Jerome Williams returning to the majors with the Angels for the first time since 2007 is a pretty interesting story, but Sam Miller of the Orange County Register investigated something about the one-time Giants prospect that’s even more interesting.
Apparently when Williams first arrived in the big leagues as a 21-year-old rookie in 2003 the Giants coaching staff and various teammates thought his name was Jeremy. And when they repeatedly called him by the wrong name Jerome didn’t correct them … for two years.
Miller broached the topic with Williams yesterday, leading to a highly amusing exchange. Here’s an excerpt:
“Yeah. They called me Jeremy. I just rolled with it.”
They just called you Jeremy? Were you called Jerome growing up?
“I don’t know. In the minors, they didn’t call me Jeremy. When I got to the big leagues they called me Jeremy for two years.”
Were they screwing with you?
“No, they just called me that. I just rolled with it. I was a rookie and I didn’t want to tell anybody cause I was scared.”
You mean that whole time, (pitching coach Dave) Righetti was calling you Jeremy?
(Manager) Felipe Alou?
“Felipe never really called me by my name. He was just like ‘hey guy come here guy.’ Every time I was ‘guy.’ But yeah, some – most — of the guys did call me that.”
The conversation between Miller and Williams got so absurd that Trevor Bell started cracking up in the next locker over. And how did it finally end?
“I just told Righetti one day. I’m doing a bucket, and I’m like Rags, we need to talk about something. He’s like, ‘What?’ Ummmm. What’s my name? He’s like, ‘Jeremy.’ Ummmm. No. It’s not, actually. It’s actually Jerome. He’s like, ‘so for a couple years I’ve been calling you Jeremy and it’s not even your name? Why didn’t you correct me?’ I told him the same: I was scared. ‘What were you scared about?’ I don’t know. And he slapped me.
Sounds about right.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.