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Thread: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform number

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform number

    Two thoughts came to mind reading this.

    I wonder what Paul O'Neill thinks about those fans.

    I'm more convinced than ever that the annual Jackie Robinson tribute is a good thing.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/conte...6/c2533255.jsp

    Hawkins gives up No. 21 for No. 22
    04/16/2008 12:10 AM ETBy Bryan Hoch / MLB.com

    ST. PETERSBURG -- Tired of receiving flak for wearing a number last used by Paul O'Neill, the Yankees' LaTroy Hawkins has decided to surrender his No. 21 before the club opens a two-game series against the Red Sox on Wednesday.

    The right-hander declined comment after the Yankees' 5-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, but Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo confirmed the change. Hawkins' decision was first reported by CBSSports.com.

    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.

    Hawkins eagerly accepted No. 21 as a tribute to Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente but quickly learned that a pinstriped No. 21 has other meanings for Yankees fans. Unaware he was donning a number that had not been worn since O'Neill retired following the 2001 World Series, Hawkins was booed when introduced on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Fans chanted "Paul O'Neill" during one of his appearances in the Bronx.

    According to CBSSports.com, Hawkins made the decision after discussions with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and other Yankees veterans, who told Hawkins that the number is not worth the headache it's causing.

    "I figure if it's important enough for Jeter and Mariano and some other veterans to ask me about it, it's not worth it to keep wearing the number," Hawkins told the Web site.

    Hawkins will wear No. 22, last worn by Roger Clemens, when the Yankees take the field on Wednesday. He had said that he would be interested in wearing No. 42 on Tuesday as a tribute to Jackie Robinson, but declined to change his number for the game against the Rays. Hawkins, who is African-American, wore No. 42 last year for the Rockies, the lone player wearing that number for Colorado.
    Last edited by Unassisted; 04-16-2008 at 10:15 AM.
    /r/reds

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    O'Neill was a very good player but I have never totally understood why New Yorkers have so much love for him. IMO Bernie Williams was just as good as O'Neill but I just don't see New Yorkers getting up in arms when his #51 is worn one day.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    I think Paul O'Neill represents the transition from the mid 80s Yankees that could never put it together to the mid 90s yankees that seemingly had it all. Paul was the blue-collar type guy that brought a winning attitude to the yankees that all the high priced veterans during the mid 80s could not. While Paul was certainly not the best player on those Yankee squads, I guess many Yankee fans hold him on a higher plane than his actual production would make you think otherwise.

    While Bernie Williams, Jeter, Pasoda, Petite, etc... were more important pieces to the mid 90s Yankee championship puzzle, they were all still fairly young when the Yankees began their run. O'Neill was the older, more recognizable vet with the tough nose approach.

    Then there is the fact that O'Neill is the anti-ARod kind of guy. O'Neill is the type of guy new yorkers love to love, while ARod is the kind of guy the love to boo, unless he's putting up uber MVP type numbers. While their affection for Paul seems a little strange regarding his numbers, I guess for Paul it would be the ultimate compliment that a group of fans could give a player.

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    O'Neill was a very good player but I have never totally understood why New Yorkers have so much love for him. IMO Bernie Williams was just as good as O'Neill but I just don't see New Yorkers getting up in arms when his #51 is worn one day.
    Paul O'Neill is the poster boy for the "intangibles" argument for ballplayers--the Yankees simply do not have the dynasty without him. And it's not me who says this, but George Steinbrenner, the man who spent money on it.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Paul O'Neil wasn't as good a ballplayer as Tommy Henrich was and in all things Yankee history he'll be lumped with the Rolfes, Gordons and Collins as a part of a great team, but not the man that stirred the pot.

    The adulation is humorous when viewing it through the spectrum of a Lou Pinella's battles with Paul's approach.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    I think he's so popular because he always wore his heart on his sleeve. He would strike out and go back to the dugout and wail on the water cooler or some other inanimate object. Bernie was more stoic but I'm sure they don't love him any less. I think they love O'Neill in the same way as they loved Lou Piniella. Plus O'Neill performed in the clutch on the big stage.
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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    Two thoughts came to mind reading this.

    I wonder what Paul O'Neill thinks about those fans.

    I'm more convinced than ever that the annual Jackie Robinson tribute is a good thing.
    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/conte...6/c2533255.jsp
    i guess i don't understand that statement...they were giving morgan ensberg a hard time as well, so i don't see it as a racial issue, but maybe i'm missing something?

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelhouse View Post
    Paul O'Neill is the poster boy for the "intangibles" argument for ballplayers--the Yankees simply do not have the dynasty without him. And it's not me who says this, but George Steinbrenner, the man who spent money on it.
    When O'Neill was in Cincy he did get a ring but I don't see his "intangibles" as being part of the success the 90' team had. Maybe these "intangibles" surfaced in New York but I really didn't see them while with the Reds.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by Red in Chicago View Post
    i guess i don't understand that statement...they were giving morgan ensberg a hard time as well, so i don't see it as a racial issue, but maybe i'm missing something?
    On first read, I didn't catch that Ensberg gave up the number for the same reason, so I was assuming the slurs were racist. I'll grant you that they may not have been.
    /r/reds

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Paul O'Neil wasn't as good a ballplayer as Tommy Henrich was and in all things Yankee history he'll be lumped with the Rolfes, Gordons and Collins as a part of a great team, but not the man that stirred the pot.

    The adulation is humorous when viewing it through the spectrum of a Lou Pinella's battles with Paul's approach.
    This post is a perfect example of why your view of the game is so deeply misguided, and why you and I will never agree.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelhouse View Post
    This post is a perfect example of why your view of the game is so deeply misguided, and why you and I will never agree.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelhouse View Post
    This post is a perfect example of why your view of the game is so deeply misguided, and why you and I will never agree.
    O'Neil would be proud to mentioned with those Yankee greats, of course he probably has a clue who they are.

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    If the yanks think so much of Paul O'Neill why don't they retire the number?
    Go Gators!

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    All dyslexics must untie!
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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    If Yankee fans are allowed to make the decision on who's uniform number can or cannot be worn, the franchise will quickly run out of "acceptable" numbers and ML players will be wearing spring training numbers during the regular season
    Never overlook the obvious

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    Re: "Vulgar" Yankee fan pressure forces Hawkins to give up Paul O'Neill's uniform num

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    O'Neill was a very good player but I have never totally understood why New Yorkers have so much love for him. IMO Bernie Williams was just as good as O'Neill but I just don't see New Yorkers getting up in arms when his #51 is worn one day.
    oh yes, they will. They may actually retire Bernie's number though.
    Last edited by Jpup; 04-16-2008 at 01:34 PM.
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