No, my eyes weren't on the Dominican Winter League, where Melky Cabrera has put up some solid numbers through 93 at-bats with the Aguilas Cibaenas. I'm eyeing Bernie Williams, who singled off Jerome Williams of the Oakland Athletics in his first at-bat with Carolina of the Puerto Rican Winter League. He would finish one-for-three.
Granted, Jerome Williams hasn't done much since 2005, but he was impressive from 2003-05 and has only pitched 42 terrible innings since at the big league level.
But what a joy for Yankees fans to know that Bernie is out there, still capable of hitting a liner up the middle. It reminds us of how he was unceremoniously voted off the island after the 2006 season, when he hit .281 with 12 homers and 61 RBI in 420 AB (two-thirds of a full season, which suggests around 18 homers and 80-90 RBI in 600 AB). For the record, how do you think they would feel about that kind of production out of the Melkman next year? Bernie was slipping on defense...but I still think they could have kept him somewhere...I mean Jesus, were Doug Mientkiewicz, Josh Phelps and Wil Nieves really better on the bench? I know we needed Nieves as a second catcher...and Mientkiewicz to man first...but Josh Phelps stunk and hardly played for the team at all, but I digress.
Bernie is trying to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. I really hope he makes the team and is able to start at DH, at least sometimes. I never thought I'd be this excited to see #51 in another uniform.