Reactions to Andy Pettitte’s retirement

pettitte core four.jpgIn what figures to be an emotional morning at Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte will stand behind a podium and announce that he is retiring from baseball after 16 seasons pitching in the big leagues.

His numbers are impressive on their own – 240 victories in the regular season plus an all-time best 19 more in the postseason – but a real measure of Pettitte’s impact comes in the words of those who played alongside him.
The Yankees’ media relations department did a wonderful job last night in reaching out to many who were close to Pettitte through his career. Here are the results of that effort, presented in full:
“Andy played with a competitive spirit that brought out the best in the teams he played for, and he exemplified this franchise’s commitment and will to win. He was an anchor for the tremendous success our team has achieved since the mid-1990s. A person and player the caliber of Andy Pettitte does not come around often, and he has earned the right to be considered among the greats that have worn the Pinstripes.
“We thank Andy, his wife, Laura, and their family for their many contributions to this organization. We hope the Pettitte family remains a part of the Yankees family for years to come, and we wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”
? Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner and Yankees General Partner Hank Steinbrenner
“It’s been a pleasure to play with Andy for all these years, and the Yankees have been fortunate to have him representing the organization both on and off the field.
“More importantly it’s been an honor to get to know him as a person, and I consider him family. I wish for nothing but happiness for him and his family, as I know how important they are to him.”
? Derek Jeter (current Yankee and teammate of Pettitte from 1995-2003 and ’07-10)
“Andy was a great teammate and a wonderful guy. He was a fighter and all about winning, and he was respected by every person in the clubhouse.”
? Mariano Rivera (current Yankee and teammate of Pettitte from 1995-2003 and ’07-10)
“I’m really sad that Andy is going to retire. He was so much more than a teammate to me – he was one of my closest friends. I admire everything that he has accomplished as a Yankee, but Andy was someone who always put the team first. I’m going to miss him deeply.”
? Jorge Posada (current Yankee, who was a catcher for Pettitte from 1995-2003 and ’07-10)
“He is one of the greatest pitchers in Yankees history. Whitey Ford might have more wins as a left hander, but through the seasons we won all those World Series, he was the anchor of our staff every year. Without him we don’t win all four World Series.
“Since I’ve been retired, I’m always asked, ‘Who would you have pitch a World Series Game 7?’ And I always say, ‘Andy Pettitte.’ When people ask why, I tell them it was because he was so prepared for every start. When the time comes for a big game, you want a guy who’s going to give you seven strong innings. And that’s what he did time and time again.
“Andy was one of my favorite teammates in my entire career, and he is a great person off the field. In the clubhouse, he cared about the team winning, and he wasn’t interested in his individual stats. No matter how he was feeling he went out there every five days and gave us a chance to win.”
? Tino Martinez (former Yankees first baseman and teammate of Pettitte from 1996-2001)
“Andy took the ball every five days, and if he had it his way, he’d get it more often than that. What’s really unusual about him is that a lot of times pitchers are more consumed with themselves. Andy was probably the consummate team player, especially for a pitcher. He was so concerned not only about the day he pitched but he always had his arm around a young guy in between starts.
“He’s been a huge favorite of mine because he’s such a stand up guy, and he hasn’t changed from day one. He’s a great teammate, and I think that’s why he won so many games. The guys that play behind him understand how intense he is, and it becomes contagious.
“I think the impact he had on the teams we had in the mid-to-late 1990’s was enormous even though he was never the guy in the spotlight. He liked the fact that he wasn’t the No. 1 guy even though I trusted him like a No. 1 guy. But he didn’t have an ego that dictated he needed all that attention.
“He did a great job of channeling his energy into competing, and he was about as consistent a performer as anybody in terms of getting your money’s worth. He glued our staff together. When you’re performing with the same people year-in and year-out, it’s always nice to have that security blanket. He was certainly that guy on the pitching staff.
? Joe Torre (Yankees manager from 1996-2007; managed Pettitte from 1996-2003 and from ’06-07)
“When I saw him early in his career, back in the early ’90s, I could tell he was going to be good. But at that stage of his career it was hard for me to be sure how good he would become. When he broke in with the Major League club, he was already on a quality team, but with that influx of young talent-Jeter, Posada, Mariano and Andy-those teams became great.
“As the years came and went, my wife, Bonnie, and I had the opportunity to get to know him, and he became one of our favorites. Even though he lives in Texas, he has Louisiana in his blood, and I always kid him about that.
“I always told him that when his time was done in this game, his name would be right up there with the greatest left-handed pitchers to put on a Yankees uniform. I feel like he was the greatest left-handed pitcher I ever saw pitch at Yankee Stadium. I never had the chance to see Whitey (Ford) pitch, so the first person I think of is Andy.
“To me, the way he carried himself was head and shoulders above the great majority of other players. You knew he was going to represent the team with a certain type of class. If he made a mistake, he owned up to it. That’s the mark of a true pro. Athletes admire other athletes who have that quality.
“I wish Andy and his family nothing but the best as they move forward in their life.”
? Ron Guidry (Yankees pitcher from 1975-88 and Pettitte’s pitching coach with the Yankees from 2006-07. Guidry is fifth on the Yankees all-time wins list with 170 victories).
“I liked the guy from the first moment I met him, and after watching him a few times, I really thought he could be a great pitcher.
“He did right by his fellow players, the fans and the press. He is a wonderful guy and was a great pitcher.”
? Whitey Ford (Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher in 1950 and from ’53-67. Ford is the club’s all-time wins leader with 236 victories.)
“Andy has been a wonderful pitcher, one of the tops the Yankees ever had. He’s always a guy you always depend on and we’re gonna miss him.”
? Yogi Berra (Yankees Hall of Fame catcher from 1946-63 and Yankees mana
ger in 1964 and ’84-85)

16 Comments

Spring decision: Leadoff hitter
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/02/10/spring-decision-leadoff-hitter/

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Spring decision: Utility infielder
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/02/09/spring-decision-utility-infielder/

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Spring decision: Backup catcher
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/02/08/spring-decision-backup-catcher/

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Yanks offense can overcome the pitching problems
By Joe Pawlikowski
http://riveraveblues.com/2011/02/yanks-offense-can-overcome-the-pitching-problems-42750/

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Spring decision: Back of the rotation
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/02/07/spring-decision-back-of-the-rotation/

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Fan Confidence Poll: February 7th, 2011
By Mike Axisa
http://riveraveblues.com/2011/02/fan-confidence-poll-february-7th-2011-42663/

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To me I feel Pettitte’s retirement is untimely, strange and quite frankly, selfish. In his retirement conference he clearly stated he felt great and was in pitching condition and was ready to go but suddenly felt his heart was not in it anymore. Well, I respect his heart not being there if that’s true but I’m not sure I believe it. He gave the Yankees well over a decade of amazing pitching services and was adored by all the fans and when the Yankees needed him most (not getting Lee and the rotation being so unsettled) I feel he should have reached back and gave the Yankees one more season, just one more (at 12 million, why not?) So, the question is why did he work out, get into pitching shape and then call it quits when the Yankees need him most and I know he’s well aware of that. I feel he should have a sense of loyalty for one more season, there must be something more to it. I know he denied the Clemens trial this Summer not being a factor but we all know the New York press would be all over him this season about it and maybe he does in fact feel a sense of betrayal or guilt towards the Clemens “issue”. It just does not sit right with me!

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To me I feel Pettitte’s retirement is untimely, strange and quite frankly, selfish. In his retirement conference he clearly stated he felt great and was in pitching condition and was ready to go but suddenly felt his heart was not in it anymore. Well, I respect his heart not being there if that’s true but I’m not sure I believe it. He gave the Yankees well over a decade of amazing pitching services and was adored by all the fans and when the Yankees needed him most (not getting Lee and the rotation being so unsettled) I feel he should have reached back and gave the Yankees one more season, just one more (at 12 million, why not?) So, the question is why did he work out, get into pitching shape and then call it quits when the Yankees need him most and I know he’s well aware of that. I feel he should have a sense of loyalty for one more season, there must be something more to it. I know he denied the Clemens trial this Summer not being a factor but we all know the New York press would be all over him this season about it and maybe he does in fact feel a sense of betrayal or guilt towards the Clemens “issue”. It just does not sit right with me!

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To me I feel Pettitte’s retirement is untimely, strange and quite frankly, selfish. In his retirement conference he clearly stated he felt great and was in pitching condition and was ready to go but suddenly felt his heart was not in it anymore. Well, I respect his heart not being there if that’s true but I’m not sure I believe it. He gave the Yankees well over a decade of amazing pitching services and was adored by all the fans and when the Yankees needed him most (not getting Lee and the rotation being so unsettled) I feel he should have reached back and gave the Yankees one more season, just one more (at 12 million, why not?) So, the question is why did he work out, get into pitching shape and then call it quits when the Yankees need him most and I know he’s well aware of that. I feel he should have a sense of loyalty for one more season, there must be something more to it. I know he denied the Clemens trial this Summer not being a factor but we all know the New York press would be all over him this season about it and maybe he does in fact feel a sense of betrayal or guilt towards the Clemens “issue”. It just does not sit right with me!

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The last man on the bench
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/02/05/the-last-man-on-the-bench/

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Good moves or Bad??? Yankees sign Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard. I guess minor league deals. I’d still like to see another L/SP in fold.. Cash said that still thought AP would be back… Did he wait too long to seek another SP??…… “GO YANKEES!”

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?All of the inventory we liked came off the board?
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/02/05/all-of-the-inventory-we-liked-came-off-the-board/

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I think AP will stay in shape, I don’t believe his concentration is on baseball right now..and when The Clemens trial is over he will try to come back…

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Yankees Consider Left-Handed Pitchers
By Ben Nicholson-Smith
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/02/yankees-consider-left-handed-pitchers.html

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And so the sunset of the “Core Four” era begins. Pettitte’s retirement this year, followed (likely) by Posada after this season, Rivera after 2012 and Jeter sometime after that. Hoping that as the sun sets on this dynasty, that guys like Cano, Gardner, Banuelos, Brackman and Betances (the “Killer ‘B’s”, anyone?) live up to the standards set by the “Core Four”.
Just as the sun never set on the Roman Empire, the sun never sets on a Yankees Dynasty. Godspeed, Andy and thanks.

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thanks for the great commentary. Andy Pettitte is a class act.

UnoCinco
http://www.fansbeheard.com

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