Bernie Williams and the WBC

With Stadium opening on tap, Yanks facing fire over tickets
Will Cano rebound?

When the rosters for the World Baseball Classic teams were unveiled last night, an unlikely name appeared on the list for the Puerto Rican team: Bernie Williams. The former Yankee great will be will be 40 years old and 888 days removed from his last Major League appearance when the PR team squares off against Panama on March 7, but Williams will play because the other four outfielders include Carlos Beltran, Alex Rios, Hiram Bocachica (!) and, in the words of Mike, “some guy named Jesus Feliciano.” As I said to RAB’s Twitter followers, I don’t know if Bernie’s making the team is a good sign for my one-time favorite Yankee or a bad sign for the Puerto Ricans’ tourney hopes.

As a postscript, Christopher Reina at Real GM Baseball pondered the question of Bernie’s Hall of Fame eligibility and the WBC a few weeks ago. His conclusion: Bernie’s playing in the tournament won’t restart his HoF clock.

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With Stadium opening on tap, Yanks facing fire over tickets
Will Cano rebound?
  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    I think it’s a bad sign for PR’s tourney hopes, but I was also very surprised to see that Bernie actually made the team. Good for him, I guess–I just hope he doesn’t get embarrassed.

  • yankeefan91 Arod fan

    ywa i hope he doesnt embarresed himself out there and say hes in the outfield and falls on a routine fly ball

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

    I hope he does well. Give him one last hurrah.

  • Chris

    Now knowing who Hiram Bocachica was, I decided to long him up. I was particularly impressed with his 2003 season, when he posted an OPS+ of -64. And we all think Melky is bad…

  • Yankeegirl49

    Im going to one WBC game in Miami. I’d love nothing better than to see Bernie out there one last time.

    • andrew

      you better hope he’s getting playing time then…

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        You hear me, PR team coach Jose Oquendo? You’re on notice, pal. Play Bernie… or else.

        • Yankeegirl49

          Of course Im hoping…but Tommie seems to have it all taken care of!
          Even if he doesn’t play, i figured it would be cool to see a game. Im seeing the Yanks/Sox in Ft Meyers, split squad game vs the Astros in Tampa and the WBC game. It sure as hell beats being in NY working that week!

  • Expired Milk

    I didnt know where to put it but from Peter Abrahams blog.

    UPDATE, 9:10 a.m.: Joe Girardi just said the rotation would be Sabathia, Wang, Burnett, Pettitte and Chamberlain. The plan is for Joba to make roughly 30 starts.

    UPDATE, 10:52 a.m.: Yes, 30 starts for Joba. So we could be looking at him throwing 175-180 innings. That certainly a lot more than the 100.1 he tossed last year. Chamberlain was at 116 in 2007, counting the playoffs.

    Obviously a lot can change and probably will. But the Yankees are of the mindset to let him go out and pitch as the No. 5 starter. The key to this will be Joba being honest with them about how he is feeling.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      30 starts? I’ll take the under.

      As a 5 starter alone, if they ran through the rotation all year long with no injuries and no skipped turns, he’d only get 32 starts. He’ll probably get skipped, what, at least 4 or 5 times in the rotation?

      Last year, the Rays ran out Shields, Garza, Sonnanstine, Jackson, and Kazmir pretty much like clockwork (excepting for Kazmir’s early season nicks and bruises). Shields lead the team with 33 starts, Kazmir was last with 27.

      I’ll pick 27 starts for Joba in the office pool.

      • Expired Milk

        Thats probably very optimistic expecting Joba to make 30 starts but I feel if he makes at least 25 I will be happy. Its great that they stopped that stupid “Verducci Effect” and just let him get a good amount of innings. Instead of the adding 30 every year where it will take him 2 years just to hit 200 . If CC and Wang can make 30 each then everything will fall into place.

        • Chris

          I think it’s great that they ignore the Verducci Effect as well. I’m also guessing that Indians fans loved Carmona’s 5.44 ERA this year.

          I would guess that this is just posturing, and they’re either going to keep him on a short leash for each start (i.e. no more than 5-6 innings) or keep him under the 30 starts. Either 30 starts averaging 5 innings per start or 25 starts averaging 6 innings per start would give him 150 innings, which is about where he should end up this year.

          • Expired Milk

            Really can you please find me and article where his jump in innings was the cause of his poor performance.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Nobody is saying that the jump in innings is the single and only cause for a pitcher’s poor performance… it’s just a statistically significant correlation. Correlation does not imply causality, but it does warrant mention.

              Perhaps we should rename “The Verducci Effect” into “The Verducci Correlation”.

            • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

              No articles, but Dustin McGowan and Justin Verlander say hi as well.

              • Expired Milk

                I’ll wait and see Lester Lincecum Volquez next year before I give Verducci and credit.

                I wish I could find that article where it said that it wasnt the numbers of innings that a pitcher threw per year that caused injuries but the number of pitches per game.

                • Thomas

                  Here is one of Verducci’s article on the “Year After Effect.”

