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Spurn, Baby, Spurn!

All I want this holiday season is a B&W. No, not the root beer. B&W are the initials for a player best known for his exploits for another New York baseball team, that oft leaves him feeling unwanted at this time of year.

I'm talking about possibly soon-to-be ex-Yankee Bernie Williams, whom I feel would be a good fit for the 2007 Mets.

If you work off the presumption that the Mets will carry 11 pitchers, that leaves room for 14 position players. The eight starters are pretty well defined at this point, and the bench as comprised at this moment (Msrs Chavez, Johnson Easley, Castro, and Franco) leaves room for one more batsman. Now, that spot could be filled by Lastings Milledge, but it seems a waste of a roster spot to have Milledge on the team if he's not playing every day (let's also factor in Milledge's potential as a trade chip). It could be filled by Anderson Hernandez, but his usefulness is limited by his inability to swing a consistent bat.

I prefer it be filled by Williams for a number of reasons beyond his fitting in well with the senior-citizen/win-now theme of the 2007 squad (slogan being "Our Team, Our running out.").

The bench, as currently comprised, is bereft of switch-hitters. I think the Mets would be well-suited to carry one because it will increase their options when matchups become a factor at the end of a game. I think that Willie Randolph would feel pretty good about being able to go to Williams, rather than Franco, in a big spot, and I'm comfortable with that.

I'm also a little concerned about the well-being of our centerfielder, who has dealt with badly-timed injuries in each of the past two seasons, and still hasn't overcome the mental hurdle of hitting in his home ballpark. Bernie Williams would be good to have around for insurance purposes. We know he can hit at Shea- in 71 regular-season at-bats in Flushing, he has a .352 batting average- and his pricetag would be fairly inexpensive.

The other thing that's likeable about Bernie Williams is his walk-offability, and you had to figure I'd squeeze that in somewhere. Over the last 50 seasons, Williams and Graig Nettles are tied for the most walk-off RBI by a Yankees player with 12. Williams has a history of success, both in regular at-bats and in walk-off scenarios in the postseason, having hit game-ending home runs in LCS play against Randy Myers and Rod Beck (insert snide remark here about how he never would have taken strike 3 in Game 7).

Logistically speaking, it's difficult to carry six outfielders on a roster that is going to include 11 pitchers, but Omar Minaya has a way of making things like this work out for the best. It would behoove him to maneuver such that Bernie Williams would have interest in coming to play for the Mets. I realize that it's an unlikely possibility, but would be no worse a move than paying .500 pitchers $11 million a season. And unlikely those signings, this one could make a big difference.

True Mettiams know...Besides Randy Myers, the only other ex-Met to give up a walk-off hit to Bernie Williams is Robert Person.


Anonymous said…
Although Bernie may have a penchant for the walk-off, he is a Yankee. Call me old-fashioned but don't we have enough Yankee influence with Willie? And we are already carrying 6 outfielders, right? Beltran, Alou, Johnson, Chavez, Milledge, and Green. So no Bernie, please.

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