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Deep Thought: What’s the deal with Andy Pettitte?

Dec 20, 2010, 4:02 PM EDT

Andy Pettitte

I’m not prepared to make some final and serious moral judgment on the matter right now or anything, but I have to ask: am I nuts for thinking that Andy Pettitte’s coyness on whether he will or will not return is really annoying?

I know he’s a free agent and his own man and has a right to proceed in any way he likes. I also know that the Yankees have, publicly at least, been totally accepting of the months-long process that Pettitte apparently requires to decide if he’s going to pitch again in 2011.  But really: wouldn’t it be a hell of a lot more considerate of him to give the Yankees an answer on this earlier rather than later?   If it’s a negotiating point, can’t he simply take the position that, yeah, he’s coming back, and then simply change his mind if the Yankees offers are insulting?  As it is, though, he’s not even getting into that negotiation stage.

Maybe it’s not a big deal. There are enough holes in the Yankees’ rotation — and enough uncertainty with A.J. Burnett — that it’s not like the Yankees could or should simply stop looking for starting pitching if he said he was going to get back into the fold.  But I do think that I’d be rather ticked if I were the Yankees.

  1. ramsbladdercup - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    What if everyone talked to the media exactly as much as Pettitte has done this off season and then he signed a deal in January. Would anyone make a big deal out of how long it took??

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    He’s becoming the Bret Favre of baseball.

    • iranuke - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:46 PM

      Not quite, but real close.

    • thinman61 - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:51 PM

      Nah. Rocket was the Brett Favre of baseball. Andy hasn’t reached nearly that level of annoyance yet. Hell, so far Andy has always started pitching in real games in April, just like every other pitcher on his team.

      • hep3 - Dec 20, 2010 at 5:23 PM

        Yeah, I remember hearing some ditzy woman screaming that the Rocket’s last contract was the most exciting moment in Yankee’s history. Something like that anyway.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    C’mon Craig. He’s done this for the last 3 years. And before that the Houston thing. Putting words in his mouth, he would love to “retire and watch his kids grow up, play ball, etc:” then he turns into the anti-Greinke.
    And there’s one thing deciding it more than anything- The first half of last season before the injury. He’s like Moose wanting to go out on a 20 win season.

  4. Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Maybe he wants to be a Phillie? For a discount…..

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/Yo_New_York_Had_enough_yet.html

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:25 PM

      He’d make a hell of a No. 5 starter.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:29 PM

      But, seriously: first, Cliffy…then the Rangers…then the (football) Dwarves…I dare say bring on the Knicks!!!!

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:35 PM

        I was shocked by Philly teams too many times this past few weeks, in good ways… I don’t think I can handle this change of pace here.. The End is near… The END is near…..

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM

        Uh-oh…is entitlement next?

  5. marshmallowsnake - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Maybe, like the rest of the logical baseball world, he does not like the Yankees either?

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    My guess would be that he and the Yankees have a predetermined “decide by” date in mind, so they are not anxious. The press continually reports on it, which makes it seem annoying, but is it really any more annoying than any of the other free agents who have not signed yet?

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM

      Yeah, I’d have to think that due to the length of their relationship, Pettitte and the Yankees must have something in place, even if informal.

  7. gt929 - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Is it possible that he has decided to retire and has told the Yanks privately, and that both sides have kept it quiet so as not to harm the Yanks in their quest for others? If he announces that he’s done, it just makes the Yanks look more desperate.

    • mtner77 - Dec 21, 2010 at 1:10 AM

      The Yankees’ ARE desperate. Whether Pettitte waits a few weeks before annoucing if he will play next year has zero to do with it. Every other GM in the league knows how desperate they are (if there is one who does not know that, then he is brain-dead). Whether Pettitte returns or not, the Yankees’ are not going to find any “good deals” on starting pitchers out there.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 21, 2010 at 1:23 AM

        2 things…

        1. I don’t think the Yankees are that desperate Yes, they need pitching help, and the Red Sox have made more moves this off season. But the Red Sox were in a position where they HAD to make moves. It has been 4 years since they won a playoff game. The Yankees didn’t have nearly the number of holes to fill. Someone will be paying a starter too much come May or June, and will gladly take some scrub prospects to let the Yankees take on half the salary.

        2. The other problem is that GMs seems to be imposing a luxury tax in trades with the Yankees in the form of much higher standards. Seriously, Smoak for Cliff Lee? Isn’t Smoak’s best case scenario equal to Montero’s worst case scenario (can’t stick at catcher, converts to slugging 1B)? The Royals took a boat load of Mediocre for Greinke. Are any of the players traded for Santana even in the majors anymore? Playing baseball? I have to applaud Cashman for not selling the whole farm system for aging rental players. He’ll be happy he has some cheap stars 4 or 5 years from now, when he’s still paying Arod, Tex, Sabathia, AJ etc around $20MM a piece for their twilight years.

  8. hankhill - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    His coyness is what the media makes of it. Stop reporting it everyday and you won’t be annoyed. Let him make his decision.

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