Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pettitte A Yankee Again, And Gets Another Opportunity

By Rich Mancuso

Andy Pettitte considered one of the all-time pitching greats of the New York
Yankees is once again putting on the pinstripes. The 39-year old left hander,
ranked third with 203 career wins as a Yankee, signed a one-year minor league
deal with an invite to spring training.

The announcement was made early Friday afternoon at the Yankees spring
training facility in Tampa Florida. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman
said Pettitte was en- route from his home in Texas and will join the team this
weekend. Cashman said, “It was a welcome opportunity and we are glad to have
him back.”

A part of the core four along with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada,
with five championship rings as a Yankee, Pettitte retired last year but made
references to always opening the door for a return if the situation was right. Prior
to the start of spring training, Posada announced his retirement at an emotional
press conference in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium.

Last week Pettitte threw batting practice in a Yankee uniform prior to the
Yankees-Braves spring game in Orlando. He felt comfortable and there were
reports he made references to returning, and three weeks ago he was in the
Yankees camp throwing pitches as a spring training instructor.

At his retirement announcement on February 5, 2011, Pettitte said he “didn’t
have the hunger, the drive I felt I needed,” when it came to continuing. But
Cashman on Friday alluded that the hunger never left and that Pettitte looked
sharp and was ready for a return.

Pettitte agreed to a minor league deal, one-year for $2.5 million with an invite to
spring training. The Yankees pitching rotation appears to be set with CC Sabathia,
newcomer Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Freddie Garcia. Pettitte
could be used out of the bullpen and as Cashman said, “You never have enough

The Yankees are expected to reach the postseason again. Pettitte has a history
of success in October and is ranked first in wins among pitchers in postseason
history with a 19-10 record, 3.83 ERA in 42 career starts. He ranks second in
strikeouts and games started in franchise history. His last season in 2010, Pettitte

went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA. He is a three-time all-star and two-time 20-game

In an interview with the Yankees YES Network, Pettitte said about his decision to
return, “My family was behind it. I have been throwing since January. My arm is
way ahead of schedule. I expect to be as good as I was and If I am not I will be

There is always an issue with athletes retiring and returning. Some say that
professional sports leagues should implement rules that would prevent situations
like Pettitte or was often with the situation of Brett Favre, the quarterback great
of the Green Bay Packers who played one year with the New York Jets.

Many times they return and show no resemblance of what they once were. Jeter
has no problem with his former and, now, new teammate back in the fold. Once
again three of the core four are in the Bronx.

“I’m happy, he enjoys what he is doing,” commented Jeter. “He is going to work
and do the best he can. We are going to have a lot of people excited to see him
back including our fans.”

This post is sponsored in part by Great Neck Apartments & Five Towns Homes For Sale

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