George M. Steinbrenner III made one of his rare appearances in Tampa. He visited with many players on the team and invited them up to his office to speak with him. Steinbrenner traveled around in a golf cart, and was helped by aides to get up to his office on the fourth-floor.
- First trip up to the office= Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi
- Second trip up to the office= A-rod, Burnett, & Sabathia
- Third trip up to the office= Bernie Williams & Mark Teixeira
Steinbrenner has given the day-to-day operations of the franchise to Hank & Hal, but as you can see, he is still involved with the team. He is still the principal owner and chairperson of the New York Yankees.
Girardi spoke to George about the upcoming season, the roster, and the new stadium. George told him that he is looking forward to being at the home opener on April 16th. He told Girardi that he would be in the building to watch the ceremonies. That’s great to hear. Hopefully we can have both Georgie & Mr. Sheppard in the building come Opening Day.
“How are you doing?” Steinbrenner asked a Post reporter. Asked how he was doing, The Boss said, “I feel good.”
“I thought he was good,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We had a nice conversation. I asked him about his horses, and he didn’t say much about them. I think right now, he’s probably concerned more with the horses out here.”
In meeting with Steinbrenner, Williams said: “He was just happy to see me. I was happy to see him. He said they missed me. I said I’d missed the team.”
“We talked about the old days, about 10 years ago. He was just happy to see me, I was happy to see him. I expressed my gratitude toward him for giving me the opportunity to work out here. He said that they’ve missed me, and I said that I’ve missed the game.”
“Putting all the years that I’ve been here, this was probably one of the longest conversations I’ve had with him,” said Williams, who estimated he spent 10 to 15 minutes with Steinbrenner.
Red Sox owner John Henry said this past Wednesday that MLB should have a salary cap. It’s kind of funny how the Red Sox are calling for a cap when they finished in second when it comes to spending money on their team. (last year they were at $147.1 million)
“Along with a few other teams, we’re basically baseball’s stimulus package,” Steinbrenner told The Associated Press.
“As long as we’re doing that and giving all this money to other teams in revenue sharing, a staggering amount, we should be able to spend on salaries what we want to,” Steinbrenner said. “Because of revenue sharing and because of the popularity nationwide, the Yankees are critical to baseball.”
Hank opens his mouth, and I have to say that I agree with what he says.
Instead of letting Bernie prepare for the upcoming WBC with the minor league players, the Yankees invited him to big league camp. That was a nice gesture by the Yankees. That’s where he belongs anyway, with his old teammates. It’s definitely good to see Bernie back in a Yankee uniform. It brings back good memories.
Team officials of the Puerto Rican team have already taken his uniform size for the upcoming tournament, so that’s a good sign. He will find out next week if he made the final roster.
Williams will hang around Yankees camp until he starts working out with the Puerto Rican team starting on March 2nd. Bernie will be a bench player on the team, because Beltran will be the starting center fielder. He should get his chances though, so hopefully he can make an impact.
Who knows what will happen after the WBC. Maybe if everything goes well, Bernie might consider returning to the major leagues. That would be pretty cool. It’s a stretch, but you can dream.
Here is some audio from Bernie, courtesy of Peter Abraham
“And how can you say no to that?” Williams said.
“I think it’s important for Bernie to be around,” Girardi said. “Your friends want to see you. The fans want to see you. Obviously, he has other things that he’s doing in his life, but he was an important Yankee. I think it’s important that he’s around.”
“Right now, I’m taking it as it comes,” Williams said. “I’m really concentrating on representing my country well and not embarrassing me or the team. And then, from that point on, if I still feel the competition in me and I still have the fire, I may have to consider seriously taking the opportunity of perhaps playing somewhere else. But right now, it’s a very premature statement. I’m saying that my focus right now is the World Baseball Classic, and that’s about it.”
“It was just a perfect situation in which I really felt a need to take a step back and try to consider what was important at that point in my life,” Williams said, citing his desire to reconnect with family. “And it has taken two years.”
“He’s a part of our family,” Girardi said of his old teammate Williams. “Obviously, he’s retired as a Yankee. But once you’re a Yankee, you’re always a Yankee.”
“I feel that I never left,” Williams said. “There’s always going to be this small kid inside of me saying, ‘You can still do this, man. You can still do this.’”