Results tagged ‘ Andy Pettitte ’

Swisher’s MRI clean; expects to play Sunday

Nick Swisher said that the MRI on his sore groin showed no problems – “Just as we expected,” Swisher said – and that he expects to play in Sunday’s road game against the Orioles in Sarasota.

He was much more effusive in talking about Andy Pettitte’s return. Swisher was screaming at Pettitte on the phone yesterday after the news broke, and the outfielder was caught completely off guard.

“When I found out, how am I not going to call him? What an amazing guy,” Swisher said. “What an amazing sports figure in general. It’s so funny because I played golf with him like two or three weeks ago. We were kind of talking and I was like, ‘Man, you look like you’re in great shape. He was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve been working out a little bit.’ Now I know exactly what he was doing.”

Swisher acknowledged he probably couldn’t have kept the secret even if Pettitte had let him in.

“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me, bro? You couldn’t even tell me that?'” Swisher said. “He was like, ‘Come on Swish. You know I couldn’t tell you that.’ We’re all excited. I was super excited just because now you’re bringing back another little core member. It’s great, man. I know a lot of the guys are really, really excited. Me especially. I’m super excited.”

Cashman: Yankees didn’t try to win AL East in 2010

You remember 2010, don’t you? That was the September that the Yankees seemed to be trotting out guys like Royce Ring, Dustin Moseley, Chad Gaudin and Jonathan Albaladejo with regularity, seeming to take their foot off the gas pedal while the Rays rolled to the American League East title.

The resulting tailspin left some players scratching their heads. As Andy Pettitte said, late in what would be his final big league season: “I know it’s been irritating for me. It’s just like, ‘What are we doing here?’ This game’s not easy, we’re trying to win. That’s all there is to it.”

Well, there was more to it, as Brian Cashman admitted on Sunday. The Yankees didn’t care if they finished first, hoping instead to get healthy for a strong run to repeat as World Series champions. Cashman explained why, saying how a second Wild Card will be good for the game.

“We conceded the division two years ago because of the previous setup,” Cashman said. “I’m not taking away from Tampa Bay’s Eastern Division title, but we didn’t try to win the division. We tried to line ourselves up for the playoffs and that worked. We wound up sweeping Minnesota and going to play the Texas Rangers two years ago because we got our guys healthy and ready to go.”

It has been proposed that baseball will add a second Wild Card to each league that would most likely include a one-game playoff to enter the Division Series, thus creating more incentive for teams to pursue their divisions.

“The division title, the way that Wild Card situation was sitting, was rendered meaningless the way the setup was,” Cashman said. “It rendered whether you were a Wild Card or a division champ, it really meant nothing more than a t-shirt and a hat. That was the reality of the circumstance.”

Cashman said that Major League Baseball took notice as teams were resting players and lining them up for the playoffs, noting that September games weren’t as meaningful as they could be — and perhaps, will soon be again.

“Bud Selig did a remarkable thing adding the wild card and I think he’s now doing another remarkable thing by enhancing the playoff push,” Cashman said. “It’s going to create a lot of buzz and excitement and meaningful games deeper into the season, as it should be. It certainly brings back the importance of being a division winner again.”

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).

Andy Pettitte not scheduled to be with Yanks pitchers and catchers

Andy Pettitte has been scheduled for an autograph signing in the New York area on Feb. 15, the same day that Yankees pitchers and catchers will be getting on the field for the first time in Spring Training.
Still officially undecided on his future, the 38-year-old Pettitte had a private event with Steiner Sports pushed back by two weeks, according to the memorabilia dealer’s Web site
The original booking would have had Pettitte in the New York area on Wednesday, with plenty of time to prepare for an on-time arrival at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex. Yankees pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14, with their first workout a day later.
Of course, the signing could always be moved if Pettitte decides to pitch. The company offers a disclaimer that “the actual signing date is subject to change without notice.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said repeatedly said that Pettitte has told the team not to count on him, beginning with the evening of the Bombers’ loss to the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series. 
Cashman said last week that Pettitte has already decided to retire, but the team was prepared to offer him a contract – reportedly $12 million for one season – if he wants to return.
“He’s made a decision. It’s just if he changes his mind,” Cashman said. “I wouldn’t even say he’s undecided. He’s decided not to play. If he decides to play, I think that’s the rub. The only thing is, I’m left to constantly talk about it because I have to fill a void in the rotation. The obvious area to ask about is Andy Pettitte.”
Without Pettitte in the fold, the Yankees have made smaller moves to bolster a staff that was projected to have Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre as the fourth and fifth starters. 
New York has signed veterans Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training, supplementing a crop of young hopefuls like Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos looking to make an impression this spring.

