Apparently because [Hawkins] had the audacity to wear No. 21 -- which had not been given out since Paul O'Neill retired.I agree with Mr. Price on this one. O'Neill was the heart and soul of the 1990's dynasty, but is not among the Yankee greats who deserve to see their number retired. I do believe it is only respectful to let the number sit in mothballs for a few more years before a rent-a-reliever like Hawkins is able to wear #21. Had it been Jose Tabata or Action Jackson, it would have been much easier for the Yankees faithful to handle.
First, Paul O'Neill's number can still be retired. Eight players -- EIGHT -- wore No. 3 for the Yankees after Babe Ruth.
Second, while Paul O'Neill is inextricably linked to the 1996-2000 dynasty, is he really an all-time great? You have to figure Nos. 2 (Jeter), 6 (Torre), 13 (A-Rod) and 20 (will be retired), and Mariano Rivera's No. 42 will never be worn again because of him and Jackie Robinson.
Also, I didn't see it myself, but I had heard there were some jeers when Andy Pettitte was announced - guess not all Mets fans can fly down to Florida to see Pedro.
The Star Ledger further reported that Hank Steinbrenner's favorite portion of the game was "the Big Two," which refers to Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera.