Results tagged ‘ Bernie Williams ’
Mariano Rivera’s first appearance of the 2013 season Thursday night set a club record for years with the Yankees. This marks Mo’s 19th season in pinstripes, which breaks the tie he had shared with Yogi Berra (1946-63), Mickey Mantle (1951-68) and Derek Jeter (1995-2012). Once Jeet comes off the disabled list, of course, he will go back into a tie with Rivera.
Next in line with 17 seasons with the Yankees are Lou Gehrig (1923-39), Bill Dickey (1928-43, ’46), Frankie Crosetti (1932-48) and Jorge Posada (1995-2011). With 16 seasons apiece are Whitey Ford (1950, ’53-67) and Bernie Williams (1991-2006).
Rivera’s save to preserve the 4-2 victory over the Red Sox for Andy Pettitte also made it 18 years in a row (1996-2013) in which Mo has saved at least one game, tying the major-league record with John Franco.
In the major-league opener Sunday night between the Astros and the Rangers, Houston center fielder Justin Maxwell hit two triples to become one of only six players in history to triple twice in a season opener. One of them was the Yankees’ Tommy Henrich in 1950, his final season. “Old Reliable,” as Henrich was known, had more triples (8) than doubles (6) or home runs (6) that year. Henrich hit 73 triples over his 11-season career (he lost three full seasons to military service during World War II) and led the league twice, with 14 in 1948 and 13 in 1947.
Here is some more cool stuff about Raul Ibanez, the slugging hero of the Yankees’ 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Orioles Wednesday night in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium:
• Ibanez became the first player in major league history to hit two home runs in a postseason game with both coming in the ninth inning or later (includes, pinch-hit, game-tying, game-winning, etc.)
• His ninth-inning, game-tying pinch-hit homer was the first pinch homer of his postseason career. It was the 12th all-time pinch-hit postseason HR by a Yankees player and the first since Hideki Matsui Oct. 31, 2009 in Game 3 of the World Series at Philadelphia.
• He became the first player in franchise history to hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning or later to tie the game or give the Yankees the lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ibanez was sixth player in postseason history to hit a pinch homer in that situation. The others were Pat Sheridan (1985 Royals), Kirk Gibson (1988 Dodgers), Ed Sprague Jr. (1992 Blue Jays), Jim Leyritz (1998 Padres) and J.T. Snow (2000 Giants).
• Ibanez’s first postseason walk-off home run of his career was the 12th postseason walk-off homer in Yankees history (third in a Division Series game) and the first since Mark Teixeira Oct. 9, 2009 in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Twins at the Stadium. It came in the second latest inning of the 12 Yankees postseason “walk-off” HRs with only Leyritz’s 15th-inning homer Oct. 4, 1995 in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Mariners at the Stadium occurring later.
• It was the 23rd multi-homer postseason game in Yankees franchise history (by the 17th player) and first since Hideki Matsui Oct. 16, 2004 in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series at Boston. It was the third multi-homer ALDS game by a Yankees player (also Bernie Williams twice Oct. 6, 1995 in Game 3 at Seattle and Oct. 5, 1996 in Game 4 at Texas).
• It marked the seventh time (sixth player) that a Yankee hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning or later in the postseason, and first since Alex Rodriguez did it twice in 2009 (Game 2 of the ALCS against the Angels and Game 2 of the ALDS against the Twins, all at the Stadium.
• Dating to Sept. 22, Ibanez has 18-for-42 (.429) with nine runs, three doubles, six home runs and 11 RBI in 13 games, including 4-for-9 (.444) against left-handed pitching.
• The walk-off homer off Brian Matusz was Ibanez’s first home run of any kind off a left-handed pitcher this season.
• Of Ibanez’s 21 home runs this year (19 in the regular season and two in the postseason), 11 have come in the seventh-inning or later and 12 have tied the score or given the Yanks the lead, including nine of his past 13 homers.
• Ibanez is the first player in baseball history to homer twice in a postseason game that he did not start.
• At 40, Ibanez became the oldest player in postseason history to hit a walk-off home run, surpassing current Yankees bench coach Tony Pena who did it in Game 1 of the ALDS in 1995 for the Indians against the Red Sox at Cleveland when he was 38.
Ichiro Suzuki got right into the swing of things for the Yankees Monday night. Accorded a standing ovation from grateful Mariners fans when he came to bat for the first time as a Yankee in the second inning at Safeco Field, Ichiro lashed a single to center field. Soon after that, he stole second base.
Speed has been an element largely lacking in the Yankees’ offense since mid April when Brett Gardner went on the disabled list because of a wrist injury. Gardner being lost for the rest of the season following surgery prompted Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to make the move for Ichiro. If he proves to have plenty of life left in those 38-year-old legs, Suzuki can be a major addition to the Yankees.
Ichiro wore uniform No. 51 for 12 seasons with the Mariners but recognized that the number is identified strongly with Bernie Williams on the Yankees. The number is not retired, but it has not been given to another player since Williams departed after the 2006 season. Suzuki has chosen to wear No. 31 with the Yankees. Probably the former Yankee mostly associated with that number is Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.
This is the second time a former Mariners player who wore No. 51 in Seattle could not get the number after being traded to the Yankees. The other was pitcher Randy Johnson. Williams was still playing for the Yankees when the Big Unit pitched for them in 2005 and ’06 and had to wear No. 41 instead.
With Ichiro joining Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees are the first team to have three players with more than 2,500 hits since 1928 when the Philadelphia Athletics had Eddie Collins, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker. The year before that, the A’s had Collins, Cobb and Zack Wheat.
Despite all the attention focused on Suzuki Monday night, it was another Japanese-born Yankee who grabbed the spotlight. Hiroki Kuroda tamed the Mariners on one run, three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in seven innings to win his fourth straight decision. The righthander over his past 11 starts is 7-1 with a 2.49 ERA in 76 innings to lower his season ERA from 4.56 to 3.34.
The Yankees’ 4-1 victory over the Mariners and Kevin Millwood ended the four-game losing streak from Oakland. The Yanks were more like themselves with 11 hits, including A-Rod’s 15th home run of the season and career No. 644. Rodriguez also doubled. Mark Teixeira had two doubles and a single and drove in a run. The other runs were driven home by Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones.
The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry will take on a different, er, flavor with a cupcake competition this week involving former Bombers center fielder Bernie Williams and former Boston catcher Jason Varitek.
Georgetown Cupcake owner Sophie LaMontagne, star of The Learning Channel’s DC Cupcakes program, will team with Williams against her sister, Katharine Kallinis, and Varitek, to see which team can sell the most cupcakes over a six-day period through Sunday, July 22.
Williams and LaMontagne are offering the New York Pinstripe Pretzel, a Valrhona chocolate cake baked with butterscotch chips and crushed pretzels, topped with a butterscotch-infused buttercream frosting. Varitek’s and Kallinis’ entry is the Green Monstah cupcake, a green version of Georgetown Cupcake’s signature red velvet cupcake topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting.
The Boston-vs.-New York/Sister-vs.-Sister completion will begin Tuesday with Bernie’s arrival at Georgetown Cupcake’s Soho store at 111 Mercer Street between Spring and Prince Streets. Sophie chose to donate all proceeds of her special New York cupcake sales to Bernie’s charity, Hillside Food Outreach, which delivers groceries to needy families in Westchester and Putnam counties.
Varitek will join Kallinis Thursday at Boston’s Faneuil Hall to boost sales to support his charity, Pitching for Kids. The non-profit youth organization is dedicated to improving the lives of children across New England.
This is one case where the rivalry will have no losers.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bernie Williams’ first experience as a manager was bitter, to say the least. The former Yankees center fielder was the skipper for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Games Sunday at Kauffman Stadium that blew a 4-0 lead and got slammed, 17-5, by the U.S. Team that was managed by Hall of Fame third baseman and Kansas City icon George Brett.
Typical of Brett, who haunted the Yankees throughout his career in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, he stepped it up against an opponent who played his entire career for the Yankees.
“I wanted us to step on their throats,” Brett said, “and we did.”
Brett has his tongue wedged deeply in his cheek but couldn’t help being excited about winning a game in the city where he played his whole career for a Royals team which he still serves as a special adviser.
As for Williams, well, he would just as soon get back to his guitar, although he does not rule out the possibility of managing in the future.
“It is something that I might consider because it is a great mental challenge,” he said. “It is kind of intriguing at this point for me.”
Former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams will be back in baseball action during All-Star Game Week when he will serve as manager of the World Team against Hall of Famer George Brett, who will manage the U.S. Team, in the Futures Game July 8 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, two days before the All-Star Game.
“I am very excited to be managing the World Team in the Futures Game,” Williams said. “This game has grown in stature so much through the years, and it is remarkable how many of the young men who have played and starred in this game have become stars in the game today. That will be the case with hopefully many of the players I will have the honor of managing in Kansas City.”
Williams was a member of four World Series-winning teams in his 16-season career with the Yankees. The Puerto Rico native was a four-time Gold Glove Award winner and has more RBI (80) than any player in postseason history.
The Royals have not been the host club for an All-Star Game since 1973, which was the same year that Brett made his major league debut. The former third baseman won three batting titles in three separate decades and ranks 16th on the all-time hits list (3,154). Brett, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999, has spent 19 seasons as KC’s vice president of baseball operations.
Brett, a 13-time All-Star, also managed the Futures Game in 2005, and said last month that he’s looking forward to being a part of the All-Star Game again.
“I’m excited to share the city and stadium I love with today’s All-Stars and baseball fans around the world,” said Brett, who played in 13 All-Star Games. “It’s an honor to be a part once again of the Midsummer Classic and baseball’s special celebration.”
The switch-hitting Williams batted .297 with 287 home runs. He won won the American League batting title with a .339 mark in 1998. Williams has not managed at any level. He said that he played for two of the best in Joe Torre and Buck Showalter. Torre even let Williams manage one game down the stretch as part of a tradition in which he allowed players to sit in his seat.
“I got to help make out the lineup and go to the mound and make the pitching changes, and make some decisions like to hit and run or lay down a bunt,” Bernie said. “It was a lot of fun, but I also saw how hard it was to manage, where you have to be following every pitch, but also thinking ahead a couple of innings and worrying about every player on the other bench. So, I have a great appreciation of what it takes to manage every single day.”
Brett and Williams will have plenty of help from experienced coaches. Brett will be assisted by minor-league Duane Espy, Tony Franklin, Mike Jirschele and Jim Pankovits. The pitching coach for the U.S. team will be Tom Filer, who works in that capacity for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Williams will have minor-league managers Arnie Beyeler, Steve Buechele, Darren Bush and Turner Ward on his staff, along with Double A Akron hitting coach Rouglas Odor and Triple A Columbus pitching coach Ruben Niebla.
Williams has said that he may consider managing at some point in the future, but for now he is busy pursuing his musical passions as both a touring and recording guitarist. The Futures Game, a one-day celebration of the game’s coming generation, provided an opportunity to get back into the game.
“Being from Puerto Rico, I have a special appreciation how the game of baseball has grown to truly be a global game,” he said. “I know I will have the honor of managing players from many different countries. What really made me want to do this was after being invited, I was told that the players who will be playing in this game grew up following players like me in my era. While it makes me feel old, it also brought a smile to my face. This is a great showcase of the stars of tomorrow, and I am just thrilled to be a part of it and look forward to spending a couple of days with these kids.”
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez keep moving up the Yankees’ career lists. The left side of the club’s infield had standout efforts along with starting pitcher CC Sabathia as the Yankees took their winning ways in Boston all the way down to Texas in knocking off the red-hot Rangers, 7-4.
