R.I.P. Pinstripe Bernie

I might be premature in me lament, but Bernie Williams, I will miss seeing you in pinstripes.

For those not obsessively staring at mlb.com every day until pitchers and catchers finally report (tomorrow, for those not so informed), it looks like the Yankees and #51 Bernie Williams will finally part ways. The Yanks have offered him a minor league contract deal, but he probably won't take it. I don't blame him. Sixteen seasons with the Bronx Bombers and he's supposed to take a back seat? No way, Jorge (as in Steinbrenner, not Posada).

Please understand, I'm not mad at the Yankees- at least not with any Yankees or associates whose names don't end in -einbrenner. Changing teams is a natural part of the baseball-playing process. It's just sad when such a key player and prominent piece of the team who has been with them so long has to go. For me, Bernie is a cornerstone in the foundation of recent Yankee greats that led them to so many titles in the 90s- joined by Derek Jeter (the new Mr. October/November), Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera, arguably the game's best closer ever. I kinda grew up with these guys- much less than I did with the Cardinals of the 90s, but still...

Bernie is leaving the Bronx.

In Yankee Stadium, center field will never be the same.


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