Do The Right Thing
Retire Bernie, with your dignity intact. Do not accept the sprint training invite the Yankees offered you today. Retire with the same class you showed throughout your career. Don't let the last memory of you be as a broken down DH without a spot on the final roster.
Oh who am I kidding, Torre will certainly keep Bernie and let someone useful rot in the minors as another young player is dropped off of the 40-man roster.
SI.com has learned that the Yankees have made Williams a standing offer to come to spring training as a non-guaranteed, nonroster invite. While this wasn't anything close to what he was hoping or looking for, all indications are that he is considering the proposal.
Williams still could decide to retire, too. But the third option, which is to sign a better deal with another team, seems to be out of the question.
Though Williams could have gotten a guaranteed contract elsewhere, people close to him say he considers himself a Yankee and only a Yankee.
But right now he's still grappling with hurt feelings. He sits at home in Westchester County, his pride stinging. He recently told the Westchester Journal News, "When you give a large chunk of your life to a team, it is hard. It's not like I'm a journeyman.''
Williams knows that if he decides to return for what amounts to a tryout, through no fault of his own he becomes the story of spring, superseding returning hero Andy Pettitte, at least until Roger Clemens decides whether to rejoin them. But if Williams retires, he might have regrets about leaving too soon. He was productive last year (.281, 12, 61), maybe more so than the Yankees remember.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:30 PM