Yankees notes: Joba, Boston, Jeter and more

soriano-no29.jpg

It was a busy Wednesday morning in the Bronx, as the Yankees introduced Rafael Soriano to the New York media, a signing that Brian Cashman acknowledged makes the team better but one that he had still vocally opposed because of the contract value and a lost first-round Draft pick.

  

Meanwhile, Joe Girardi revealed that he hears Andy Pettitte has started throwing – just in case – and Scott Boras said that he plans to continue talking with the Yankees about Andruw Jones.

Then, just for good measure, Cashman acknowledged that he indeed had several discussions about bringing Carl Pavano back to the Yankees, looking for someone to upgrade a rotation that still figures to include both Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre if the season started today.

Pavano signed a two-year deal with the Twins later in the day, but like we said, it was a busy morning. Here are some of the other tidbits that might have been overlooked:

Cashman: “Joba’s in the bullpen, for the 200th time” – a.k.a., The Debate is Over

joba-101310.jpg

Joba Chamberlain will be in the bullpen and there is no chance of him starting for the Yankees in 2011, both Cashman and Girardi said.

Here’s Girardi’s explanation: “I think Joba is going to be an important part of our bullpen. For me, I like to shorten the game as much as I can. He has a chance to be an outstanding reliever for us and I think his second half was better than his first half. I think we could really have a close down bullpen where the game gets really short. When you’re called upon to pitch, your inning is just as important. If you give up runs in the sixth, you never get to the eighth. Sometimes in the seventh you might face a tougher part of the order than the eighth.”

Asked if there was some physical reason the Yankees wouldn’t consider starting Chamberlain, Girardi answered, “No, not necessarily. It’s probably hard to bounce back and forth all the time. Then you end up with an innings limitation again. I think it’s really important that you have an awesome bullpen and I think he can be a big part of that. … We just decided at this point that’s where he fits the best and that’s where we’re going to put him.”

Responding to a similar question, Cashman said, “I think we’ve seen over time now that his stuff plays so much better as a reliever than as a starter … As a result of everything leading up to and including last spring.”

A reporter then tried to float the case that Chamberlain’s numbers as a starter compared favorably to what Ivan Nova or Sergio Mitre might provide.

“He’s in the bullpen,” Cashman said.

Did Boston’s big winter push the Soriano deal?

Cashman said he never heard that the Yankees needed to react to Boston’s moves specifically, but Hal Steinbrenner felt that there needed to be an upgrade of some kind for the fan base. The decision went beyond just the baseball operations department, he added.

“I think [Steinbrenner] just felt we needed to do something, regardless,” Cashman said. “That’s how it was conveyed; ‘We’re not going to go into Spring Training without us doing something big.’ And this is big.”

Will Soriano fit in the clubhouse? Sure, Girardi says

There have been whispers that Soriano has had trouble with previous managers, including being upset with coming into non-save situations and being asked to pitch more than one inning. You would think that will be different with Mariano Rivera in New York.

Girardi said that reputation won’t be a problem, as he wants to “give everyone a clean slate” and tries to get to know each of his players as much as possible.

Are the Yankees a better team today?

Girardi figures the ’11 team is better than the one that walked off the field after Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS. “I think we’ve added to our bullpen, added another left-hander (in Pedro Feliciano), and I think we’re a better club because we’ve been through it,” he said.

More pitching on the way?

There has been buzz on the Hot Stove about the Yankees potentially showing interest in the Tigers’ Armando Galarraga – he of the imperfect Jim Joyce game – who was designated for assignment. He’s easily one of the more appealing options out there, given the marketplace.

Regarding another possible upgrade to the rotation, Cashman said: “I hope so. The starter might have to come from within. Hopefully we have some of these young kids answer the bell for us. In the meantime, we’ll still keep our eyes and ears open to the remaining market, which is very limited.”

He added: “It’s a difficult market to choose from. Listen, if you’re still on the board, there’s a reason for it.”

Captain leading off

As of this moment, Girardi says he has Derek Jeter penciled in to be the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. Hitting coach Kevin Long has said that he’d like to use Spring Training to experiment with different combinations.

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