Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bon Voyage Bernie

Well the wait is over. Over the last week, Tampa became a vigil. Homegrown products and hired-guns alike wondered if the grizzled four-time champion would once more ride into town & battle for a roster spot. But he never came.

Bernie has officially turned down the Yankees invite to Spring camp.
Bernie Williams rejected the Yankees' offer of a Minor League contract and will wait to see if a guaranteed job opens up for him on the team.

Yankees manager Joe Torre spoke with Williams last week and tried to reach him, without success, on Sunday.

"Bernie told me he had talked with Joe. Other than the invite, there wasn't any information that led him to believe he would be a member of the team," Williams' agent, Scott Boras, said Tuesday. "He's continuing to work out, will wait to see if their position changes."

Even though the Yankees icon is apparently in the dumps about experiencing the 07 Yankees from afar, he still has expressed that he will continue working out in the hopes that a roster spot opens up. Barring another flurry of serious injuries - think Sheff & Godzilla - Williams will most likely ride into the sunset.

A sunset full of Yankeeographies, Centerstages and video tributes at the Stadium.

When understanding that Bernie refuses to dilute his Bronx legacy by finishing his career in an alien city, one word comes to mind. Loyalty-Loyalty-Loyalty. Say it three times and think of #51 strolling into right center for a high popfly. That towering shot off of Kenny Rogers that just sliced foul in the 2006 ALDS may be the final image Yankee fans witness before the graceful, classy, Williams settles into retirement.

I will miss Bernie Williams. He was fun to watch, a joy to root for and as clutch as it gets.

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