Tag Archives: Bernie Williams

This is what baffles me

It’s interesting to hear Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, describe the negotiations with the Yankees as “baffling.”

There’s nothing baffling about it. Now I understand that Close, like any agent (and I revile sports agents as I do, say, lawyers and politicians) is trying to get the most for his client—especially since he may get a percentage for his own services.

But since this is “baffling” to him, let’s try to put things in ways that he can understand.

  • Your client will be 37 next year. I have a friend who, when JoePa signed a multi-year deal a few years ago, exclaimed “who does he think he is, Methusaleh?” Great quote. (Look up Methusaleh in the Bible if you don’t know what I mean). Well, Casey, your client will be 37 next year. Salary based on projections of current and future performance. You can’t really believe that Derek will put up the numbers at 37-39 that he put up at 27-29. If you do, then you are delusional.   
  • Current or future performance. This is on projections based on Jeter coming off his worst year of his career. One in which his OPS+ was a 90. His BA 21 points lower than any other season in his career. One in which his numbers (.270-10-67, OPS+ 90 with 18 SB, Rtot of -10)  were close to Marco Scutaro’s (.275-11-56, 5 SB. OPS+ 92, -1 RTOT at SS). Scutaro made $5.5MM in 2010, didn’t have Jeter’s SB, but had a much better Rtot. Note, Casey, $5.5MM, not Jeter’s $22.6MM. See what Derek would get on the open market.
  • If I’m paying, I’m not paying on the past. The past doesn’t win you games in 2011. Only the present does. Like I stated. See what Jeter gets on the open market. But sell him as if his name were Joe Schmoe. As if there wasn’t a past with 2926 hits, 5 rings and all the rest. Sell him as he is now. Not as he was in 2000. See what you get.   
  • This contract is about him as a player. Yes, “everything he symbolizes” comes into play. His legacy as a Yankee. His iconic stature. His conduct. His popularity. Hell, all that fits 85 year old Yogi Berra, too! The Yanks aren’t paying Yogi to catch in 2010. Yogi is just as popular on Madison Avenue (as I remember that great AFLAC commercial…)
  • Personally, I don’t go over the age of 37 on a multi-year contract with ANY player. Once 37, I would hope every team goes year by year. No multi-year deals for ANY player once they hit 37. That’s just me. Won’t happen, though. But let me dream.
  • You know the Yanks won’t release Derek. Something will eventually get done. But asking for a multi-year deal over three years at anything over $18MM/per (Yanks apparently offered 3 years, $45MM) is insane. But remember that in Feb. 1935 the Yanks actually released 39 year old Babe Ruth. Who had a better legacy or meant more to the franchise than the Babe? But time marches on and waits for no one. The Babe hit .288-22-84, OPS+ 160 in 1934 at age 39. Granted he played in 30-35 less games in 1934 than Derek did in 2010, and he was a power-hitting OF, not a sleek SS who still could steal 18—but Babe’s 1934 numbers do look a bit better than Derek’s 2010 numbers. Of course, we know what happened in 1935, when the Babe was completely kaput while with the Boston Braves, and retired.
  • In Bernie Williams’ final year, he went .281-12-61. Granted, power-hitting OF again. Bernie was 37, 38 at season’s end. OPS+ 96. Just 2 SB. Numbers similar to what Jeter put up this year. After showing signs of slippage, Bernie worked on just a $1.5MM contract in 2006, that final year, after making over $12MM in 2005. Bernie got invited to spring training in 2007 on a minor league deal. He didn’t come. He still hasn’t “officially” retired.
  • Granted, the Yanks won’t do to Derek what they did to Babe and Bernie. After all, Babe and Bernie had showed signs of decline over a couple of years (Babe 1932 to 1934, Bernie 2003-2006). But neither Babe or Bernie were working on long-term deals by that point. Jeter has showed serious decline just this past year. But “baffling” negotiations? There isn’t anything baffling about it. Old player so you don’t want many years, decline starting don’t want to commit too long, numbers going down so not worth as much. What’s “baffling about that?”

I know he has to say the right things and protect his client. But there isn’t anything “baffling” about the Yankees more-than-fair offer. What’s baffling is that greedy agents don’t get it. But then we saw this last year with the Damon situation, didn’t we?

Happy b/day to Stan Musial, NINETY yesterday (and thanks to my local paper for pointing it out)! A true treasure.

