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Williams still a no-show; Cashman not sure he'll come

TAMPA, Fla. -- Bernie Williams was nowhere to be seen, and
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman doesn't think that will
change.

"It appears he made his decision. That's all I can take from
it," Cashman said. "I'm assuming at this stage that he's not
coming."

Yankees position players took physicals Monday, a day ahead of
their first workout. Manager Joe Torre, fighting a cold, went home
before the end of Monday's workout and didn't speak with reporters.
Torre had planned to call Williams again Sunday, and Cashman said
he didn't hear that a conversation took place.

Catcher Jorge Posada has called Williams several times -- he
placed another call Sunday -- but hasn't reached Williams.

"I don't think he'll be here," Posada said. "I don't think
we're going to see him unless Joe Torre convinces him."

Williams has been in the Yankees' organization since signing
with them on his 17th birthday in 1985, and he came up to the major
league club in 1991. With the emergence of Melky Cabrera as the
fourth outfielder, the move of Jason Giambi to designated hitter
and the planned platoon at first base, there's no room for a fifth
outfielder on the roster.

"I'm going to work as if I'm playing first base. That's going
to be up to Joe. It's not going to be my decision," Giambi said.
"I'd love to have Bernie around here. He's a great teammate. I'll
do whatever it takes. If that gives him an opportunity, that would
great."

Torre said Sunday that Williams was hurt the Yankees didn't
offer him a guaranteed spot on their regular-season roster.
Williams doesn't want to play for any other team, and Torre said
that if he wants to extend his career, he should report with or
close to the other position players.

"Obviously because of who he is, if he needs a little extra
time to decide, then obviously I think there's a little time that
you can give," Cashman said. "If Bernie wants to continue to play
and if he wants to compete for it, I wish he would accept the
opportunity as a non-roster invite to come in and fight for it. If
it's that important to him, I wish he would consider it. A
non-roster situation is not something that I offered out of
disrespect. It's just the only way I can provide for all parties to
get satisfied in where we are this time and place."

Yankees general partner Steve Swindal wished Williams would have
come to camp.

"He's such an integral part of the Yankees' success and the run
that we've had. So, yes, I'm sad that he's not here," Swindal
said. "He's like family."

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, Posada and perhaps others have
unsuccessfully tried to reach the 38-year-old outfielder.

"I would have told to him to get here and try to earn a job,"
Posada said. "You show them you still belong."

Notes
Because Mike Mussina's locker is in the corner and he
couldn't see the clocks by the clubhouse doors, the Yankees
installed a new clock next to his stall. ... Giambi (offseason
wrist surgery) has been swinging a bat -- but not at balls -- for two
weeks. "I got the OK at the beginning of February," he said.
Giambi is expected to be the regular DH this season. "It's more
important for me to win and get a World Series ring," Giambi said.
"I enjoy playing first base, but at the same time you think about
it from a team perspective. I'm getting older. So it's whatever the
ballclub needs." ... RHP Carl Pavano took part in fielding drills
and had a 12-minute bullpen session. He was held out of the
fielding workout Sunday because of "heavy legs." ... LF Hideki
Matsui has been swinging a bat for month. He spent time on the DL
last season with a broken wrist.