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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Andy Pettitte's future may be in doubt, but his past is etched in stone.

It may or may not be over for good, and may in fact be about money. George Steinbrenner wanted to get rid of Pettitte for years, was very open about it. I remember it being discussed on Yankee telecasts. Andy most likely remembers too, and Steinbrenner challenging him to show what kind of 'man' he was:

"I thought there was a 70-80 percent chance I was gone," said Pettitte, who was nearly dealt by owner George Steinbrenner at last season's trade deadline. "That was pretty devastating to me."...

Steinbrenner did, but with a

10/24/03, Antonen, USA Today: "Pettitte has been the Yankees' Great Equalizer this October. Twelve of his postseason starts have come in Game 2 of a series, including this year, when
  • AL Division Series against the Minnesota Twins,
  • the AL Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox
  • and this World Series. (vs the Marlins)

Yet Pettitte, tied with the Atlanta Braves' John Smoltz for most postseason wins at 13,

  • And even after his successful postseason, Pettitte, a free agent,

Since 1996, when the Yankees first beat the Braves in the World Series, there was New York's favorite son, David Cone, who also pitched for the Mets. There was the dramatic story of Cuban defector Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. There was David Wells' return, Roger Clemens' march toward 300 wins and Mike Mussina's big-money contract.

  • "Andy has always been under the radar gun," manager Joe Torre says.

Pettitte might not be a vocal guy, "but he's legendary in our neck of the woods," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says. "We know what he has done."

And, on three days' rest in the second game of this World Series,

coming within one out of becoming the first Yankees pitcher to toss a complete game in the World Series since Ralph Terry beat the San Francisco Giants 1-0 on the road in Game 7 in 1962."...

  • Antonen was right. Amazingly after this long and gutty post season performance, the Yankees kept Pettitte sitting by a phone that did not ring during the exclusive window. Apparently not confident about his immediate future, they could have made a simple call to their born and raised Yankee hero, explaining their doubt. No such decency was forthcoming.
The Red Sox felt differently and offered Andy $52 million for 4 years, which he declined (per Dave Anderson, the NY Times, 12/12/03, "A Different End if the Red Sox Were Involved.")
  • George was probably bothered that Andy didn't pitch drunk, get in bar fights, beat his wife, pick up hookers, etc. (sm)

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