A-Rod’s first hit off a left-handed pitcher this year was a big one, a three-run homer in the fifth inning off the Rangers’ Derek Holland that gave the Yankees a five-run lead. It must have been particularly satisfying for Alex considering that he is regularly booed at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington since he pushed for the trade that brought him to the Yankees in 2004. Monday night was no different. With a sellout crowd of 48,234 on hand to celebrate the retirement of another Rodriguez, Ivan a/k/a Pudge, there were plenty of Texas-sized voices to ring A-Rod’s ears. What better way to answer taunts than hit a towering home run?
It was Rodriguez’s 632nd career home run and his 287th with the Yankees, the latter number tying him with Bernie Williams for sixth place on the franchise list. A-Rod has a way to go to catch up with the guy who is fifth on that list – Hall of Famer Yogi Berra at 358.
Jeter’s run-scoring double in the sixth, one of his four hits in the game, raised his career RBI total to 1,210, which brings him even with Hall of Famer Bill Dickey for seventh on the club ladder. Bernie is sixth at 1,257 RBI. The 4-for-5 game shot DJ’s batting average to .411. The Captain’s success against a lefthander – all four hits were off Holland – comes as no surprise. He is batting .630 against lefties this year (that’s right – 17-for-27) and raked southpaws at a .349 clip last year.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, had been all but invisible against lefties this year, going 0-for-17 before digging in against Holland, who walked him twice before giving up that bomb off a 0-1 fastball.
Holland has been something of a punching bag against the Yankees while at the same time being one of the American League’s best left-handed starters. He was 16-5 last season for the Rangers, who reached the World Series for the second consecutive season. Against the Yankees, however, Holland has had no success.
His career mark against them fell to 0-5 with a 9.26 ERA. The Yankees have hit .340 against Holland, who has allowed 48 hits (10 of them home runs) in 34 innings with more walks (21) than strikeouts (20). He fell behind in the first inning by giving up a two-out, two-run single to left-handed batting Curtis Granderson. Nick Swisher picked up his 21st RBI in the fifth with a sacrifice fly.
The Rangers, who lost for only the fourth time in 17 games, pecked away at Sabathia (2-0) in the late innings, but the big guy hung tough, especially in the eighth when he set down 3-4-5 hitters Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Mike Napoli, who have combined to drive in 43 runs already this season, on weak grounders. Mariano Rivera followed with a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
Here is how some of the people who crossed Jorge Posada’s path feel about the former Yankees catcher who made his retirement as a baseball player official Tuesday:
Bernie Williams: “I want to congratulate ‘Jorgito’ on an outstanding career. He was one of the greatest catchers of his era, and one of the best Puerto Rican players to ever play the game. He was a great teammate, is a great friend and human being, and will always be a great Yankee. I was honored to take the field with him every day for so many years, and I cherish all the memories we have together, topped off by those World Series championships. Frankly, I can’t believe that ‘Jorgito’ is actually announcing his retirement before I do. Seriously, I wish him, Laura, and the kids happiness and success in their future. He will be missed by the Yankees family, all of his teammates, coaches, and most of all, the great Yankee fans.”
Andy Pettitte: “Jorge was obviously one of the heart and soul pieces of all those championships with us. Everyone brings their own style to the table but Jorge played with so much fire and intensity, and you have to have all the different mixes of personalities on a team to be able to win the way we did. The intensity that he brought on a daily basis to the field was just amazing to watch. He was one of the greatest teammates I’ve ever played with and a great friend and a great person. The fans loved Jorge because of the passion he played with. He didn’t try to hide it, and he didn’t make up excuses. He’s a stand-up guy, and if he wasn’t able to get it done, he would say ‘I didn’t get it done.’ He handled all the victories and all the success with class and never made excuses for anything. Fans love that. They love to see you be real and passionate. When you’re like that in New York, you’re going to be loved, that’s for sure.”
Tino Martinez: “Jorge was one of the cornerstones of all those championship teams, handling the pitching staff all those years. The way he prepared every single day assured that he became the best player he could possibly be. He’s going to go down as one of the greatest all-time Yankees. It’s very rare that somebody comes up through the minor league system with the Yankees and plays 17 years with the club. He did it the right way as a true professional, a great teammate and a great baseball player.”
