Monday, February 19, 2007

Back Where He Started

Everyone ends up back where they started.

Bernie Williams found that out when he was offered a non-roster invitation to Spring Training.

That bucket of icy reality showed him that there are no guarantees in 2,336 hits, 287 home runs and four World Championships. If he wants to keep playing at 38, he will need to be the 22-year-old who first turned heads in 1991.

Jorge Posada was recently asked what he would do in Williams’ situation.

“I would have come,” he said. “I would have been here and shown that I have a lot left and see what happens. You give it another chance. That’s the way I see it. Let me try to make the club, say, ‘I’m better than this guy.’”

That challenge is what baseball’s all about, but it’s easy to forget sometimes. There seems to be so much more when you’re on top. You can get comfortable with the money and fame, but the game will always bring you back where you started.

It’s about the grass, the dirt, the ball, the bat, beating the nine other guys, and, most of all, it’s about your teammates.

Starting over at 38 can give you a fresh look and a new focus. Maybe Bernie will rediscover what made him love the game in the first place.

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