fit the stadium better. The team needs to get younger and signing Manny wouldn’t help that.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    can hit just as well.

    This statement is patently FALSE.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Homers since 2004:
      Dunn: 206
      Manny: 180

      Walks since 2004:
      Dunn: 557
      Manny: 420

      RBI since 04 (remember what teams they’ve been on):
      Dunn: 501
      Manny: 585

      OPS+ tallies since 04:
      Dunn: 146, 141, 114, 136, 129
      Manny: 152, 153, 165, 126, 164

      It’s a lot closer than you think. And Dunn’s younger. And cheaper.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Actually, it’s not. The only one of those numbers that provide an objective, park-neutral basis for comparison is OPS+, and in that regard, it’s not even close. Manny, except for in 2007, is far, far superior to Adam Dunn.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          That’s fair enough.

          Either way, I’d be fine but I think signing Dunn would work out better in the “long” term (neither contract would be too long, I’d assume) because of his relative youth, his decent fielding (he was average by a few systems this year), and the fact that he’d be helped out a lot by Yankee Stadium.

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