Yogi Berra: “Jorge is a good kid, and he had a wonderful career. He has always been one of the toughest and most passionate guys on the club. The Yankees don’t win those championships without him.”
Alex Rodriguez: “Jorge has bled the pinstripes for a long, long time, and he played with a passion that certainly rubbed off on his teammates. To play the number of games that he did, at the level he did, year in and year out, at the toughest position on the field, is a credit to his commitment to his craft. He left everything out on the field, and that’s what made him special.”
Gene Michael: “I remember when we switched Jorge in the minors from second base to catcher. I always got reports of his improvement. Jorge was a worker – someone who was always in shape and who you didn’t have to worry about. Even from the beginning, I loved how selective he was at the plate, his power, his strong arm and the fact that he was a switch-hitter. In my tenure as general manager [from Aug. 1990 through Oct. 1995], I never talked about him in a trade. In the big leagues, he provided big time offensive production, and you never had to platoon him. He was tough, durable and the little things just didn’t bother him. He was a lot like Thurman [Munson] in that way.”
Gene Monahan: “Jorge Posada is far beyond your true, loyal Yankee. Jorge lives this team, organization and city. A family man unmatched, his love for family and team is shown every single day, and I’ve been there every step of the way to witness and testify to it. Jorgie’s sense of humor with his teammates and especially with me, in spite of countless painful days, has always been refreshing and energizing. He always helped us to excel, succeed and enjoy the game the way it’s supposed to be. His career blessed us. On Opening Day 2010, it was Jorge Posada who singlehandedly took his team and the entire Yankee Stadium crowd to a place that was humbling beyond expression, when he lovingly honored me. Every day for the remainder of my life, I will remember and reflect on his love, as he brought it out from our team and our fans. There is no real way to adequately express the emotion of that moment and what it meant to me.”
Joe Torre: “Jorge Posada has been a winner during the season, the postseason and in the clubhouse. He is a loyal and devoted Yankee and is a champion in the game of life. I will always treasure the time I spent with him.”
David Wells: “Jorge was exceptional behind the plate. He gave you so much in terms of his target, working the umpires, and with the level of communication that he had. To me, the pitcher has to be comfortable and in-sync with the catcher. He fought with me, worked with me, and knew the counts. If I didn’t see something that he did, I would shake off his sign, and he would just put down the same sign again. Whenever that happened, I realized that he knew something I didn’t. It speaks to the trust I had in him. He always wanted the pitcher to feel as comfortable as he could. That’s why in my mind, he was the greatest catcher.”
Mike Piazza: “I’d like to congratulate Jorge on a fantastic career. As two catchers playing in New York at the same time, I was able to get to know him over the years and appreciate everything he brought to the table. He was a general behind the plate and delivered in the clutch when it mattered most. I wish him well on his retirement.”
Jason Varitek: “After hundreds of head-to-head games during the regular season and the postseason, I can’t say I respect and admire anyone at our position more than I do Jorge. The hard work and preparation he put into catching is a huge reason he has five championships on his resume. He is a true grinder.”
Arlene Howard (widow of Elston): “Jorge has carried on the tradition of great Yankees catchers most notably Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard and Thurman Munson. Jorge has lived up to the tradition of great Yankees catchers.”
Paul O’Neill: “Jorge was one of my most favorite teammates of all time. He was into winning. He was mentally tough, physically tough, and he was never scared. It means a lot that he is retiring as a Yankee. As the seasons go on, I think people will realize how important he was to the team, and how big a role he played in the Yankees’ success over the years. He was a great teammate and a fun guy off the field. I had a lot of fun with Jorge. I have all the respect in the world for him. He is going to be considered for the Hall of Fame, and any time people talk about you that way, it tells you what type of player you are.”
