How long has it been since my last post? Really, it’s been THAT LONG? The combination of trying to remain on the Dean’s List, and the fact that I just couldn’t fully get over trading Montero left me with a lack of time and a lack of desire to post. My spring break is winding down now, and I told myself that I wouldn’t put off my biology and political science papers any longer, but this is way too important.
For the first time since the Yankees traded away my baby Jesus, I’m excited again.
And it’s all thanks to a familiar face: Andy Pettitte.
Surely everyone is aware of the news by now: Andy Pettitte is out of retirement, and he’s coming back to the New York Yankees. I don’t care what anyone else thinks – I love this.
I first heard the news when I logged into facebook yesterday afternoon. My brother was beside me on the couch, and I gasped, “Whaa? Huh? Oh my God…dahh oh my GOD…”
He didn’t respond. He probably thought I was looking up pictures of Guns N’ Roses (I usually have a somewhat similar reaction…don’t judge). He made me say it.
“THE YANKEES SIGNED ANDY PETTITTE!”
Doubtful, he responded, “What? Virginia let me see that. You’re probably reading some fake thing.”
We proceeded to go to RiverAveBlues, but of course, Optimum Online failed me. After making the trek to the downstairs computer – and achieving the small victory of having internet access – RiverAveBlues confirmed that it was indeed true: Andy Pettitte was coming back.
Everyone in my house was elated over this news. Andy Pettitte has been a favorite of ours for as long as he’s been in pinstripes – and that’s a pretty long time. We all knew he could still pitch, and his retirement left us all with an empty feeling inside. He was my favorite Yankee pitcher, and one of the guys who was there since I started watching baseball. I vividly remember going to a baseball card shop as a young girl and buying just two cards – both really pretty shiny cards of Andy Pettitte. Saying goodbye was extremely difficult, especially because I knew he wasn’t a finished ballplayer. At age 39, many wonder what he can still do, but I know he can still do plenty to benefit my team.
I know a few people who are annoyed by Andy’s coming out of retirement, and I don’t understand that at all. Anyone who knows Andy Pettitte knows that he is a great man: a good Christian, Texan, family man, and teammate. He may not be perfect, but I avidly admire him. Andy, as far as I see it, has never been one of those guys who seeks attention. So when people criticize him for wanting to come back, I’m confused.
Andy Pettitte is not Roger Clemens. The Yankees didn’t “come and get him out of Texas.” Andy asked to come back, because he has the heart and genuine passion for this game. They didn’t pay him $28 million and make a big fuss over his return during a game. A mere $2.5 million is fine for him, although we all know that’s a steal if he pitches the way he did in 2010. Andy Pettitte is not coming back for any other reason than because he has the desire to pitch for the Yankees. Why should he hold back and miss out on something he wants, and something I know he can still do well? That’s another concern people have about Pettitte – that he won’t pitch well, or that he will disrupt the rotation. There is no doubt in my mind that Andy Pettitte will be successful. In 2010 he was an All-Star with an 11-3 record and a sparkling 3.28 ERA, which was his best since 2005. He did have an elbow issue, but he assured us that his retirement after 2010 was influenced by his heart, not his arm. At age 39, health concerns are not unreasonable. But injuries can happen to anyone in baseball. Pettitte works hard and is smart enough to keep himself in shape. And if he wants to come back this badly, he knows what he’s getting into – the vigorous workouts, exercise, practice – and he’s ready for it.
Pettitte wouldn’t start the season in the Bigs because he needs a full Spring Training of his own. I’m not worried about where he will fit into the rotation. The Yankee rotation may seem all well and good right about now, but a lot can change over the course of the season. Injuries and ineffectiveness must be considered, and that is why you can never have too much pitching. The safety net of knowing you have a crafty, veteran, future-Hall-of-Fame lefty who knows how to win in New York is quite comforting. Who knows when he’ll make his appearance in pinstripes? All I know is that when he does, he’ll be ready, I’ll be ready, and we’ll both be happy.
Another reason I just love this news is because Andy Pettitte is synonymous with championships. He is the best starter in the history of postseason baseball. When the pressure is on, Andy buckles down and gets the job done. If the Yankees make it to the postseason this year, Andy will definitely be a key player in the postseason rotation. I’ll never forget how he won each clinching game in the 2009 playoffs for my boys. I say it’s about time my Yanks get back there. Sure, the teams have been very good since then, but they were just lacking something to push them over the top and make them go all the way.
Andy Pettitte is just what the Yankees need.
And he’s just what I need, too.
It’s March, I’m on spring break, the weather has been giving me a tease of summer, and baseball is back – and oh, does it feel good to be excited for my Yankees again.
Thank you in advance, Andy.