Outbreak of Paul O’Neill support causes Latroy Hawkins to switch from 21 to 22

Today, Yankee relief pitcher that kills radar guns for a living, Latroy Hawkins, gave up number 21 for number 22 because of Paul O’Neill, and third baseman Morgan Ensberg did the same in Spring Training. Ok, so I will defend Paul O’Neill, he helped the Yankees do a 180 degree turn after a bad streak of reduced contention in the 1980s and early 1990s, and personality aside, he was pretty decent when he was with the Yankees, always having decent .300-like seasons after fixing his stance in New York. He was the first good player that they acquired after years of post-prime Barfields and Kevin Maas. But is O’Neill number retired good? Not at all. He was a fan favorite, but does that mean all fan favorites that were not groundbreaking players should have their numbers retired? Does that mean someone like Kevin Youkilis or Brady Anderson should have their numbers retired? If Youk has hall-of-fame numbers, which is not that likely, yeah, but I do not think Paul O’Neill is worthy of a number retirement.

Those Yankees fans love him though.

“Hawkins wore No. 22 with the Yankees during Spring Training, but switched to No. 21 when infielder Morgan Ensberg decided he no longer wanted to wear it. Ensberg was randomly assigned the number upon reporting to camp as a non-roster invitee and later revealed that he received numerous vulgar comments from Yankees fans during the Grapefruit League campaign.”

Vulgar comments because O’Neill was that important to them.. although he did turn around that Yankees franchise, had overhyped grit (he was actually a very good athlete), complained at every called 3rd strike (fans love that) and was always a very good player.. well at least in New York. His number should not be retired. Not using 21 is asinine, and they have enough retired numbers already. I hope they will go temporary, not use the number for five years, those Yankee fans will think of him less and that seems to make the most sense. I respect O’Neill though, and I do not have as much of a problem with this as others might have.

Of course if they retire 21 for Roberto Clemente…

Hawkins gives up No. 21 for No. 22 (MLB.com)

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One Comment on “Outbreak of Paul O’Neill support causes Latroy Hawkins to switch from 21 to 22”

  1. Ben Keeler Says:

    The Yankees arent going to have any numbers left one of the days…everyone wil be wearing a number in the 70s or something

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