Open Thread: Bernie

Dante Bichette Jr. named GCL MVP
Yankees place Frankie Cervelli on DL
(Photo Credit: The NY Times)

It’s kinda hard to believe that it’s been five years since Bernie Williams last played for the Yankees. Maybe it’s just me finding it hard to believe, as I cling hopelessly to one of the last remaining remnants of my childhood. Anyway, today is not one but two milestones for Bernie.

First, it’s his 43rd birthday, so happy birthday to him. Secondly, it’s the 26th anniversary of the day he signed with the Yankees as an amateur free agent out of Puerto Rico. Think about that, it’s been 26 years since they signed him as a 17-year-old. Insane. At his peak, which is basically 1996-2000, Bernie was a .324/.410/.551 hitter that posted no more than 5.3 fWAR and no less than 4.9 fWAR. Seriously, check out his WAR Graph, that’s some kind of consistency.

Anywho, happy birthday again to Bernie. Here’s the open thread as we wait for the game to begin later tonight. Former Yankee Chien-Ming Wang returns to New York as a member of the Nationals, and will start against the Mets tonight. MLB Network will broadcast a game as well (teams depend on where you live). Talk about whatever you want here, anything goes.

Dante Bichette Jr. named GCL MVP
Yankees place Frankie Cervelli on DL
  • Kramerica Industries

    Wake vs. Morrow in Boston; Price vs. Simon in Baltimore

    Do I sense another game off the wild card?

    • CS Yankee

      Boston better win tonight as they have Lackey vs. Romero on Wednesday.

      But, YCPB,S.

  • Jesse

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone clicked on my handle and read the blog I write for? If so what do you think? Just want some feedback, thanks.

    • Addison

      Site has promise Mike, but I’d fire your web designer.

      Looks like the site was created on an acid trip.

      • Jesse

        Thanks for the feedback.
        I didn’t construct the site, I’m just a writer. I got on with them in late February. I actually criticized the owner of the site and I was in serious hot water and nearly got the boot. But that was actually one of my suggestions earlier. It just seems a little gloomy, but it’s his blog, so he can have it how he wants I guess. I just wanted some fan feedback.

        • Kiersten

          You should tell him I physically cannot read his blog because my eyes hurt just looking at it.

          I’m not exaggerating.

          • Jesse

            Honestly I can’t tell him that. I swear. I will get kicked off and I love writing for that blog. But by all means go ahead and tell him. His email is on the site, so if you like just tell him that. Thanks.

  • jon

    jesus batting 5th

    something he should look forward to years to come

    • Monteroisdinero

      3rd would be better.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      So you’re one of those fans that believe Montero will end up being traded because there is no room for him.

  • Sheepmeister

    I just realized that the yankees have a larger divison lead than the rangers. Who would have saw that coming 6 months ago.

  • Plank

    Does anyone happen to know if tonight’s SI Yankees game will be on the radio anywhere? The MiLB radio website had a station for Auburn, but they didn’t broadcast the game last night. I wish the SI Yanks would have their own broadcast. They are one of the few teams in the minors not to be aired on the radio. Are there any others? Not that I know of, other than GCL and AZL teams.

    Or better yet, why not cover the game on YES? I’d rather see Mason Williams and the rest in Staten Island playing for the league championship than listen to Mike Francessa bloviate for 5 hours tomorrow afternoon.

    YES (and every regional sports channel) are always desperate for programming, and they are ignoring 5 Yankees games every single day. If they covered these, they would benefit from

    a. exposure to the casual fan. Instead of people saying “Who’s this Montero guy?” they would have someone who they have seen for the past few years and is already a star.

    b. programming. Does anyone really enjoy Mike Francessa? Besides, the fact that radio has so many more commercials is a problem since there are an equal amount of commercials on YES because of it. I remember when YES first started, people were like “How are they going to have a whole 24 channel just about the Yankees?” The Yankees answer was to give Mike and the Mad Dog 5 hours in the middle of the afternoon every day to simulcast their show. It seemed like a stopgap until they could think of something better back then, and it still seems like that now.

    c. increased interest in minor league teams. Having the games broadcast to a huge audience would cause more people to go to the minor league games and boost the amount of in stadium advertising by a huge margin. I would think the Yankees would care abuot this considering they own the SWB Yanks, Tampa Yanks, and the SI Yanks.

    In my perfect world, all the Yankees minor league games would be filmed and they could have a hour long show everyday showing the highlights from all the games (Sort of a Sportscenter style highlight show). Even a single minor league game on an off day from time to time would be an improvement over the current minor league coverage which is very close to zero.

