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Bernie Williams was once demoted to ninth in the order. How did he handle it?

May 17, 2011, 9:36 AM EDT

bernie-williams-yankees Getty Images

I gotta admit: the Jorge Posada stuff has been a hoot for me. Helps that I’m not a Yankees fan, of course, but I’m not gonna lie: great fun in the way that all off-field drama is great fun for someone tasked with blogging about baseball for living.

Which makes me a bit sad that, with their sixth straight loss last night, the focus seems to be shifting this morning from the PosadaDrama to the Yankees poor performance on the field.  We can’t have that. Not yet anyway. We have all season to talk about teams performing well or performing poorly.  We have to savor the little firestorms as long as possible.

So let us link to The Morning Delivery, which takes us back to April 13, 2005, when a struggling Bernie Williams was put ninth in the order by Joe Torre, the first time he had been there in a decade.  You go read the post, but suffice it to say that he reacted somewhat better to it all than Posada did.

Not that I’m changing my stance on Posada. I still think this is fits the “everyone has a bad day” description and, while not Posada’s finest hour, is not something that should be held against him forever.  But I do feel obligated to compare him somewhat unfavorably to Williams who, in my view, has been totally boned by not being included in that whole “Core Four” nonsense.  He was more important in the more impressive part of the Yankees’ dynasty than Posada ever was and unlike Pettitte he never went anyplace.

Dude is owed a few more props than he gets.

  1. professorperry - May 17, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    Diagnosing the Yankee problems is easy: Jeter stinks. A-rod stinks. The starting pitching frequently stinks.

    My work here is finished.

    • marshmallowsnake - May 17, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      But A-Roid tore it up in the preseason against guys that are now pumping gas!

  2. yankeesfanlen - May 17, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    A few Yankee straditions:

    Best Old Timers Days
    No names on uniforms
    “God Bless American in the 7th, Sinatra at the end
    Veteran “True Yankees” have to be escorted from the field in a straightjacket when their careers are over.

    Bernie had been a perennial powerhouse and fan favorite for years, but was on thin ice when this incident occurred. The next season, Joe Torre had to go nose-to-nose with GMS for one last year. Next season, Bernie wanted to do a walk-on for spring training.

    Ah, History.

    • kopy - May 17, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      Have the Yankees always done God Bless America in the 7th, or just since September 11th? I’m just curious. A lot of teams have done it for the past 9-plus years, but it would be cool if the Yankees actually did it before that.

      • yankeesfanlen - May 17, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        All ballparks did it immediately post9/11, but currently only Yankee Stadium, Turner Field, Dodger Stadium and Safeco do it every night.

      • atlsp - May 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        Turner Field doesn’t do it every night, only on Sundays and (most) Holidays.

    • Glenn - May 17, 2011 at 11:15 AM

      Bernie never went anywhere because the Yankees free agent deal with Albert Belle fell through. Otherwise, he would have signed with the Red Sox. Think how that would have changed things. Belle got hurt pretty soon after that free agent year, though I don’t remember the details.

      • ssazz - May 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Thankfully Bernie reached out to big Stein before signing with the Red Sox and George did the right thing. I would not have been able to deal with that one…

  3. ssazz - May 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Bernie Williams was never included in the “Core Four” “nonsense”, because he wasn’t on the team anymore at the time that (rather lame) nick-name was designated. That was kind of the point. Bernie, Cone, Tino, Paul O’neill, David Wells, El Duque, et al, who were “core” members, not only weren’t with the Yankees anymore, none of them played in the majors anymore. Going into the 2009 season though, Jeter, Mariano, Pettitte, and Jorge, not only still played mlb, but after each had made their major league debut with the Yankees in the 1995 season, they were still playing together in a NYY uniform. (yes, even though Andy made an unfortunate departure for 3 seasons)

    As for Bernie vs Jorge as players of impact during the dynasty run, Bernie Williams was the starting CF and switch hitting clean up hitter on a team that went to the World Series 6 times in 8 years. Most Yankee fans would rightfully place Bernie as a more important player than Jorge. (not to diminish Posada’s role as a starting catcher and switch hitting power bat in his own right during a good portion of that run, who also played a role in winning it all again with his “core four” brethren in 2009) But Bernie was part of the whole turn around that occurred in the early 90’s to begin with, and will always rate right there with Jeter, Pettite and Mo as the homegrown guys who contributed most in getting the whole thing rolling.

  4. sf4916 - May 17, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Correction on the article. Buck Showalter was the manager in 1995, not Torre. Torre won the WS in his first year with NYY in 1996. Showalter screwed in the 1995 ALDS against Seattle.

  5. bigdicktater - May 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    None of ’em can touch Bernie on guitar!

  6. schrutebeetfarms - May 17, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Core five doesn’t rhyme.

  7. thehypercritic - May 17, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    I don’t understand how you can present the Posada thing in a vacuum.

    Torre wasn’t a lesser player who blocked Bernie Williams from arriving to the majors when his talent warranted it. Didn’t cost Bernie the 500 at bats in his prime that will keep him out of Cooperstown. And Bernie wasn’t watching a player with significantly worse production vs righties over 200 games keep his spot in the order.

    It’s not like Girardi pulled Posada aside and told him he was going to ninth like you’d imagine would be the case for a 16 year vet and borderline hall of famer. He just scrawled his name on the lineup card with no heads up.

    The Yankees didn’t present it properly. The man who played Brett Farve to his Aaron Rodgers pulled the trigger. And it wasn’t the right baseball move, just the one that a chickenshit organization was willing to make.

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