But the same paper suggests Phillies alternatives to Werth. Plan B is trading for Swisher. Sorry to rain on the parade, but the Plan B that the columnist has for the Phillies (trade for Swisher to replace the departing Werth) won’t come off, I don’t think. Sorry, but the Yankees are not after Carl Crawford (the Yanks getting him being the prereq for getting Swish). Their top target is Cliff Lee. There is no room or need for Crawford. If, somehow, the Yanks don’t get Lee, then maybe they target Crawford and try to trade an OF for pitching. But there isn’t any real decent pitching out there to trade for. Predictions? Yanks get Lee. Crawford to Angels. Werth to Boston. Maybe the Phils do the columnist’s  #1 alternative for replacing Werth—that is trade for Corey Hart of the Brewers. But maybe the columnist should contact me or other Yankees bloggers about the Yanks before she writes about them. The Yanks will keep their toes in the water to drive up the price on Crawford. But they aren’t interested in him unless they can’t get Lee. Your thoughts? But hey, the columnist covers the Phils. I really don’t think she knows the Yanks as well. 

But then, some columnists and reporters automatically tie the Yanks to everyone without looking into matters (need, what minor league prospects they have, budget [yes, they do have that]) and think they will throw money at everyone and everything. It’s like they refuse to think that Cashman may actually have a plan

Interesting show. T.O. and Ochocinco. I don’t know how the ratings are, but they better be better than the Bungles sorry 2-8 record.

Final AFL numbers of Yankee prospects:

Austin Romine 16 g. 61 AB. .279-0-7.
Manny Banuelos. 7 starts. 0-2, 3.60
Brandon Laird 27 g. 110 AB. 0236-4-22.
Craig Heyer 7 G. 3 starts. 1-2, 2.50
George Kontos. 10 g. All relief. 1-2, 12.08
Ryan Pope. 9 g. All relief. 0-1, 3.18
Jose Pirela 23 g. 89 AB. .180-1-5

You may want to read about Yankees prospects on milb.com.  But as you do, remember that Miranda has been traded to Arizona and Albaladejo was released so that he can sign in Japan.

New managerial signings recently. Hurdle to the Pirates, Terry Collins to the Mets.

Oh yeah, final thing for now. Rumors have the Yanks offering Lee $115-$120MM for five years. That’s $23-$24MM per.






Bernie helps raise $175,000 for charity

From Keith Hejna of Little Kids Rock:


More than $175,000 raised to restore and revitalize music programs
in underfunded schools nationwide.

CEDAR GROVE, N.J. Oct. 22, 2010 — “Imagine all the people… sharing all the world.” John Lennon’s words rang true when an allstar cast of professional musicians shared the stage with Little Kids Rock students at the charity’s “Right to Rock” benefit to restore and revitalize music programs in public schools nationwide.

New York Yankees icon Bernie Williams, Season 8 American Idol Kris Allen and Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice shared the stage with Little Kids Rock students at the B.B. King Blues Club Thursday night in New York City and performed the Lennon classic for more than 250 guests.

Early counts show that the annual “Right to Rock” gala and celebrity-painted guitar auction raised more than $175,000, which will result in nearly 9,000 more low-income children receiving free instruments and music education.

Bernie Williams was honored as the second annual “Big Man of the Year,” an award named after and presented last year to “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons. A recorded message by the E Street Band saxophonist introduced Williams, who humbly accepted the award given each year to an individual who helps Little Kids Rock put transformational music classes and modern musical instruments into the hands of low-income school children.

“I don’t even know where I would be without music,” said Williams. “I am so saddened by the fact that schools are cutting budgets; the first thing they do is cut music and the arts. I believe that no kid, and I mean NO kid, shouldn’t have the opportunity to play an instrument and learn it. It enriches their lives.”

Performers at the “Right to Rock” Celebration ranged from 25-year-old Kris Allen, who came to fame in 2009 after winning American Idol, to legendary rock band, Vanilla Fudge, which reached the height of its fame in the late 60’s when Led Zeppelin was opening for them.

“Music’s not for every kid, but it would be nice to know that it is a possibility for some kids,” Allen said in his award acceptance speech. “I wish that I had had something like this. Who knows what these kids are going to become.”

Guests were treated to dinner and drinks, as well as an auction featuring one-of-a-kind, celebrity-painted Fender® Stratocasters® by artists like Stan Lee, Gene Simmons, Kenny Scharf, Stephen Colbert and Stanley Mouse. The live and silent auctions raised more than $85,000 for music education.

“Kind of ironic how such a small guy founded the largest free instrumental music program in the country!” joked the evening’s emcee, famous New York radio personality, “The Radio Chick” Leslie Gold, who introduced Little Kids Rock Executive Director, David Wish.