    • Jesse

      If no one really watched Francessa on YES they’d take it off the air because of the poor ratings.

      • Plank

        Obviously people watch Francessa. Where did I say they didn’t?

        I’m saying I believe the benefits, both for the fans, and for the Steinbrenners’ finances would be better showing minor league games instead.

        Of course, it’s speculation. No one has ever regularly shown their team’s minor league affiliates on a regular basis on a RSN, so no one knows what the outcome would be. Anyone who says with confidence one way or the other is making stuff up, because there are no facts. This is uncharted territory.

        You seem to think it’s better for the Yankees to show Francessa, but that’s your speculation, not fact.

        • YankeesJunkie

          I think showing 5-10 minor league games throughout the season could actually work if you showed it when the Yankees were on the West Coast, Day Game, or Off Day. However, the key would be to try to make it somewhat spontaneous so you could see some of bigger named prospects which fans would be more willing to watch.

          • OldYanksFan

            I’m not sure most games would be watched. I might suggest a ‘show’ of Minor League highlights and selected interviews and bios. I think people are interested in the top prospects, and guys like Montero, the B’s, and a few other players would sell. But I don’t think fans are as interested in a 9 inning game, as much as learning about and seeing certain players perform.

        • Jesse

          Ummm hold on dude, I never said that it’s better for the Yankees to show Francessa, that’s YOUR speculation. Don’t assume and make stuff up.

          Also you said, “Does anyone really enjoy Mike Francessa?” So you’re implying that not very many people do. If that’s the case no one would be watching which means the ratings would be too low thus YES would take it off the air.

    • CS Yankee

      Watched an hour of a Trenton broadcast when Hughes was coming back from deadarm&cheeseburger-itis and it lack a lot. Almost makes you enjoy hearing Kay awful.

      The YES broadcast are professional, less Kay (again). Singleton, Leiter & Cone all do a great job. Mabe in a few years as technology floats down the farm system, but it is brutal now. It reminds me of our local HS channel out here (CO).

      • Plank

        Yeah, that was my other thing. I didn’t want to make my (already too long) post longer, but if they do it, they should do it right. Have good announcers. I’m sure there are enough ex-players who are decent enough and want to be a major league announcer and would take the opportunity to start with Trenton, Scranton, or Staten Island.

        Luis Sojo is the coach of the Tampa Yankees, I bet he would make a great color man.

    • JohnnyC

      The YES management has researched this and the conclusion is that there is very little interest among its viewership in watching minor league games. In fact, there’s very little interest in the area in actually attending SI games (as opposed to the Brooklyn Cyclone games which are actually a profit center for the Wilpons). Believe me, if they had gotten any ratings at all for the AAA games they broadcast several years ago, you would see more minor league baseball on YES. They’re in the business of making money not alienating their audience.

      • Plank

        This is true if you are assuming the Yankees are a perfectly run corporation with all revenue streams fully developed and maximized. I disagree with that assessment. 15 years ago, you could have made that argument against the Yankees having their own network. That seemed to work out pretty well for them (and Yankees fans.)

    • Samuel Pacarro

      This Infinity.

      Get on it YES program executives!! The network is downright pitiful outside of Yankees programing.

      Oh, how beautiful it would be to give RAB its own weekly show to compete with the idiots at five o’clock. You guys could easily outperform the competition on rival networks like SNY, ESPN & MLB Network.

      And of course you could lead the revolution on modern advanced statistics and give a voice to the growing majority of baseball fans.

    • GG2011
      • Plank

        Thanks GG2011.

        The station wasn’t playing the game yesterday. Watching the box score update every half inning just doesn’t have the same drama as listening to a game on the radio if you can believe it.

        Thankfully it’s on tonight.

  • Drew

    I met Bernie Williams 2 weeks ago at this bar in White Plains called PorterHouse. Insane, bought him a beer and talked to him for like 30 seconds and he was a really nice guy. He was cheating on his wife with some slammin 20 something but good for him. Happy birthday Bernie.

    • Jesse

      Well don’t you have some news to break!

      • JohnnyC

        There was always the rumors about why he was late to the park for Game 6 in 2001.

    • Mrs Bernie Williams

      That son-of-a bitch!

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Bound to find out sooner or later

    • CMP

      Dude, you broke the guy code. That’s really uncool to post.

    • Kevin G.

      Wait, you had to buy HIM a beer?