Al Leiter: “Jorge was an unbelievable competitor, one of the fiercest competitors I’ve seen in a long time. He was always tough to face when I was pitching. He made me work hard, like when he drew a leadoff walk against me in the 2000 World Series [I still think I got him on that 3-2 pitch!]. On the flip side, I loved having him as a teammate in 2005. He had a special drive and a special will to win, which is a throwback to the old days. You always knew what to expect with Jorge. He wasn’t flashy. He was just immensely talented and a great leader.”
John Flaherty: “Jorge was the ultimate teammate, someone who always put the team before himself. He wasn’t a vocal leader; rather, he let his actions speak for themselves. It was an honor sharing the Yankees clubhouse with him, and my time with him was made even more special since we were both catchers. He handled himself with such class on the field and in the clubhouse. When I think of what the New York Yankees represent, I think of Jorge. Class. Humility. Tough as nails. Fierce competitor. That’s Jorge Posada.”
Derek Jeter: “I know how he feels, I know how much he cares. That’s what people are going to miss. I think that’s what the fans are going to miss. You can’t fake it. The fans appreciated him so much because he cared about winning, he cared about doing his job.”
Mariano Rivera: “It’s hard, playing with teammates like that and they’re retiring. That’s telling you one thing: your time will come. Bernie and Andy and now Jorge. . .it was a blessing to me to play with all these men that I love.”
Where was Jeffrey Maieir when the Yankees could have used him? The New Jersey schoolboy of 1996 American League Championship Series lore came to mind in the fifth inning Saturday night when Robinson Cano hit a ball off the top of the wall in left field. Fans cheered believing it was a two-run home run, but umpires held up Cano at second base.
Unlike 15 years ago when umpires were not allowed to view video replays to determine contested home run calls, the six umpires were able by since adopted rules to review the play at the request of Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who believed Cano had homered and given the Yankees a 3-1 lead.
The skipper was half right. The umpires upheld the call of a double for Cano but allowed Curtis Granderson, who was running from first base full speed, to score that put the Yankees ahead, 2-1.
Yankees fans along the left field fence obviously were aware of the dangers of interfering with a ball near the wall. Two fans wearing yellow slickers put their hands in the air and away from the wall so that they would not make contact with Cano’s drive which hit the top of the fence and bounced back onto the field.
In Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, Jeter was credited with a home run on a drive to right field that was caught by Maier wearing a glove and extending his arms over the fence. Richie Garcia, the right field umpire, did not call interference on the young fan. The ruling gave Jeter a game-tying home run in the eighth inning of a game that the Yankees won over the Orioles in the 11th on a homer by Bernie Williams. The Yankees went on to win the best-of-7 series in 5 games.
Garcia later admitted that he blew the call and should have ruled interference that would have left Jeter at second base. Fortunately for the Yankees at that time, the rule that is in place now was not then.
Bernie Williams is on his way to Cooperstown.
The former Yankees center fielder turned successful musician will appear at the National Baseball Hall of Fame for two sessions Friday as part of the Museum’s Authors’ Series program. He will discuss his new book, “Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Musical and Athletic Performance,” with co-authors Dave Gluck and Bob Thompson, in two one-hour long events: one starting at 2:30 p.m. and another at 5:30 p.m. Both programs, which will be held in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater, will be followed by an hour-long book signing for those in attendance. Copies of “Rhythms of the Game” will be available in the Hall of Fame Bookstore.
At 8 p.m., Williams – an accomplished jazz guitarist who was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for his 2009 album, Moving Forward – will perform “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the Museum’s Plaque Gallery for all ticket holders from the 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Authors’ Series programs.
“I’ve been extremely blessed in transitioning out of baseball – in part because of my supportive family, but also because music has always been a big part of my life – and now I get to do it full-time,” said Williams, who will be on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot that will be mailed out to Baseball Writers’ Association of America members in December. “But there is something else that was even more critical in transitioning. I grew up understanding that a career should never define who you are. Relationships define who you are.”
Tickets are required for the Authors’ Series programs, and only those ticketed for the Authors’ Series programs will be admitted to the performance of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Tickets are free but must be reserved by calling 607-547-0397 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.