On May 8th the Yankees announced that they will retire Joe Torre’s number. This was as inevitable as the sun rising in the morning, delayed only by Torre’s Dodger fiasco and Hamlet act regarding his next job. The Yanks also announced that they will honor Rich “Goose” Gossage, Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill during the Old Timers Day weekend celebrations with plaques in Memorial Park. They included the following footnote in their press release:
Bernie Williams will be honored “sometime in 2015.”
Huh? Bernie was the homegrown, quiet heartbeat of the 90’s dynasty. He was the de facto leader, and star centerfielder. Sure Tino and Paulie provided great moments as Yankees. Goose had one of the greatest games in Yankee history – no Yankee fan alive at the time will forget the 1978 playoff game against Boston and Gossage’s 2 2/3 innings of relief to get the save. (Goose was also infamous for getting his ass kicked by Cliff Johnson in 1979 and missing two months after injuring his thumb in the fight.) However, these three all came from somewhere else (and in Gossage’s case ended somewhere else).
In a time where it’s almost impossible to find an original Yankee, honoring Williams should take precedence, especially considering his highly successful career and classy demeanor. Williams was a lifetime .297 hitter with over 2,300 hits; 127 playoff games with 22 postseason home runs; was the ALCS MVP (1996); won a batting title (1998); a Silver Slugger (2002) four Gold Gloves; six pennants and four rings. During the 1998 season, in which the Yankees went 114–48 to set a then American League regular season record, Williams became the first player to win a batting title, Gold Glove award, and World Series ring in the same year.
Sounds like no one should ever wear his number again.
Williams came up through the dark days of the early 90’s and became the first original star in the transitional period between the Don Mattingly era and the 90’s dynasty. As the Yankees celebrated the existence and departure of the “Core Four” of Jeter, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte, let’s not forget that there was an original one – actually 51.
So Odell Beckham, Jr. joins the Giants to become the next Greg Jennings? Donald Driver? Hakeem Nicks? Rocky Thompson?
No piling on the Rangers today – there’s still more hockey to be played and I just found out that Martin St. Louis’ mom passed away.
Phil Jackson, think hard on this next decision. It might be nice to try and get a younger assistant from another team than try to build Steve Kerr into a coach.
Fantasy Football Update: With Sammy Watkins picked up by the Bills, I’d like to amend my previous prediction.