      • Drew

        Yeah I bought him a beer. The second I noticed Bernie Williams standing 5 feet away from me I told the bartender whatever Bernie wants to drink it’s on me. His girl bought a shot too. I told him I saw him at Old Timers Day and he could still be the 4th outfielder for the Yankees right now. He appreciated the compliment, and I shook his hand and continued to get plastered. It wad funny when I stumbled out of the bar at 4 am and was yelling Bernie Williams is in there! Two girls walked by and said “Yeah we know he’s here all the time.” I don’t think the bro code is broken here, since A) Bernie is the man and B) he obviously frequents that bar often so he’s not really hiding it. No harm no foul.

  • JFH

    I remember Mel Hall used to give Bernie crap when the Yankees called him up. He used to calle Bernie “Bambi”, in a deragatory sense. I think Bernie more than showed Mel who was the better player and who is the beter person.

    Well done Bernie. I am glad I got to see your whole career. It was a joy to watch you play.

    • Phife Dawg

      Hall also called Bernie Mr. Zero in Joel Sherman’s “Birth of a Dynasty”:
      “Hall taped ‘Mr. Zero’ to the top of (Bernie) Williams’ locker to signify that he meant nothing to the team. One day Hall nearly brought Williams to tears by saying, ‘Zero, shut up,’ every time Williams tried to speak. The more Williams tried, the louder Hall interrupted with repetitive chants of ‘Zero’.”

      Have fun in prison Mel Mall. Hope you don’t drop the soap.

      • JFH

        I had forgotten about that. What an a$$.

      • Marcus

        Wow I never heard that story. What was Hall’s deal? Worried Bernie would take his job?

    • Monteroisdinero

      Maybe but Mrs. Williams begs to differ.

  • Engelbert

    Five or six years ago I played the “Guess Your Velocity” games at the Calgary Stampede and actually won, so naturally I took the Yankees helmet and slapped 51 on the back. Still wear it to this day when I go tubing. Bernie was always my favourite Yankee.

  • Schulz

    Bernie’s the man. I saw him at one of the bars in White Plains last weekend.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Lowrie just PH for Ortiz. Wonder what’s up…

    • CS Yankee

      Ortiz has the person that listed him on the ‘roid list in the corner?

  • Grit for Brains

    My first favorite player, Happy birthday Bernie.

  • Samuel Pacarro

    Love Bernie, but hurry up and retire already.

    Seriously, we need to line up all the number retirement ceremonies that are coming up. Envisioning-

    Well, overdue #51 next year; #6 in 2013; #46 in 2014; #42 sometime in 2016-2018; #2 in 2017-2019 & #13 in 2019-2021

    Can’t Wait…

    • CS Yankee

      Not sure Torre, Pettitte or Bernie will be retired.

      If they retire one every decade that would be fine however if they do 3-4 every decade they will run out of numbers. can you see Mo jr. playing with #! on his back?

      • Nigel Incubator-Jones

        Made me think of this:

        You can lose yourself for a few hours on this site looking at the infographics.

      • Tyrion Lannister

        Bernie, Pettitte, Posada, Jeter, Mariano should all be retired. And Paulie, too. Mariano’s is already technically retired but they still still have a ceremony. Torre I’m not sure of since he turned against us.

        • radnom

          Posada, Jeter, Mariano – Yes no question.

          Pettitte, Bernie – Probably, on the fence.

          O’Neil – In my opinion, no.

        • OldYanksFan

          When you continue to retire numbers of NOT all-time great players, you water down the honor.

          Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Yogi and others weren’t just great Yankees, but some of the greatest players at their position in Baseball History.

          Of ALL the CFs who ever played the game, is Bernie in the top 10? Top 20? Posada is closer, but probably not Top 10. Andy… nowhere close. Paulie…. nowhere close.

          Jeter is a Top 10 SS. More like Top 5. Mo is a Top 3 Reliever, and more likely #1. They get retired. If Cano continues, he could be a Top 10 2nd baseman. ARod is obviously there. But no one else.

          It is just fine to both love and honor certain players withOUT retiring their number. This honor should be saved for the elite of the elite.

  • teddy

    good thing for bos errors they should be down 3 to 0

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Wake’s not gonna get win 200 this year.

  • Phife Dawg

    I was checking out random Yankees videos on youtube and I found this one to be the best (the World Series montage from Fox):

    Losing that Game 7 still hurts after 10 years. Sigh.

  • ultimate913

    It’s my birthday too!

  • Tom Zig

    Slug fest in Boston

  • Cy Pettitte

    Wakefield can’t handle the pressure of getting #200.

