Farewell to a champion…
Jae C. Hong/AP
Sadly, Andy Pettitte has decided it is time to stay in Deer Park, Texas during the spring. I have to admit that I thought for sure that he’d be back for one final season. We will find out more during Friday’s press conference, but I am fairly confident that the legal proceedings involving Roger Clemens had as much to do with Andy’s decision as other factors, like family, did. This will be a very difficult few months for Andy, and an unfocused soon-to-be 39-year-old pitcher is not a good combination.
Regardless of his reasons, Andy should be congratulated for a great Yankees career. His three years in Houston were difficult as a fan but he showed his loyalty to the organization by returning to the Bronx.
I am hopeful the Yankees find a way to keep Andy in the family, whether it is an invitation to coach during spring training in future years or a special assistant. I’d like to see him stay involved with the organization in some manner.
Andy will be missed, but hopefully, the Yankees have the closure they need to pursue a trade for a legitimate #3 starter.
I was a bit disappointed to see that Lou Piniella has decided to be a special assistant for old friend Brian Sabean in San Francisco. With the end of his managing career, I had hoped that he would find his way back to the Yankees organization. It is amazing how many former Yankees are in the Giants’ back office (like Sabean, Dick Tidrow, J.T. Snow, pitching coach Dave Righetti, and others). Sadly, I won’t be pulling for the Giants this year despite my status as a Bay Area resident. With one of my all-time favorite Yankees set to begin his managerial career down in Los Angeles this year, it would be very difficult for me to pull for anyone in the National League besides the Dodgers. Even with that mess of an ownership…
I liked the Yankees’ acquisition of former Washington Nationals outfielder Justin Maxwell. It wasn’t that long ago he was a top prospect for the Nationals but he has not been able to fulfill his promise in the major leagues. I am anxious to see if Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long can make a difference. It would be great to see Maxwell flourish in the Bronx.
Finally, back to Pettitte, I share the opinion of those who feel that he will not make the Hall of Fame. I heard ESPNNewYork.com beat writer Andrew Marchand say today that Pettitte was borderline among the borderlines and I agree with his comment. But he was a great Yankee and certainly deserves his place in Monument Park.