Andy Pettitte is ready to call it a career

pettitte walking off.jpgThe news we have been waiting for all winter broke around noon today, as word rushed in that Andy Pettitte has officially ended his personal tug-of-war between retirement and pitching. 


He’d gone through that internal battle several times before, to varying degrees:

Dec. 21, 2006 – “Most people like being a free agent, but it absolutely drove me crazy. I wanted the chance to say I would retire [after 2007] or to activate an option. If I feel like I can pitch and I want to continue after this year, and I feel like I’ll be able to help the New York Yankees, then I’ll continue to pitch.”
Dec. 12, 2007 – “I think [my teammates] all knew I was really putting a lot of pressure on myself to try and figure out what I wanted to do. … I can’t say it enough: I’m extremely, extremely close to just feeling like I’m ready to be home.”
Jan. 26, 2009 – “I guess [an incentive-based contract] does take a shot at your pride a little bit. But when you put all that aside, I wanted to play for the New York Yankees. That was the bottom line. I wanted to be there and play in that new stadium.”
Dec. 9, 2009 - “For me, I couldn’t have written a script any better than last year ended. What else is there to do? Why would you even continue to play? But I want to make sure I’m done. I want to make sure I fully exhaust myself and I don’t want to regret not playing. I want to come back and help this organization win another one.”
Oct. 20, 2010 - “The only thing I know right now is I love taking the mound every fifth day. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of other stuff that, at this point and stage of my life, I don’t like about baseball. Obviously it just has to do with family.”
“… Those off-days get hard, trying to fly home to see your family for a day, 24 hours. That’s a tough deal. The kids are getting to an age where I want to be home. But I also know how important what I do is. I’m a man and this is my job. This is all I’ve ever known as an adult. Like I said last year, I want to make sure I fully exhaust myself of this and run it out.”
Every year, pitching had eventually won out — but not this time. The Yankees had been told not to count on Pettitte’s return, and although they left the light on for him, there were signs that he was more serious this winter.

Pettitte will become a former Yankee on Friday morning, as he is en route to New York and will announce his retirement in a 10:30 a.m. ET press conference at Yankee Stadium. 

The press conference will be carried live on MLB.com and Yankees.com, as well as on the YES Network. 

Here is the official press release from the Yankees:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
YANKEES LHP ANDY PETTITTE TO ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT;
PRESS CONFERENCE TO TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY AT YANKEE STADIUM
 
The New York Yankees today announced that LHP Andy Pettitte will hold a press conference on Friday at 10:30 a.m. to announce his retirement.
Pettitte, 38, finishes his career with a 240-138 (.635) record and 3.88 ERA (3,055.1 IP, 1,317 ER) in 479 starts over 16 Major League seasons with the Yankees (1995-2003 and ’07-10) and Houston Astros (2004-06). He is one of just 26 pitchers all-time to complete his career 100-or-more games over .500. Of the 19 Hall of Fame-eligible pitchers who have reached that plateau, only “Parisian” Bob Caruthers, who went 218-99 from 1884-92, is not enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
 
Originally selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Pettitte played 13 seasons with the club, going 203-112 with a 3.98 ERA (2,535.2 IP, 1,122 ER) and 1,823 strikeouts in 405 games (396 starts). In franchise history, he ranks second in strikeouts and starts, third in wins, fourth in innings pitched and eighth in appearances (405). He appeared in eight career World Series (seven as a Yankee), winning championships with the Yankees in 1996, ’98, ’99, 2000 and ’09.
 
Pettitte is the all-time winningest pitcher in postseason history, going 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 42 career starts. He also ranks first all time in postseason starts and innings pitched (263.0), and is tied for second with 173 strikeouts. His personal career postseason win total is more than that of nine other franchises (Kansas City-18; Arizona-15, Seattle-15, San Diego-12, Tampa Bay-10, Colorado-9, Milwaukee-9, Texas-9, and Montreal/Washingon-5). As a Yankee in the postseason, he went 18-9 with a 3.79 ERA (237.2 IP, 100 ER) in 38 career starts. While winning his final World Series with the Yankees in 2009, he became the first pitcher in Baseball history to start and win the clinching game of all three series in a single postseason (ALDS vs. Minnesota, ALCS vs. Los Angeles-AL and WS vs. Philadelphia).
 
In 2010, Pettitte went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA (129.0 IP, 47 ER) in 21 starts. He was placed on the disabled list from July 20 (retroactive to July 19) to September 18 with a strained left groin. In the 2010 postseason, he went 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA (14.0 IP, 4 ER) in two combined starts at Minnesota in ALDS Game 2 (W, 7.0 IP, 2 ER) and vs. Texas in ALCS Game 3 (L, 7.0 IP, 2 ER).
 
A Louisiana native and Texas resident, Pettitte also pitched three seasons with the Houston Astros from 2004-06, going 37-26 with a 3.38 ERA (519.2 IP, 195 ER) in 84 games (83 starts) and appearing in the 2005 World Series vs. Chicago-AL.
 
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pettitte, a three-time All-Star (1996, 2001, ’10) and 2001 ALCS MVP, holds the distinction of being the only pitcher in Major League history to post a record of .500 or better while making at least 15 starts in each of the first 16 seasons of his career. He also posted a winning record in each of the first 13 seasons of his career (1995-2007), marking the third-longest such streak to begin a career all time, trailing only Hall of Famers Grover Cleveland Alexander (17) and Cy Young (15).

2 Comments

Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, Andy Pettitte are great Yankee lefties I watched and cheered for. They all had one thing in common—–they were real Yankees who you could count on in the big game. So long, Andy P., you’ll be missed but not forgotten.

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So the transition to a rotation without Pettitte starts a year earlier than we all wanted! Goodbye Andy.

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