26 February 2006


TAMPA, Fla. -- There is no jealousy, says Bernie Williams, no sense of heartbreak whenever Johnny Damon takes fly balls in center field, no longing to turn back time. As a part-time designated hitter in 2006, this is the beginning of the end of Bernie's career, but hand on his heart, he's made peace with his diminishing skills.

"I had a good run here, fifteen years. That's a great run," Williams said. "I'm not saying that I'm done in center field -- if I could play there forever, I would. But I know that's not reality, so I'm happy."

"To say you've played center field for the New York Yankees, that's probably the one or two most important positions in sports," Williams said. "There's a lot of history there. Those are big shoes to fill. But I feel good about Johnny. I feel good knowing [center field] is going to be in good hands."

"I want to know for sure I'm done before I say, 'I'm done.' Once I walk away there isn't going to be a comeback," Williams said. "I didn't want to be sitting at home in July watching a game on TV, missing the guys, saying to myself, 'I know I could still be that guy.' "

Click here for full story by BOB KLAPISCH at NorthJersey.com

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