For Andy Pettitte, the question for the last several seasons has not been whether or not he still had the ability to pitch successfully for the New York Yankees. He did and, in fact, still does.
The question has been whether or not he really wanted. This offseason, finally, the 38-year-old 16-year veteran concluded that the answer was no. Which is why this morning he officially announced his retirement.
“My heart’s not where it needs to be,” said Pettitte, seated alongside his wife, Laura.
“When I thought of packing my bags and leaving, it just didn’t feel right in my stomach. … Laura … she said, ‘Make sure you’re done and you don’t want to do this anymore.’ When she tells me that, I have to seriously start considering it, and I started training hard to see if I could get my body in shape. It just didn’t feel right for me anymore. Just having the hunger, the drive that I felt like I needed. I don’t know how to explain it but I knew it was different.”
Pettitte helped the Yankees win five World Series titles, and finished 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA in his career, spending 13 of his 16 seasons with the Yankees. He set a major league record for postseason wins, going 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA.
The debate over his Hall of Fame status will rage on, and in fact already is doing so. You can also debate his place in Yankee history, and whether he should be vilified for his PED admissions.
There is no debate, however, that the Yankees will miss Pettitte. Thanks for the memories, Andy!