Saturday, January 6, 2007

Bernie, Cairo, Weaver?

ESPN is reporting that there may not be room for Bernie Williams on the 2007 Yankee roster. This comes as of no surprise, especially since Melky was never unloaded when the Mike Gonzalez rumors were flying. Bernie will be missed, but a decision on his future may drag out. Not much that hasn't been said about Williams, but for all the mental blocks in the outfield or base-running blunders, Bernie was an irreplacable cog in the Championship years. His hits were clutch, his class irrefutable and his love for the game unforgettable.

As for the infield . . . Having lost Mark Loretta to the Houston Astros as the perfect utility infielder, New York is close to bringing Miguel Cairo back to the Bronx. Cairo is a capable utility guy and his numbers usually misrepresent him as a Rey Ordonez type.

Also, the Mets are rumored to have interest in Jeff Weaver. Sure making the transition from AL to NL drops a starter's ERA and increases their value, but are the Mets really going to put a timebomb like Weaver back into the flammable New York environment. God bless you Omar if you pull the trigger on this deal. Weaver has always had great stuff, but every Yankees fan would be puzzled by a Big Apple reunion.

The NY Post had a few interesting tidbits for Yankeeland. Although Scott Proctor has been told to prepare for Spring training as a starting pitcher, one would have to assume that a proven starter will fill that role (maybe one currently in their minor league system) instead of a progressing reliable reliever of value. Would the Rocket suffice? When asked, Cashman slickly responded with: "I have nothing hot going with any free-agent pitcher right now."

Kevin Kernan offered a fresh stat on the departure of Randy Johnson:

Official scorer Howie Karpin looked back at Johnson's two-season Yankees career and noted that the Big Unit, who won 34 games in 67 starts, blew a lead in 28 of those starts.
Anyone who watched Johnson pitch over the past two years could have told you that he tends to blow leads but who would have thought the percentage was that high? Johnson was given the highest run support in the Majors and this might have a little to do with the 17 wins in 2006 that so many fans are frantic about replacing. The average of 215 innings per season was the Unit's greatest asset.

Kernan also offered an update on Murcer:
The Yankees said Bobby Murcer is doing extremely well after surgery to remove a brain tumor. Murcer, 60, was released from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on Sunday.

"He is currently back at home in Oklahoma, relaxing and enjoying many everyday activities," the Yankees said in a statement. "Since the surgery, Bobby has had no setbacks."
He may not be out of the woods yet, but this is some relieving news. If the tumor wasn't caught early who knows what shape Murcer would be in, so we should all be thankful that he is recuperating so well.

By the way, when is Buster Olney returning from his well-deserved vacation? I'm sure I speak for many when I say that I miss his daily exploits and would like to hear his take on the recent offseason activity: Johnson, Clemens, Zito, etc.

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