Pitching staff should be better this year than last year because I don’t expect injuries to 12 pitchers to occur. Starting five: Orlando Hernandez, Tom Glavine, Oliver Perez, John Maine, Jorge Sosa. Relievers: Scott Schowenweis, Ambiorix Burgos, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez, Aaron Heilman, Chan Ho Park, and Billy Wagner. I believe Chan Ho Park could replace Darren Oliver as a long reliever. I don’t believe he is as good, but more consistency in the starting rotation should reduce the need for a long reliever. Our starting pitching will be bolstered by the return of Pedro Martinez and our relief pitching will be bolstered by Guillermo Mota. If Billy Wagner shows mediocre in closing situations, I think Mota may split relief duty. This is only a prediction. Of course only Spring Training will tell.
Bernie Williams has had a wonderful 17 year career with the Yankees. At 38 years old and coming off the 2006 season, he has shown he can still play baseball. Apparently, he has chosen to put loyalty to the Yankees ahead of his baseball career. As Brian Cashman and Joe Torre would have you believe, he is a washed up player. The Yankees are offering him a face changing chance for him to be a non roster invitee to spring training. I don’t understand why Bernie Williams still chooses to continue with an organization which disrespects his years of contributions.
This is not the first time the Yankees played hard ball with Bernie in negotiations. In 1996, after the World Series, the Yankees were slow to offer Bernie Williams a long term deal. Bernie actually turned down a higher offer from the Boston Red Sox to return to the Yankees. With an agent like Scott Boras, that seemed to be very unusual. He chose to stay and became instrumental to the Yankees gaining three more World Series and successful playoff runs. In 2006, Bernie turned down lucrative offers from other teams to sign a one year incentive laden contract with the Yankees. The Yankees also found they needed him with major injuries to Gary Shefield and Hideki Matsui. Even, though he proved himself valuable to the Yankees in 2006, they have insulted him so far this spring. This is the right of any organization. However, I don’t understand why Bernie just does not move on.
Bernie’s age of 38 is not a problem. The Mets signed Moises Alou to a one year 8 million dollar contract with an option. Moises is 40 and has a history of being injury prone. Other players older than Bernie has signed on to deals. Loyalty should never overide your best interests. Bernie turned down a 5 million dollar offer to play with the Phillies. This baffles me.
I don’t feel sorry for Bernie, however, I don’t understand why he is so loyal to a team that has decided to go on without him. This won’t be the first time that star players have moved on from a team. Even Babe Ruth had to play his final years with another team (Boston Braves). If you choose to continue to play I hope you can consider the Mets. Please.