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Andy Pettitte decides to call it a career

By Gary W. Marchese Jr.

Bronx, NY (Feb 4) – The Yankees have been waiting on Andy Pettitte decision especially after they were spurned by Cliff Lee. The Yankees kept saying they were not expecting him back and were operating as if he was already gone but they still had some hope. The hope vanished around noon on Thursday afternoon when word came down first reported by Michael Kay of 1050 ESPN Radio and the lead Yankees announcer that Pettitte was headed to New York to have an official retirement press conference on Friday morning.

The press conference will be at 10:30AM on Friday from Yankee Stadium. The Yankees had been dreading this news for a couple of months now. It leaves their rotation very short and they have to find some arms probably by trade as they have already added Bartolo Colon, Mark Prior and Freddy Garcia this winter, those are all minor league deals though and they may not even make the team.

Andy Pettitte came up with the Yankees in 1996 and was part of the Core 4 that included Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada. Pettitte left the Yankees for three years to go to Houston near his home but he came back in 2007 and played his final four years in pinstripes winning another World Series and coming a couple games away from another one last year. He is a borderline Hall Of Fame player but is truly one of the great Yankees. He will be remembered by many and not forgotten, as he was well liked by everyone. He did have the HGH scandal but admitted it and moved on and you have not heard much of it since.

Pettitte was always a stand up guy, a go to guy, that was true on the mound and off of it also. He was a great teammate and considered the stopper for all of these years. Roger Clemens was his friend but he is still trying to drag him through the mud defending himself, I do not know if there is anyone out there who doubts what Pettitte said about a conversation with Clemens and steroids but Clemens has tried to defame him. Pettitte is going to be a key witness in that trial that is coming up this spring and you cannot help but wonder if that had anything to do with this announcement.

Andy is a humble person, he also is a team first player, and I do not think he wanted the Yankees to have to deal with that if he did come back. I do commend him for going out on his terms much like Mike Mussina did but you do not find many players anymore that are able to do that.

Pettitte pitched 16 seasons in the major leagues, 13 of them with the Yankees. He had 240 career wins, which are the 13thmost in ML history by a left-hander. He won 5 rings with the Yankees- 1996, 98-2000, and 2009. He appeared in one World Series with the Astros and appeared in two others that he lost with the Yankees. He had 203 victories as a Yankees, which puts him third in franchise history only behind Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231). His 1,823 strikeouts are second only to Ford in team history. He ranks 16thall-time in strikeouts by a left-hander with 2,251. Pettitte was an All Star last season when he went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts despite missing two months with a left groin injury. He was disappointed and frustrated with that injury and then he had a hamstring injury that was revealed after Game six of the ALCS and it was not known if he would have been able to pitch in the World Series.

The Yankees originally selected Pettitte in the 22nd round of the June 1990 first year player draft. He compiled a career winning percentage of .635 (240-138) which is the eighth best all-time among left-handers who began their career in 1950 or later. Among active major league pitchers at the end of the 2010 season Pettitte ranked second in wins, starts (479) and third in innings pitched (3,055 1/3) and strikeouts (2,251). He has pitched for 8 pennant winners and 12 postseason teams.

His most memorable postseason performance has to be 1996 Game 5 against the Atlanta Braves and John Smoltz, he won the game 1-0 and gave the Yankees a 3-2 series edge. That was an 8 1/3 inning five hit performance and Joe Torre the former manager of the Yankees always cited that as the game that defined him as a big game pitcher.

The Yankees will be left short in the pitching staff but they all will wish him well and he will always be a Yankee. Pettitte earned the right to go back home and spend time with his family, which he has missed so much; he will be missed but never forgotten.

gmarchesej Posted by on February 3, 2011. Filed under Breaking News,MLB News,News and Sports with Gary W. Marchese Jr.,Sports,US Sports,Yankees. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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