(many a great record has been inspired by bullying. “The Killing Of Georgie”, for instance. Not sure what’s up with the CD above, but I’m sure someone likes it)
I’m gonna go way out on a limb and predict Roger Clemens’ best outing of 2007 — an 8 inning, 2 hit, 4 K performance in the Yankees’ 5-1 win over Minnesota , the Rocket’s 350th career win — might be just enough to knock Cynthia Rodriguez off the back pages tomorrow morning. But if you’re feeling nostalgic for a smidgeon of Bronx soap opera action circa 1991, The Times Herald-Record’s Mike Geffner is your go-to guy.
When news came out last week that former Yankee Mel Hall, 46, was arrested in Texas for allegedly sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 17 in the late ’90s, when he was coaching them on a basketball team, it brought back bad memories for me.
Hall, who was all swaggering testosterone during his days here between 1989 and 1992, remains one of my least favorite Yankees of all the ones I’ve covered.
He was self-absorbed to the nth degree, scary (he reportedly once smuggled a loaded gun into the Yankee clubhouse), mean-spirited and a total bully.
His bullying, in fact, was often directed at a rookie outfielder named Bernie Williams. In 1991, he absolutely terrorized Bernie.
He made jokes about Bernie behind his back, as well as right to his face, and always in front of all the players, mostly pricking at Williams’ apparent lack of baseball instincts. “How do you score Bernie Williams from third base?” Hall once said in the middle of the clubhouse, grinning like crazy, waiting to throw his wicked punch-line. “Hit a triple.”
One time, after a particularly rough verbal assault on him by Hall, Bernie simply couldn’t take it anymore, finding a secluded spot and crying his eyes out.
The Yankees manager at the time, Stump Merrill, eventually had to order Hall into four closed-door meetings because of this, threatening to release him if he didn’t stop harassing the young crown jewel of the organization; Hall countered by demanding a trade.
“I knew that Bernie was the future of this club,” Merrill told me years later, “while Hall was nothing but a player of the moment, here today, gone tomorrow.”