A day after Andy Pettitte’s retirement announcement, it is sad to think
that he’ll no longer be part of the team.
As much as I would have liked him back, I didn’t want him to return if
there was any doubt in his mind so all things considered, the retirement was
probably the best thing for both Andy and the team. If he had any doubts in his mind entering the
season, he most likely would not have performed at the level we’ve been
accustomed to over the years.
I will miss the personal attributes that went with being Andy
Pettitte. He was universally respected
and from afar it was apparent that he was a man of high integrity and very
respectful of others. I had admiration
for the way he was non-judgmental and would form his own opinions and beliefs
regardless of how others felt. I
recognize that Andy admitted steroid use, but it is a testament to the man that
he did come clean with full honesty and disclosure. Never for a minute have I believed Andy
misled or was less than honest with the fans.
He is a class act and will be hard to replace on the team without even
getting into what he meant to the team as a player and pitcher.
While I am hopeful that Andy stays in baseball in some capacity, it
really sounded like he was closing the door on life in baseball after his playing
days. I think he’d make a terrific
pitching coach if he ever wanted to get back into the game once his children
are older. He has so much to offer
younger players, and particularly those who are not as naturally gifted as
someone like Stephen Strasberg or Tim Lincecum.
I can still remember when Don Mattingly wore #46 before taking #23, but
I hope that Donnie Baseball was the last player to wear the number before or
after Andy. Andy deserves his place in
Monument Park and I look forward to the day of his induction.
When you hear the pitching options available to the Yankees, it is
rather disappointing. I am not looking
forward to the back end of the rotation being filled by Sergio Mitre, Bartolo
Colon, Freddy Garcia, and/or Ivan Nova.
While I wouldn’t mind either Garcia or Nova in the #5 spot, I am hopeful
that the #4 starter is not on the roster right now. Ideally, I’d like a #3 starter in front of
A.J. Burnett, but again, the options just don’t look that appealing. Even the San Francisco Chronicle was speculating
if the Yankees would look at taking Barry Zito and his mammoth contract off
their hands. Please, I hope not. I still think that the best case scenario, if
they could convince Cleveland to trade him, is to acquire Fausto Carmona. I really think that Carmona could flourish
under CC Sabatia’s wing. Okay, best case
scenario is actually Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, but I don’t see any way to
convince the Mariners to trade him. So,
Carmona represents the best realistic option.
The Yankees training camp is going to be filled with former major league
stars. The latest to sign a minor league
deal is former Oakland A’s slugger Eric Chavez.
I’ve always liked Chavez as a player but injuries have definitely taken
their toll in recent years. It would be
great to see him excel at a reserve role behind Alex Rodriguez and Mark
Teixeira, however, I am not expecting a lot.
Hopefully, Eric will surprise me.
The Yankees are also bringing in former Los Angeles Dodgers infielder
Ronnie Belliard. It will be interesting
to see if these players motivate Eduardo Nunez and/or Ramiro Pena to take their
game to the next level.
Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
With all the attention that the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and
Tampa Bay Rays have gotten this off-season, the Toronto Blue Jays are
definitely flying under the radar with a team that is fully capable of
challenging in the division. The AL East
is going to be a beast this year, and of course, it makes you wonder if
everyone will be beat each other up so badly that the Wild Card will come from
another division. Boston does look like
the favorite, but it wouldn’t take too many injuries to bring them back to the
pack. This should be a long, grueling
race for October…