  • Jesse

    Random Football Question here, but which QB is more valuable to the success of his team, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?

    • radnom

      Considering Tom Brady has had much better teams surrounding him on average throughout his career, I’m going to go with Manning.

      Manning is also straight up better than Brady, so hes more valuable from either angle.

  • swishers fauxhawk
    • Jesse

      This is like at least the third or forth time that link has been posted today (I posted it earlier so I shouldn’t be complaining haha).

    • Chen Meng Wang

      Haha, I just commented on it. I usually hate trolling but I couldn’t help myself after reading it.

  • Joey H

    Cool story about Bernie, one of my high school friends, his dad is the drummer for Bernie Williams’ band(?). So when I graduated he got a ball that said “good luck joey! Bernie Williams 51.”

    Such a classy guy, I always loved how when he slide into home he like… spun when he got up. My favorite Yankee of all time.

  • CMP

    This is AJ Burnett’s 30th start of the year.

    I wonder if a pitcher has ever had 2 seasons back to back where he’s made at least 30 starts/year while pitching to an ERA above 5.00 in each season.

    • EricVA

      I don’t subscribe to baseball-reference, but there looks to be 17 players who have done this:

      • EricVA

        Actually, don’t think that filters for back-to-back, but there’s some info anyway.

  • Ivan

    Bernie Williams was an amazing player. Always seem to be over looked more so than Posada compared to the likes of Jeter, Mo and Pettitte. Granted those guys played longer but still.

  • Kiersten

    I met Bernie in Disney World when I was 8 and it was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

  • Tom Zig

    Come on, Morrow, stop sucking!

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      Wakefield will out-suck him.

  • Tom Zig

    How come Boston doesn’t lose the DH due to them PHing for Ortiz? Was it b/c he never got an AB?

    • Greg

      You only lose the DH I think if you put the player in that slot into the field.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      You lose the DH if you place him in the field. I don’t think you lose the DH if you PH for him.

  • Jesse

    For the sake of argument let’s say the Red Sox miss the playoffs. What’s the first excuse that comes out of ESPN’s, MLB Network’s, and NESN’s mouths? I’m guessing injuries, no?

    • Greg

      Injuries to Beckett and Lester earlier I imagine.

      • Jesse

        Lester was injured earlier in the year? Seriously, I did not know that.

        • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

          He had a lat strain and missed like 3 starts.

        • Jesse

          Never mind now I remember, ha.

        • Greg

          He was out for a bit.

    • Chen Meng Wang

      They were to gritty for their own good. Their players played too hard, and pitchers pitched every ball like it was game 7, causing them to get hurt and miss time. Plus, Carl Crawford has an OBP in the .200s. Oh and Lackey is terrible. As is JD Drew. Basically the Yankees proved they might just be the better team.

    • tom

      ESPN was already trotting out the injury line Sunday night. The Sox were pretty much likened to the survivors of the Bataan Death March. Most hilarious part: someone claiming Daisuke was a huge loss.

  • Greg

    Well Wakefield looks like he will finally get it done.

    • Jesse

      Wakefield is already the best pitcher in baseball because he has the most active wins over any pitcher.


  • RRRRRRandy

    Staten Island Yanks are 3 outs away from being champs.

  • Brian S.

    Is it wrong that I am rooting for the Rays? I mean WE need to earn a playoff spot first but…

  • Tyrion Lannister

    And the Rays have just gone down 4-2 in the 8th. They will drop to 4 behind the Sox with just 16 left to play.

    • Tyrion Lannister

      15 left to play after tonight. But at least our magic number for a playoff spot drops no matter what AJ does tonight.

  • IRF

    Speaking of great center fielders in Yankee history:!/ProfessorParks/status/113782557576921088

    • Jesse

      Hopefully he’ll be the next great Williams manning center field down the line!

  • nycsportzfan

    Bernie was the first real stud that i got to see come up as a yankee and play to the level he played at, with Derek right behind him, because bernie really wasen’t fully developed untill about 1994ish, to 95ish… I loved the guy! His 1996 season to me, was God like, as a yankee fan, who was used to Pat Kelly, Alvaro Espinoza, Andy Stakewicz, and Kevin Maas…lol I realize we had Pauly and Wade in that 1996 season, and there numbers were very good, but it just felt like Bernie was tearing up every pitcher, and he was doing it from both sides of the plate, and he just looked the part, and i loved it! Bernie will always have a spot in my heart as one of the first Yank Farm Grown Players i got to see, that actually became a stud, and i seen there entire career.. Thanks for the mem’s bern!