And so, unsurprisingly really, on the Yankees decided not to pick up the $12.3 million club option for Bernie Williams next season (2006).
Even with the woes (Tony Wo(e)mack anyone ;)) the Yanks have had in centerfield this season $12.3m was probably seen as too much for a guy that’s decline has been very noticeable for the last couple of years both with the bat and in the field, resulting in him not being one of the first names on the team sheet.
Of course this doesn’t mean the end of Bernie’s career in pinstripes as he said –
It doesn’t mean I will or will not be a Yankee. They can still talk to meBernie Williams
But as said after 8 straight .300 seasons (1995-2002) the sharp decline over the last 3, along with some not great fielding would suggest it’s a bit unlikely and I don’t know if he’d head elsewhere, would be strange to see him in another uniform.
I know I’ve had a go at Bernie over the last couple of years, it always seems in the clutch guys on base with 2 outs he strikes out, he is one of Yanks fans favourite players of this era, probably tops along with Mariano.
20 years with the Yankees, 15 wearing pinstripes in the majors, 4 World Series wins (in 6 appearances), 6 All Star games, 4 Golden Gloves, the most postseason games in Major league history with 115, ranking 4th, 5th or 6th in most Yankees all time batting records Bernie deserves his place in Yanks affection.
What would we give for a late ’90s Bernie Williams playing centerfield today ❓