LADY AT THE BAT: Hawkins Stops Wearing Number 21

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hawkins Stops Wearing Number 21

LaTroy Hawkins has given in. The fans have won. He'll stop wearing number 21, worn for many years by fan-favorite Paul O'Neill. After talking it over with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera he decided that it was the best thing to do, especially since Jeter and Rivera felt it was important enough to talk to him about it.

When I heard about the trouble Hawkins was having as a result of choosing to wear 21, I realized how much players stay in their own little worlds and don't concern themselves with things that are going on around them. Morgan Ensberg tried wearing number 21 in Spring Training and was met with a large amount of fan vitriol. Where was Hawkins when this was going on? Did he not know that this happened to Ensberg? Were he and Ensberg always on different squads during split-squad days? Is the bullpen that far away from the diamond at George M Steinbrenner Field (formerly Legends Field)? How could Hawkins not know?

Hawkins also chose not to wear number 42 yesterday on Jackie Robinson Day. Why? Did he feel he'd get booed for wearing it? He was wearing number 21 to honor Roberto Clemente. Did he feel that Yankee fans were indirectly booing Roberto Clemente when he wore number 21 and, as a result they don't care about players of color?

Maybe he just feels as I do, that wearing number 42 every year is over-kill.

The Lady

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