I love Paul O'Neill. Loved his game. Loved his passion. Loved his roll over the pile in 1996. Loved how the fans chanted his name as he came off the field after his last game. Loved how he would practice swinging while in right field. Loved how he bashed watercoolers (most of the time, at least).
That Hawkins was hearing "numerous vulgar comments from Yankees fans during the Grapefruit League campaign" is so lame and disappointing, I don't even know where to begin.
Hawkins eagerly accepted No. 21 as a tribute to Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente but quickly learned that a pinstriped No. 21 has other meanings for Yankees fans. Unaware he was donning a number that had not been worn since O'Neill retired following the 2001 World Series, Hawkins was booed when introduced on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Fans chanted "Paul O'Neill" during one of his appearances in the Bronx.