“This was a very special evening,” said Wish. “I am proud to have shared it with so many generous individuals who have contributed to help Little Kids Rock make music education and instruments accessible to the children around the country who need it the most.”

Among those people were Captain Rob Snyder and Andy Davis, founder of the Music Empowers Foundation, who were honored for their contributions to Little Kids Rock’s fight against budget cuts. World-renowned guitarist Muriel Anderson sedated the room with the delightful melodies that resonated from her harp-guitar. Vanilla Fudge turned up the tempo when they closed out the evening with a 30-minute set, performing hits like You Keep Me Hangin’ On and People Get Ready. Williams joined Vanilla Fudge on lead guitar for an encore that included Mustang Sally and In The Midnight Hour.



About The “Big Man of the Year” Award
It takes a big person to stand up for the needs and rights of little kids. Clarence Clemons is such a person. Little Kids Rock created the “Big Man of the Year” Award as a symbol of Mr. Clemons’ generosity and commitment to children. Each year, Little Kids Rock honors a musical luminary who contributes time to help Little Kids Rock put transformational music classes and modern musical instruments back into public schools nationwide.

About Little Kids Rock
Little Kids Rock is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that transforms children’s lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in underfunded public schools. Little Kids Rock was founded in San Francisco in 2002 by David Wish, an elementary school teacher who had grown frustrated with the lack of music education funding at his school. Today, Little Kids Rock is one of the leading nonprofit providers of free lessons and instruments to underprivileged children in US public schools, and has served more than 100,000 students at over 1,200 schools in 24 cities nationwide. Little Kids Rock Honorary Board Members include Bonnie Raitt, Slash, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Slash, Ziggy Marley and other famous friends in the music industry. More information can be found at: www.littlekidsrock.org.

Bernie helps a charity.

I received the following e-mail. While the Yankees are preparing for the Rangers, Bernie Williams helps a charity. As for Vanilla Fudge, I have a tape at home which has a clip of them on the Ed Sullivan show! Led Zep in 1969 only had the one album out at the time. I believe it was from this tour with Vanilla Fudge that Zep got most of the Led Zeppelin II LP.

New York Yankees icon/Grammy-nominated guitarist Bernie Williams and Season 8 American Idol Kris Allen will be honored at the B.B. King Blues Club on October 21st as part of the “Right to Rock” charitable benefit event to help Cedar Grove-based charity, Little Kids Rock (www.littlekidsrock.org) restore and revitalize music programs in public schools nationwide.

Performers include Bernie Williams, legendary rock band Vanilla Fudge (Led Zeppelin opened for them in 1969), world-renowned guitarist Muriel Anderson, along with Little Kids Rock students who will rock out with the professionals.

Here is the press release with more details: http://littlekidsrock.org/pr-righttorock2010.html

The “Right to Rock” Celebration also features a Celebrity Guitar Auction, with custom Fender Stratocasters that have been personally decorated and/or autographed by celebrities such as Stephen Colbert, Gene Simmons, Stan Lee, Kenny Scharf, Lou Reed, Karen O and many more to create one-of-a-kind, playable pieces of art. Check out these guitars here: http://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/22744

Be sure to click the links for more information.  

MSG the Lineup. CF.

Well, I picked the #1 CF (Mays) and had 3 of the 4 runnersup. Mantle, DiMaggio and Snider.

I differed on one player.

I chose Bernie Williams.

1991-2006. .297 BA, 287 HR.

Average 162 game season, .297-22-98, 11 SB, 125 OPS+. 2x top 10 mvp. 1 batting title. 4 GG.

Their choice was Earle “The Kentucky Colonel” Combs. .325 and a HOF. CF on the 1927 club. 1924-1935, career shortened when he fractured his skull running into the wall at Sportsman’s Park in 1934.  

A 162 g. season for Combs would translate to .325-6-70, 11 SB; OPS+ 126.

The average goes to Combs, a leadoff hitter, the power to Bernie, who was in the middle of the lineup.

I can’t really argue with the panel’s selection of Combs over Bernie. It’s a tossup to me. The only knock against Combs could be his brevity. 9 years of 100 or more games played, but then that injury…

In the leaderboard of fans vs. the panel, I am still in 2nd place.

Next week, pitchers.

Home Opener today. Andy gets #230 in 7-5 Yankees win, fueled by El Capitan.

