Reggie chats with Damon, Pettitte

Received this press release in my inbox today from Sirius XM, where Reggie Jackson hosted a show that ran through last night. Some good stuff in here:

Last night (Nov. 10) on their weekly show, “October Nights,” on SIRIUS XM’s Mad Dog Radio, Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and co-host Bill Pidto spoke with two members of the 2009 World Champion NY Yankees, free agent outfielder Johnny Damon and free agent pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Highlights from the interviews below:
 
Host, Reggie Jackson:
“You’re a free agent.  One of the things people don’t know much about is you’re close to 3000 hits.  You’re about three years away…”

Johnny Damon:
“Yeah, I believe I’m at 2,425 now so it’s going to have to be three very good years or four pretty decent years so I have to try to keep going strong.”

Jackson: “Are you telling us that you’d like to play another three or four years?”

Damon:
“Yeah, absolutely.  I feel like with my body type, the fact that I’ve been able to play in at least 140 games over the past 14 seasons, I feel like I can keep it going.  I’ll find a way to try to win at all costs.  So, that being said, I’m going to take a little break now because the offseason just got here but I’m going to start working out sooner this offseason.  It seems like when you start to mature in age a bit your workouts tend to start happening a lot sooner after the season.  So I’m going to give myself ’til probably December 1 and then I’m going to get going very hard.  And hopefully by then I’ll know what lies in store for me and hopefully it’s back in pinstripes.”

Host, Bill Pidto: “So all things being equal, Johnny, you’d like to come back to the Yanks?”

Damon: “Why not?  I mean, we just won a championship.  That new stadium is incredible.  The Steinbrenners have been the best owners in the game as long as I can remember.  They want to win and they proved it last offseason.  The Yankees, it’s amazing when you have the pinstripes on and you walk through the clubhouse and you see guys like Reggie Jackson walking around, you see Tino Martinez, you see Yogi Berra.  These guys are life-long Yankees and they’ve been accepted into the family because of what they did and how they played the game.  And they won in New York City.  So, that being said, I’ve loved playing for New York these past four years.  You know, if it works out that I do come back then that’d be great and if not, we’ll see where I restart my future at.”

***************

Host, Bill Pidto:
“When you look to the financial aspects of your future do you maybe say, ‘You know what?  I’ll play for a little bit less if I can stay with the Yanks?’”

Johnny Damon: “Well, we have to go through the system and start negotiating if that’s what it’s going to take.  We just need to start talking.  We know New York has all the resources in the world but they also know I want to come back.  So I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a problem.  I’m sure there’s something we can work out.  And if it doesn’t work out I’ve enjoyed four years there but I really hope it works out.  I’m going to be back up there in a week and just savor the moment again because this was truly a wonderful year.”

***************

Host, Reggie Jackson:
“Johnny, if you had a wish list, besides coming back and playing for the Yankees again, do you see anything that you would wish for from [general manager] Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner family to add to the ballclub?”

Johnny Damon: “Hmm.  Well, I always feel like you can’t stay stagnant.  I always feel like you have to move forward.  You can never have enough pitching.  I know there’s guys out there like John Lackey.  He’s been a workhorse for years.  I don’t have that list in front of me [of] who are free agents but there are quality players out there and the Yankees are always trying to get better.  I just hope when they try to get better my name is still involved with it and I’m still wearing pinstripes.”

**************************************
 
Host, Bill Pidto:
“In recent years you’ve thought about retiring, taken a long time to make up your mind.  I know it is really early, the season not even over a week, but what are you thinking about for 2010?”

Andy Pettitte: “You know, really I just need to kinda just get down here and get away.  If you immediately start thinking about it right now and you start counting the numbers and you’re looking at the calendar you’re saying, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s only 90 days to spring training.  Are you kidding me?’  Obviously, you can imagine what’s going through my head right now.  I’m down here by myself at my ranch so haven’t even been with my wife really yet as far as to go through things with her and stuff like that.  But I’m just going to try to take a little bit of time here and I want to do the right thing.  I want to do the right thing for my family more than anything.  And I don’t want to continue to play baseball trying to accomplish selfish goals because I’ve never done that before and I feel like that if you try to start doing that you’re not going to be able to be successful as a teammate as you need to be, as far as I feel like the time and the attention that I need to pay to my teammates when you start trying to worry about yourself too much.  So there’s a lot of things I need to factor in and think about.  I’m not trying to hold anybody up.  I don’t want to hold anybody up.  People can do what they want to do, you know?  But I just want to make the right decisions for my family.  I don’t want to leave my kids hanging and regret not seeing my kids do their stuff.  They’re not able to be in New York with me no more, you know?  I went the last month and a half, two months of the season not seeing my family at all except for the couple of times they flew up during the playoffs.”

Pidto:
“You talk about goals.  Does the Hall of Fame weigh into it at all?  18 wins now, you’re #1 all time in postseason wins.  You’re at 229 wins during the regular season.  Do you feel maybe you need to pad those regular season numbers a little bit or is it not something that you think about?”

Pettitte:
“That’s the other, and heck, I’m not going to lie to you.  Now towards the end of the season and that’s all your friends want to talk to you about and that’s coming up.  And to me that’s just like, it’s so off the wall because I’ve never thought about the Hall of Fame.  And so it’s not.  I don’t want to think about that.  If that’s something that happens in my future down the road that would be something I feel like the Lord just absolutely blessed me with and given me the honor to be able to be a part of something like that.  Like I said, I want to concentrate on if I come back to just figure out a way that I can continue to hopefully perform at a high level like I feel like I was able to do this year and then, more importantly, to feel like I can contribute to the team and make the guys around me hopefully better and be a positive influence in the clubhouse and hopefully continue to be a positive influence on people.”

“October Nights,” with Reggie Jackson and Bill Pidto, aired Tuesdays (7 – 9 pm ET) through November 10 exclusively on Mad Dog Radio, SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144.

 

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