Thursday, February 3, 2011
Pettitte Announces Retirement
According to Michael Kay of ESPN New York, Andy Pettitte has informed the Yankees he's decided to call it quits. Press conference arrangements are being prepared for Friday afternoon.
This has to be a difficult day for both Yankee fans and the organization. While the Yankees admitted they've already started to plan for life without Pettitte, there was still a lot of hope that he would return to the Bronx to don pinstripes once again. That dream is gone. Now, instead of planning for life without Pettitte, they actually have to live life without him. That's not going to be easy.
Going into the 2011 season, the Yankees will have a rotation that features Sabathia, Hughes, and Burnett at the front end, and some combination of Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, and Bartolo Colon for the four and five spots. While it's not an ideal situation, it's certainly workable. Luckily, the Yankees' offense and bullpen is good enough that it should be able to cover up the deficiencies of the starting rotation. Still, they'll need to find a way to trade for at least one starting pitcher (Billingsley, Buehrle, Cook, Dempster, Pinero?) by the July 31st trading deadline if they plan to be serious championship contenders down the stretch.
Andy Pettitte was a member of the Yankees for the bulk of his career. His career started with the Yankees in 1995 and remained with the team through 2003. Prior to the 2004 season, Pettitte left the Yankees to join the Houston Astros, and would remain there until after the 2006 season. In 2007, Pettitte rejoined the Yankees, and had been an integral part of the team ever since. Over the course of his career, Pettitte produced a 240-138 record with a 3.75 FIP, 6.63 K/9, and 2.34 K/BB and 66.9 fWAR.* Throughout his career, he was one of the best left-handed starting pitchers in baseball, and had a devastating cutter that was known for inducing ground balls. Pettitte was a three time All-Star (1996, 2001, 2010), and received votes for the Cy Young Award five times (1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005).
* By the way...For those of you who think Pettitte doesn't have a legitimate Hall of Fame case, I'd like to point out that Tom Glavine (who most consider to be a slam dunk HoF case) accumulated only 1.6 fWAR (68.5) more than Pettitte despite having a career that spanned six additional seasons.
Pettitte's postseason track record speaks for itself. Over the course of his sixteen year career, he posted a 19-10 record with a 3.83 ERA and a 173/72 K/BB ratio in 263 postseason innings. His 19 postseason wins are the most in major league history. As a member of the vaunted "Core Four," Pettitte helped return the Bronx Bombers to glory by leading them to five World Championships and seven American League Pennants over a fifteen year period between 1996-2010.