                  He lists 7 who were at risk for 2008. 4 had serious injury/ineffective (Gallardo, McGowan, Carmona, Gorzelanny), 1 (Gaudin) spent most of the year in the pen, 1 (Kennedy) spent most of the year in the minors, and 1 Jimenez who was effective. So of the 5 applicable, 4 had problems.

              • Chris

                Verlander tanked after his no hitter (the down turn started basically his next start), so I think that may be different.

                As for Verducci, here is his list of players going into 2008, along with their 2008 IP and ERA+:

                Ian Kennedy: 39.7IP 54ERA+
                Fausto Carmona: 120.7IP 82ERA+
                Ubaldo Jimenez: 198.7IP 115ERA+
                Tom Gorzelanny: 105.3IP 62ERA+
                Dustin McGowan: 111.3IP 98ERA+
                Chad Gaudin: 90IP 95ERA+
                Yovani Gallardo: 24IP 229ERA+

                Of the 7 listed, 5 of them either had significant performance or injury issues.

                Chad Gaudin was in the bullpen all year in 2008, so he’s a special case.

                Only one had a year close to his prior season. Also, Jimenez threw 158.7 innings in 2006 and 185 innings in 2007, so I’m not even sure why he was on the list.

                If you throw away Jimenez and Gaudin, then he was 5 for 5 in predicting declines.

                • pat

                  Gallardo tore his ACL in a pregame warmup in April. I’m pretty confident in saying that had nothing to do with his 07 workload.

    • pat

      Nice to see Wanger getting some props from Girardi. Probably a move to keep burnett from getting a few extra starts during the year, but its good for the cmw to get the respect he deserves.

      • Stryker

        who knows if it’s about respect or a move to keep burnett from getting extra starts, but i see it as a smart way to break up the top of the rotation power pitchers.

      • Drew

        He did last year too, if u remember, Girardi proclaimed him the opening day starter quite early. BTW, if we get 60 65 starts form those two, thats about 40 50 wins! :)probably 50 decisions

    • A.D.

      He tosses 100.1 last year in the majors, they probably tack on some of the extra work at the end of the season that was rehab, and he doesnt actually make 30 starts, and pitches about 160 inning in the regular season.

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

      I didnt know where to put it but from Peter Abrahams blog.

      You don’t put anything off-topic anywhere. You e-mail it to us as per the commenting guidelines. I’m not going to delete this whole thread, but please take a look at those guidelines and try to avoid off-topic comments.

  • sean

    Bernie’s HOF clock? Is he joking? Bernie = HOF? Must have been a boring day for Mr. Reina to even have to even ponder that. Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, Donnie Baseball not HOF but Bernie on the HOF clock?? It’s going to keep ticking for quite some time as much as I like Bernie.

    • pat

      Bernie Williams will and should definitely garner consideration for the Hall. IS he deserving enough to get in? No, but he is most definitely worthy of being eligible? Hell yes. 4 Rings, 4 gold gloves 5 time allstar and a silver slugger. An average of 22 homeruns and .297/.381/.477 and a 255 ops+ from a very good defensive centerfielder is phenominal.

      • pat

        *ugh 125 ops+, 255 would make him legendary

      • Drew

        No steroid tie = HOF

        • JT

          Let’s all hope character is a factor too.
          Never bitched during his career, just played ball.
          Good ballplayer and a class act, an increasingly rare combination.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, Donnie Baseball not HOF but Bernie on the HOF clock??

      Bernie is easily better than all of those players. Easily.

      • jsbrendog

        i feel like we’ve had this discussion before and it went nowhere good

      • Rob in CT

        Damn skippy. Bernie was great. If he’d had a more graceful decline phase, he’d be a HOFer. Alas, he just fell off the cliff instead.

    • Chris

      Bernie is Jim Rice, if Jim Rice played centerfield.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        If Jim Rice had been able to actually play centerfield, he would have been a legit Hall of Famer and not just a borderline, not-quite-good-enough to get in player.

        Rice’s career wOBA was .375. Bernie’s was .371. Basically, they were both legit dominant, middle of the order, perennial all-star bats, but Bernie actually added value on defense. Rice didn’t.

    • A.D.

      If you’re putting Rice in then a lot more people need to be considered

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Which is why he probably shouldn’t have been put in.

        Here’s the thing, though… if we, as Yankee fans, start saying Bernie was “feared” every chance we get, for the next 20 years… then that, plus the rings, probably gets Bernie in. It’s sad, but it’s true: a vocal, incessant, unflagging fan base who constantly makes your case for you can sway the nincompoops who vote for the Hall, even against their own better logic.

        Say it with me: Bernie was “feared”.

        • Chris

          Career IBB:

          Bernie: 97
          Rice: 77

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          “Gut test” saying hi and no to Bernie will be their rebuttal.

          • whozat

            It’s funny. That argument (and I understand you’re not making it yourself) essentially boils down to “plus, he was kind of a dick.”

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    This got me thinking: Where does Bernie rank on the list of centerfielders? Here’s my very, very, very preliminary list of the best 20 (or so) centerfielders of the past 30 years (in order). This is just an eyeball list (which I wrote up in like 4 minutes after only taking cursory glances at leaderboards from the past three decades and synced up to my personal memories) and not set in stone, so please, pick it apart. (Obviously, active players are discounted a bit but can move up over time.)

