In case you were out and about, let’s bring you up to speed on the behemoth of a sports franchise that is the New York Yankees. I get Jorge Posada because he was a damned good catcher for a very long time, but with Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte I’m just sort of “meh” about it:
Yankees announce they’re retiring numbers of Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 16, 2015
That would add the numbers 51, 20 and 46 to the list of already retired numbers, and that’s not including the Derek Jeter #2 that will soon be retired as well. Once Jeter’s number is retired, there will never be a Yankees player wearing a single digit again. The Yankees and their fans have plenty of reason to celebrate these guys so I do understand why they’re doing it, but it certainly seems like overkill to me, a not-Yankees fan.
What numbers ARE available? I can rattle them off really quickly… 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 47, 48, 50, 52-99. That’s it. I mean it seems like a lot, but there’s a reason most players try to stay in the under-50 numbers range…a higher number means you got sloppy seconds.
Darn, Yankees shop won’t let me put “QZ” on the back of a jersey. — Rice Cube (@CubicSnarkonia) February 16, 2015
Now we have a place where the Chicago Cubs have an advantage. Ya see, the Cubs only have six retired numbers, including Jackie Robinson‘s #42. Obviously an incoming free agent can’t just take an incumbent’s number without bartering, but as long as they don’t want 10, 14, 23, 26, 31 or 42, everything else is fair game. So if a free agent comes in and wants to grab former Cub legend Ryan Theriot‘s #2, that’s fine. All the single digits are still available, as are most of the under-50 numbers.
I doubt it makes a difference in attracting free agents, but all things being equal, not to mention the number one ranked farm system in MLB, the Cubs have a pretty good bargaining chip to use.