Bernie hopes to play in 2009 Classic

Bernie hopes to play in 2009 Classic

Former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams wants to play for his native Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, ESPN reported Thursday.

The report said Williams will fly to Puerto Rico next week to play winter ball and hopes to play in the Classic in March, most likely as a DH, pinch-hitter and backup outfielder.

Williams, 40, won four Gold Gloves in 16 seasons with the Yankees, recording a .297 average with 287 homers. He hasn't played since 2006 and has been focusing on his music career.

John Schlegel is an executive editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.