DETROIT - Nine years after playing his last game, Bernie Williams officially will retire tomorrow during a news conference at the Stadium before the first Subway Series game. Williams will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. His No. 51 will be retired May 24.
Williams, 46, a five-time All-Star with the Yankees from 1991-2006, earned four World Series rings. He declined the Yankees' offer to attend spring training in 2007 on a minor-league contract. He never played again, yet never officially retired.
DataA-Rod's career home runs
A-Rod not focused on HRs
What does 660 mean to Alex Rodriguez?
The designated hitter, who entered Wednesday night at 658 home runs, two behind Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list, said he isn't entertaining those thoughts.
"I won't talk about that until we get there,'' Rodriguez said before the game. "I'm just really focused on one game at a time.''
Joe Girardi said what it means to him is remarkable consistency. "Obviously, it's a lot of home runs,'' he said. "You can't do that playing 10 years. You have to play a long time and be productive for a long time.''
Because of A-Rod's PED use, for which he was suspended for the 2014 season, the Yankees have stated behind the scenes their intent to withhold the $6-million bonus that is a part of his contract if he reaches 660.
Girardi has not gotten involved in that potential storm looming on the horizon.
Speaking of PEDs, Girardi said: "You don't want any of your players to do that. That's not what we want in this game. We want this game to be clean. Sometimes people are going to make bad choices. He paid the consequences. But that's in the past.''
Taking note of the nearly two weeks A-Rod went between homers No. 599 and 600 in 2010, Girardi said he hopes this milestone comes sooner rather than later. "Hopefully,'' he said, "it happens quickly.''