Bronx, NY: The Bernie Williams saga was resurrected when Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, and Williams agreed to the terms of a one year, $2.5 million contract for Williams to assume the position of bat boy for the New York Yankees. Williams’ contract had ended years ago with a minor league contract offer and a chance to compete for the last roster spot on the team during spring training. The veteran outfielder declined the offer, wanting a definite spot on the team. This bat boy compromise gave Williams his wish, and helped fill out Girardi’s roster of all-star geriatrics.
“I really needed him to be a part of this team,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi explained. “He’s been an integral part of this franchise’s success over the years, and I wanted it to continue in any way possible. It was either make him bat-boy, or allow him to play his guitar and sing during the seventh inning stretch. I think this is safer for all parties.”
“I couldn’t in good faith give Bernie a definite spot and contract. We have so many great players, that giving spots based on seniority would have been a disaster,” commented Cashman. “If Yogi Berra had put us in this situation, we would have come to the same decision. Luckily with Bernie’s skills, he is fully qualified to fetch bats and field foul balls to throw into the crowd. And he will still assume the number 51.”
Williams’ agent Scott Boras explained the situation simply. “I needed my percentage, and this was the best way to get that. With his conditioning, he may be able to play bat boy for 4 or 5 years. We wanted to make sure he could fulfill the role, since sanding bats and oiling gloves can be a very tough job.”
Bernie Williams was not present for comment.