Whitey and Yogi hand out the rings, Bernie throws out the first ball and Pettitte on the mound vs. Ervin Santana. I’ll be at work until 2, so will miss the start, then have some errands to do.

BTW, a nice piece from the SWB scorecard I received from a friend. Last year, Scott Aldred, SWB’s pitching coach, coached AAA SWB to the best ERA in the International League. The previous two years, while coaching the AA Trenton Thunder, they had the best ERA in the Eastern League.  


In the 6th as I get home from work and a few errands. Yanks up 3-0. Nick Johnson HR’d in the first and Jeter in the 3rd. Jeter had another RBI in the 4th with an infield single. Andy looks great.

Jeter HR #225, twenty less than Jorge.

2 run bases loaded single for A-Rod in the 6th. 5-0.  

Andy out after 6 superb innings, 0 R, 5 H, 3 walks and 6 K. Looking for career win #230.   

Park in.   

Posada doubles in the 7th. The double passes Mickey Mantle on the all-time list and Sterling shows some ignorance.

Yes, John, it is something that Posada passed the Mick in doubles. Let’s remember something though. The 536 to 245 HR difference. When the Mick got a hold of one, lots of times it wasn’t off the wall…it was OVER it. Even in the Old Stadium with its cavernous dimensions.

A couple of walks and El Capitan comes up with the bases loaded. He GIDP to finish the inning. A funny story about today is making the rounds. An hour before the ceremony, Girardi and Jeter presented the Boss with his ring. The Boss took off his 2000 ring and slipped on 2009. Jeter, raised in Michigan, then asked the Boss to remove his Ohio St. ring.

Kendry Morales’ HR in the 8th off Park breaks up the shutout.

The Yanks rebound with two in the bottom of the 8th. Johnson leadoff double, walk, double by Posada (again) for one, single by Granderson for another.

Robertson in to finish it off. 7-1 Yanks.   

Robbie having trouble. Best to have it when up six. Bases loaded and no out. He gets a K, but gives up a grand slam to Abreu.

7-5. Now it’s a save situation. Mo?  

Winn in for defense in RF, btw. Nothing he could do on Abreu’s but watch, however.

It is Mo. 2 up, 2 down. A K and a popup of Godzilla.

Save #529 for Mo, win #230 for Andy. HR #225 for Derek, who tied Vada Pinson on the all-time hit list with 2757. Next up? Ken Griffey, Jr. with 2767 (and above that, Andre Dawson’s 2774). Once Jeter passes Junior, Jeter will be the ACTIVE hit leader.


Checking birth certificates and backup catchers.

I see a letter to the Post and different blog entries decrying Nick Johnson for getting hurt and the Yankees for not bringing back Matsui and/or Damon.

Fair enough to be wary of Johnson and his injury history. But in their outcry to bring back Matsui and/or Damon, do these people ever check out baseballreference.com or Who’s Who in Baseball and check out the ages? Matsui will be 36 this summer, Damon is 36. Do you really want (outside of icons like Jeter and Rivera) to give multi-year deals to players 35 and over? Well, do you?

The Yanks already have that with A-Rod, 35 this summer. He’s signed until age 42. They’ll have that with Jeter. Pettitte (38 this summer) has a one-year deal. Mo, 40, is at the end of a three-year deal and you figure he will go year-by-year from here on out as will Pettitte. Posada (39 in August) is in the third year of a four-year deal. After that, who knows. One thing is for sure…40 year old catchers don’t get multi-year deals.

Yes, it’s tough getting rid of a DH who hit 28 HR, 90 RBI, 131 OPS+, and was the WS MVP.  His price with the Angels is affordable. Same with Damon, whose at-bat and play in WS Game 4 turned the series in the Yankees’ favor. 24 HR, 82 HR, 126 OPS+. Hard to replace. As for Damon and Boras, they could have taken the Yanks’ offer. Probably should have. Can’t fault the Yanks for that one.  

But are you going to, just out of sentiment, let the team get old overnight? What if everyone hit the wall at the same time?

I know it sounds cruel, and I remember the cries when the Yanks didn’t bring Bernie back, despite it being obvious that Bernie’s last great season was 2002 (OPS+ numbers, 2002 to 2006: 141, 107, 108, 85, 96). When the Yanks let Bernie go, it was TIME to let him go.

As Branch Rickey said, better to let someone go one year too early than one year too late, and quite frankly, I think Damon will have trouble in Detroit. His wife wasn’t happy about Detroit, it’s a big ballpark (over/under on JD’s HR total this year is 15 for me) and I don’t think JD’s arm (or lack of) and that ballpark will be a good fit.

