[翻譯]Cut Him Loose

Cut Him Loose


Published : January 25, 2007 / New York Post

I like Bernie Williams a great deal. It feels proper to start there when I am about to support the Yankees' current plan not to bring back one of the most important and beloved players in their history.

我非常喜歡Bernie Williams...

作為一篇支持洋基不把這位隊史上最重要也是最受歡迎球員之一的老將找回球隊的文章, 這句話是我所能想到最合適的引言

To many of my brethren, Williams was viewed as too flighty or too shy, and that often served as an invisible wall between media and the player except for when Williams absolutely had to be interviewed.

對於許多同業來說, Bernie有點過於難以捉摸, 也過於害羞了些, 而這種個性常常會讓他和媒體之間存在著一道無形的牆, 除非是Bernie非得接受訪問的狀況發生時, 這道牆才有可能暫時消失

But I have enjoyed chatting with Williams as much as any player during the years. He was unique, an artist in a jockstrap. He was contemplative. He actually considered questions and was a cliché-free zone. He was bright, articulate and insightful in his second language. He was polite, dare I say a gentleman in a forum that does not beget many.

不過我很享受和Bernie對談的時光, 他是一個非常獨特的人, 運動員的外表之下卻是猶如藝術家般的細膩, 他是凡事都要經過深思熟慮的人, 他會認真思考你所提出的問題, 也不會試圖用一些陳腔濫調來敷衍了事; 雖然英語不是他的母語, 不過用英語表達自己的他是那麼的有智慧、表達無礙且極具洞察力;他也很有禮貌, 在運動員中是個難得一見的紳士

If you noticed, there was no sadness and few complaints this offseason when the Yanks evicted boors Randy Johnson and Gary Sheffield, though no one should be surprised if either is an All-Star in his new locale. Williams, meanwhile, would, at best, be a seldom-used fifth outfielder on the Yankees, yet there is an outcry for his retention.

不知道你們有沒有發現, 當洋基在非賽季期間送走了兩位在新球隊都有可能成為重新找回明星級身手的球員 : Randy Johnson和Gary Sheffield時, 洋基球迷並沒有太多感傷...也少有批評, 但是當洋基不願留任這位最多只能擔任第五外野手角色的球員時, 球迷們卻高喊著要球隊將他留下

Which is why I began with how I felt about Williams. Because the way the 2007 Yankees are constructed, the only reason to retain Williams is because of his dignity and history - essentially because your heart overrules your brain.

這個現象也讓我自問 : 我到底是如何看待Bernie這個球員?以目前洋基球團打造2007年球季陣容的策略看來, 留下Bernie的唯一理由似乎就只剩下為了保全一個球員的自尊以及他在球隊的歷史價值 - 而會有這樣的想法明顯是因為感性考量勝過理性分析的結果

With Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, the Yanks have three durable All-Star-level outfielders. So it already is going to be difficult to play fourth outfielder Melky Cabrera, much less a fifth outfielder such as Williams, who has no value as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner, and admittedly hates to pinch-hit.

有Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon和Hideki Matsui三位可靠的明星級外野手在陣中, 就連身為第四外野手的Melky Cabrera恐怕也沒有太多發揮空間, 更別提一個非守備功能性球員, 也無代跑能力, 甚至還承認自己痛恨擔任代打角色的第五外野手了

Cabrera is, at least, an ideal fourth outfielder. He is an above-average runner and defender with a well-above-average arm, plus he is a switch-hitter with a good eye. Last year he capably filled in for a stretch and did it with infectious enthusiasm. The question that will determine if he is a starter is whether he develops power. Will he? Well, his power numbers are remarkably similar to those of a young switch-hitting outfielder named Bernie Williams through 543 career plate appearances.

Cabrera是個理想中的第四外野手, 有著中上程度的跑壘及防守能力, 也有著一副強肩, 更是個擁有優異選球能力的左右開弓打者, 去年球季他適時填補了球隊的空缺, 對比賽也展現出了極具感染力的熱情, 唯一讓他還無法站上先發位置的疑慮, 就是Cabrera是否能繼續提升自己的power, 他能辦到嗎?恩...至少現在看起來, Cabrera在543個生涯打數中所展現出來的power就跟當年那位同為左右開弓打者的年輕外野手十分接近...而那位外野手的名字就是Bernie Williams

There were questions if Williams would develop power at the same stage. He now ranks fifth in Yankees history in extra-base hits (791) and sixth in homers (287). It doesn't mean Cabrera will continue as a clone. Just that the Yanks should invest the at-bats to find out about a player whose career is ahead of him. If Williams were present, Joe Torre would not embarrass him and would rob at-bats from Cabrera to play a 38-year-old.