    1.) Ken Griffey, Jr.
    2.) Rickey Henderson
    3.) Bernie Williams
    4.) Tim Raines
    5.) Jim Edmonds
    6.) Dale Murphy
    7.) Kirby Puckett
    8.) Grady Sizemore
    9.) Robin Yount (although he could be left off the list entirely
    10.) Andruw Jones
    11.) Carlos Beltran
    12.) Andre Dawson
    13.) Brett Butler
    14.) Johnny Damon
    15.) Torii Hunter
    16.) Ellis Burks
    17.) Eric Davis
    18.) Fred Lynn
    19.) Lenny Dykstra
    20.) Andy Van Slyke
    21.) Mike Cameron

    • Rafi

      1: Rickey was primarily a LF, he shouldn’t be on this list
      2: Raines should be right behind Griffey
      3:Beltran’s gotta be higher than 11(or 10 as your new list will read). I’d put him rigth beneath Edmonds

    • Chris

      Rickey and Tim Raines probably shouldn’t be on the list. They both played a significant majority of their careers in left.

      • A.D.

        As did Ellis Burks

        • Chris

          According to baseball reference, Burks played 1062 games in CF, and 2000 games total. To me, that’s right on the border of whether he should be included or not.

          http://www.baseball-reference......el01.shtml

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Yeah, I noticed that. The best centerfielders list is a little like the best shortstops list: it’s hard to determine, because so many guys start there and then end up moving off the position.

            You could remove Rickey, Raines, Burks, Yount, and probably some others from consideration entirely if you wanted to. Like I said, the list is preliminary.

    • pat

      BUT ELLSBURY WAS ON TEH COVER OF GQ!!11!1!

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

      Edmonds is #2 in my opinion. 382 HR, .377 OBP, .905 OPS, phenomenal defense? I’ll take two.

      He’s a HOFer.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yeah, the more I look at Edmonds, the more I realize he’s underranked.

    • Chris

      Gardner hit a HR in his first spring training at bat. Does that get him on the list?

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Straight to #1, baby.

        Ken Griffey Jr.? Please. The guy sucks.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          What’s he? Like 45? I could strike him out.

  • touchtoneterriost

    Bernie as a DH/pinch hitter is awesome.Don’t forget how many records Bernie has in the post season.Delgado,Beltran and Bernie…. thats good clutch hitting.

    The Puerto Rican team will be better with Bernie as a DH.The idea that he hurts the team is stupid.I think just like the last team in ’06 the PR looks better.And Bernie is a big reason.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      FWIW, a big reason Bernie has all those records is due to accumulation. He’s not a much better postseason hitter than, say, Barry Bonds, he just had a lot more chances.

      • pat

        Plus back in the day when the monument park-ers were still playing there were no alds and alcs. They went straight from the regular season to the world series.

        • jeremy

          That might diminish the statistical relevance of Bernie’s post season performance, but it also gives more weight to winning 4 rings, having had to navigate 2 additional playoff rounds.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    wow, Brett leads off with a homer.

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Brett Gardner with a solo jack off southpaw Brett Cecil; awesome.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    I find it a little ironic that Pirates lefty Ian Snell, the son of an African American mother who grew up in Delaware, and who has been fairly outspoken on the paucity of blacks in the big leagues, is pitching for Team Puerto Rico. Apparently his father has Puerto Rican ancestry and that was enough for the team to invite him. (They did the same in ’06, btw.)

    • jsbrendog

      the structure of choosing a team is as whack as all star voting in every sport. possibly whacker. maybe even up for WHACKEST

  • GG

    Brett’s season >>> Jacoby’s season

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I cannot find any XS pink fitted t-shirts for sale anywhere across the internets that say, in glitter-encrusted letters, “Future Mrs. Brett Gardner”.

      Therefore, I can only assume that your pronouncement that Brett Gardner is somehow better than Jacoby Ellsbury must be false, sir. The market has spoken.

      • GG

        Way cooler Brett Gardner merchandise:
        http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001P.....nkCode=asn

        I knew when that happened the kid was a legend in the making.

        • jsbrendog

          Brett Gardner is a promising young outfielder for the New York Yankees. Gardner is an ideal lead off man with tremendous speed, great discipline at the plate, and a hard stroke. He has the instincts and potential to be roaming the outfield of Yankee Stadium for years to come. Brett Gardner has hand signed this MLB baseball.

          haha awesome amazon

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Apparently, they’re out of stock of the “lock of Taco Bellsbury’s hair” in a pink sache with a rhinestone Boston B embossed on it…

  • Drew

    I hope the Melkman doesn’t press because gardner has a good day today..

  • Drew

    Alright Alex!!!
    Tiger time by the way.

    • Drew

      Get in the hole!!

  • Steve Sax

    I would like to start a movement to have the Yankees sign Bernie to a one-day contract and have him play in one of the exhibition games against the Cubs.

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