On another front, there are concerns about backup catcher for the Yankees, especially after the beaning Cervelli took. Cervelli is young (24) with just 45 MLB games under his belt. Should he falter or this beaning have a great effect, Mike Rivera will be the backup catcher, as the Yanks aren’t going to rush Montero and Romine. Rivera, 33, has 181 MLB games under his belt. .244 career hitter.

A lot depends on Posada. How much do you need a backup catcher? If Posada is ok, then…for example, Jose Molina was fine defensively, but his 2009 offensive stats (.217-1-11, OPS+ 51) were horrible.

Of course we remember how much was lost when Jorge missed most of the 2008 season.

But how many of you remember the backup on the 2000 WS Champion Yankee team?

Chris Turner got in 37 games, went 21 for 89. .236-1-7. OPS+ 61.

The following year? The 2001 AL Champs?

Todd Greene. 35 games. .208-1-11. 20 for 96, just 3 walks. OPS+ 36. Yup. 36.

Every year, it all comes down to Posada’s health, not the backup catcher’s.

Once again, the key for me this year is Jorge. At 38 (39 in August), how long can he hold up?

Yanks have a trip to Ft. Myers today. Pettitte will throw a simulated couple of innings and not make the two-hour trip. Mitre will go. The advantage of being a seasoned vet.

Split-squad tomorrow.  

How do you know what tomorrow brings?

It’s interesting to see some people’s comments on Damon and Matsui. Now don’t get me wrong. I am going to miss both of them. Clutch. Very good players. Hard to replace.

But in reading between the lines, I get the assumption that people expect the same from them in 2010 as they did in 2009.

Which, maybe, they accomplish. One thing I did mention to friends was this: The 2009 Yankees were one of the oldest teams to win a WS. Think about it. The #3 starter (ages at WS time) was 37. Your closer just short of 40. A 35 year old SS. The oldest SS to win a WS since Pee Wee Reese in 1955. Third base? 34. Not to mention a 38 year old catcher, soon to be 36 LF and 35 year old DH. How long could superb production out of that group have continued?

Matsui got a one-year deal. If he duplicates .274-28-90, OPS+ 131 more power to him. What are the odds that he does not? He’ll be 36 next summer.

Damon was apparently looking for a two-year deal. What are the odds that, at 36, Damon cannot replicate .282-24-82 with 12/12 in SB and an OPS+ of 126?

What are the odds that both, in 2010, start a decline?

Branch Rickey always said that it is best to get rid of a player one year too early than one year too late.

I’ll miss JD and Matsui. But people should not naturally assume that 2010’s numbers will be the same as 2009’s. It is why I consider Posada the key to the 2010 season. At 38, 39 in August of 2010, how close can he come to his almost unprecedented numbers for a catcher that he put up this year? .285-22-81? OPS+ 133?

38 year old catchers aren’t supposed to do that.

Can Jeter, 35 now, 36 next summer, hit over .330 again? How much does Andy and Mo have left in their arms? 

People have to remember 1965. After winning their fifth straight pennant and falling to the Cardinals in a seven-game WS in 1964, the Yanks had a 36 year old catcher who fell off the face of the earth. Ellie Howard went from .313, 84 RBI and 3rd in the MVP vote to .233 and 45 RBI. How many in Feb. 1965 saw that kind of drop coming?

Mantle was just 33 but had a body that seemed much older. Could Matsui’s knees be going like Mantle’s were? Who knows. But in Feb. 1965, who saw Mickey’s numbers going from 1964 MVP runnerup at .303-35-111 to .255-19-46?

Who foresaw Maris at 30 getting an injury that would preclude him from ever hitting over 13 HR ever again?

Who foresaw a pitcher who won 39 games over the prior two years (Bouton) going 4-15? Bouton was just 26.

Who foresaw the 37 year old Whitey Ford starting out 1965 3-6, 5.30 on his way to 16-13, 3.24…then going just 4-9 after 1965?

Who foresaw Pepitone dropping from 100 RBI to 62? After all, he was just 24.

It kind of reminds me of Bernie. We all loved him and miss him. But eventually the numbers do go down. In Feb. of 2003, who would have thought the 34 year old would drop from .333-19-102, OPS+ 141 to .263-15-64, OPS+ 107 and miss some forty games?

There is more. The point is, We hope that what someone did in the past translates to the future. But you don’t know. You just don’t know.

I’ll miss JD and Matsui.

But to think they would have replicated 2009 in 2010….you just don’t know.