當年人們也曾對Bernie是否擁有足夠power而提出質疑, 不過現在Bernie的長打數(791)高居洋基史上第五位, 全壘打數(287)也名列隊史第六名, Cabrera或許永遠不會是下一個Bernie, 不過洋基絕對需要透過多給他上場機會, 才能更精確地判斷這位年輕球員的未來性, 如果38歲的Bernie繼續留在陣中, 在兩人之間, Joe Torre恐怕會選擇犧牲Cabrera

Or, worse, Torre would go against the current plan to keep Jason Giambi away from first base to free up DH at-bats for Williams. Torre already is going to have to finesse using Abreu, Damon and Matsui as the DH regularly to play Cabrera. There is an argument that the Yanks should not have signed Doug Mientkiewicz, played either Josh Phelps or Andy Phillips at first and re-signed Williams. I have big questions about Mientkiewicz's makeup after seeing him with the Mets. However, even if he were not here, Williams still would be no more than a seldom-used fifth outfielder, or else Giambi would have to play first base so Williams could DH regularly. And, even with his lack of power, Mientkiewicz actually had a better OPS (.770 to .768) than Williams last year, and he brings a strong defensive component to first base.

更糟的是, Torre甚至有可能會改變目前的佈局, 將Giambi留在一壘手的守備位置上, 只為了幫Bernie空出DH的位置, (而就算在沒有Bernie在陣的狀況下, 為了讓Cabrera能有更多上場機會, Torre就已經得適時將Abreu, Damon和Matsui三位先發外野手排在DH位置上), 有人認為洋基不應該簽下Doug Mientkiewicz, 而是應該讓Josh Phelps或是Andy Phillips擔任一壘手, 然後空出登錄名額給Bernie, 而我個人也在看過Mientkiewicz身穿大都會球衣時的表現後, 對這位球員是否真能對洋基做出貢獻而有不小疑慮, 不過就算洋基不簽下Mientkiewicz而選擇找回Bernie, Bernie也還是只能擔任一個少有上場機會的第二替補外野手, 除非Giambi真的被調整回一壘手的位置, 而把DH留給Bernie, 但是我們別忘了, 就算Mientkiewicz缺乏power, 他在去年球季的OPS還是勝過Bernie的(.770比上.768), 在防守上更會是洋基一壘防線的重要屏障

One other problem if you bring Williams back: What happens if he is really struggling in June or if you need roster flexibility and the most disposable player is the seldom-used fifth outfielder? You can release Mientkiewicz or Phillips without angst or send Cabrera back to the minors. But does anyone really want to see Williams' Yankees career end on midseason waivers?

把Bernie找回洋基還可能會帶來另一個問題, 如果屆時Bernie在六月的表現實在一團糟, 或是球隊需要透過釋出球員以將更符合球隊需要的球員塞進有限的登錄名額中, 而少有上場機會的第五外野手看來就是那個最合理的釋出選擇時, 又該怎麼辦?這時球團當然可以在不激怒球迷的情況下釋出Mientkiewicz或是Phillips, 甚至將Cabrera送回小聯盟, 但是誰會希望拿Bernie開刀而讓他傳奇的球員生涯竟然是以在球季中被釋出而告終?

That is much crueler than dealing with the issue now, telling Williams that he is what he is - a great, classy Yankee - and moving on without him, because the only reason anyone is even considering bringing him back is not because he fits, but because he is a great, classy Yankee.

為了不讓上述更為殘忍的情況真的發生, 洋基球團勢必得在現在做出抉擇, 他們必須給Bernie他應得的評價 - 一個偉大且優雅的洋基人 - 但也得認清是時候分道揚鑣的事實, 因為我們都很清楚, 球迷想要Bernie重回洋基的理由並非因為他是最適合的人選, 而是基於對於一個偉大洋基人的尊敬