Baseball is at a crossroads, and standing at the intersection is Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams, who is expected to be one of the most coveted free agents available after this season. Will he go to the Diamondbacks, boosting them into contention in their second year and in the process turning his agent, Scott Boras, into a kingmaker? Or will he re-sign for his asking price of $77 million for seven years, pushing the Yankees' payroll perilously close to the mythical $100 million mark? To track baseball's vital signs, we will present an occasional report on all things Bernie, on the field and off.
?Last week the Yankees opened the season with two losses to the mediocre Angels and one to the dreadful A's, as Bernie went 4 for 16 with no extra-base hits and one RBI. Still, at week's end George Steinbrenner had yet to fire manager Joe Torre or hold Bernie personally responsible.