Negron: Bernie’s Life After Baseball

Last night I got to go to the Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. The main attraction was former Yankees’ superstar Bernie Williams.

Every seat was filled with baseball fans and music lovers. Among those in the audience were some of his former teammates like David Cone, David Wells and Tino Martinez. Also on hand were Yankee icons Willie Randolph and Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson.

When Bernie walked on stage, the feeling was like being at the first game of a World Series. It was as if Bernie went up to the batter’s box with his bat, then turned to the umpire and called time. He asked for the batboy, handed him his bat and the batboy then handed Bernie his guitar. At that moment Bernie proceeded to hit it out of the park.

Song after song from Bernie’s magic fingers just mesmerized everyone in the audience. The usually quiet Willie Randolph acted like a “teeny bopper” at a Beatles concert. Willie could not hold back his emotions because like everyone in the audience, the music just ran through your soul.

I have seen Bernie perform before but there just was something very magical about last night. After the show I asked Bernie if there was a difference in the emotional preparation for this show as compared to that of a World Series game and Bernie said that it was pretty much the same. He also said that just like baseball, he practices with the guitar every day.

The elegant living room setting of the Murray Theatre made it that much more magical. It made the audience feel like they were a part of the band. With that type of setting, Bernie made you feel like he was performing just for you.

The true home run in the show was when Bernie was brought back for a curtain call and he performed “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” like I have never heard it before. It literally brought the capacity crowd to its feet.

Reggie Jackson is a man that I have big time respect for.  He is also a person that knows his music. He is also the most brutally honest person that I know. With that being said I went over to him and asked him for his review of Bernie. Mr October had one word. GREAT!!!

Negron: Yanks Read The Future

Earlier this week we had batting practice rained out. A couple of days before we actually had a game rained out. When this happens it gives the players a little extra time to rest but knowing our Yanks, they would rather be playing.

The thing that really bothered me is when I walked around the ball park I see some very sad faces. I actually saw one kid crying and I asked his dad what was wrong and he said that because batting practice was canceled his son would not see Aaron Judge take batting practice.

At that point I decided to go to the trunk of my car and get some of my children’s books and give them out to some of these sad kids and try to put a smile on their faces. With the permission of the Yankees I even got to take a couple of them around the ball park to meet some of the players and they even got to read one of the books with Gleyber Torres.

The Yanks explained to the kids that it was important to put as much emphasis on reading as they do on their video games. Dellin Betances even kidded with little Michael from New York that someday he might throw 100 miles per hour also. Nick from Ghana was ecstatic when Aroldis Chapman gave him a hug.

Overall it made me feel so proud to be a part of the Yankees and see that the players really do care about the fans and especially the young ones. However Gleyber would say it best when I thanked him for taking a few minutes with the sad children that he was able to put a smile on their faces. He said kids are people too. They are our future.

That’s coming from the future of the Yankees.