What are you lookin' at? The days of one of the best
pitchers in recent years is about to come to a close as
Andy Pettitte is set to announce his retirement on Friday
The Yankees’ off season is about to go from bad to worse. ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay was the first to report that left-handed starter Andy Pettitte is traveling from his home in Deer Park, outside Houston, to New York on Thursday and will officially announce his retirement at a press conference scheduled for Friday. After losing out to the Phillies on free agent left-hander Cliff Lee, the Yankees had held out hope that Pettitte would op to come back for one more season.
Pettitte had been waffling on a return since the end of the 2010 season in which he went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA despite losing two months to a groin injury. The Yankees certainly could have used Pettitte. His retirement leaves the team with a starting rotation of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes in the top three spots, and a group consisting of Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, the recently signed Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, and several of their top Minor League prospects competing for the final two spots,
Although Pettitte pitched for the Yankees on one-year contracts for the past four seasons and had frequently spoken about the possibility of retiring to spend more time with his family, there has been some speculation that the pending trial of his former good friend and teammate, Roger Clemens, was weighing heavily on his mind and may have entered into his decision to call it a career. Pettitte is expected to be a key prosecution witness in Clemens’ trial on perjury, making false statements and obstruction of Congress charges which is scheduled to begin in a Washington D.C. court in July. Pettitte, for all his success in a Yankees uniform, was never entirely comfortable in the spotlight and it’s safe to say he isn’t looking forward to the attention that is sure to attach to his testimony.
A former 22nd round draft pick, Pettitte will apparently end his career with a 240-138 record and 3.88 ERA over 16 Major League seasons, three of those as a member of his hometown Houston Astros. Pettitte is also the all time leader in playoff wins, with a record of 19-10 and a 3.83 ERA in 42 appearances.
The 38-year-old Pettitte is the first of the Yankees’ four home grown talents, the others being Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, that have led the Yankees to five World Series titles since 1996, to retire.
Jordan Kobritz is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He is a former attorney, CPA, and Minor League Baseball team owner. He is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Eastern New Mexico University and teaches the Business of Sports at the University of Wyoming. He looks forward to your comments and can be contracted, here.
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter
Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook