Amid Aaron Decide’s legendary season and murky future in New York, a Yankees legend who as soon as stood in comparable footwear provided his two cents.
Moments earlier than the 74th Yankees Old-Timers’ Day ceremony Saturday afternoon — the Previous-Timers’ Recreation was canceled as a consequence of accidents and vaccination statuses, the Yankees stated — Bernie Williams conversed with fellow honorees in Monument Park, the place his retired No. 51 and placard are proudly displayed. Although the star middle fielder spent his whole 16-year MLB profession with the Yankees, his divorce from the workforce appeared all however inevitable following the 1998 season.
On the heels of profitable the American League batting title and a World Collection championship — the second of his younger four-year profession — Williams entered that offseason anticipating to be paid with the perfect of them. Simply a number of months earlier, he had turned down a five-year extension price $37.5 million. His basic supervisor on the time, Bob Watson, didn’t take kindly to the rejection, asserting, “That is star cash for a non-star participant.”
When the rival Pink Sox provided Williams a seven-year contract price $91.5 million — greater than $30 million above and two years longer than the Yankees’ greatest supply — it seemed as if Williams’ days in New York have been over. In a single final transfer of desperation, nevertheless, the Gold Glove outfielder requested a gathering with proprietor George Steinbrenner on Thanksgiving eve to specific his want to stay a Yankee. Shortly after that, the membership introduced Williams’ seven-year, $87.5 million deal.
Very similar to Williams, Decide desires the respect of his workforce, and would love it to be mirrored within the type of a monster payday. After rejecting the Yankees’ seven-year, $213.5 million extension supply in April, the 30-year-old Decide blasted 41 residence runs within the first 101 video games of the season, placing him on tempo for 66 homers. He has proven no indicators of slowing down because the All-Star break, both, with a .417/.500/.1139 slash line over 9 video games coming into Saturday.
As Decide continues to dominate and offseason contract talks loom, Williams stated he believes the slugging outfielder ought to benefit from the recreation he loves and let his bat do the speaking.
“The moments that he has now to play the sport … are his distraction from this complete situation that’s taking place,” Williams stated earlier than the Yankees’ 8-2 win over the Royals. “I do know that he, like myself, guess on himself to have a terrific yr, to place himself in a superb place to have leverage to barter a superb deal. However that ought to by no means and can ever take precedent over really taking part in the sport.
“You recognize, taking part in the sport is what everyone is right here for. Should you play nicely, and also you deal with your self, you’ll be right here lengthy sufficient, you’re gonna receives a commission, as a result of the expertise is there. However I don’t suppose that needs to be a precedence for him, as a result of his moments that he has now taking part in the sport are moments which are going to come back and go, and he won’t ever have a possibility to relive these issues once more, so he ought to have as a lot enjoyable as he can taking part in the sport proper now. Let the enterprise of the sport deal with itself by what he does on the sphere.”
Tino Martinez, one other Previous-Timer’s Day honoree, thinks Decide’s reign with the workforce is way from over.
“Everyone is aware of his coronary heart is in New York,” Martinez stated. “He loves the New York Yankees. So we’ll go from there.”