As we talked about earlier this week, history would show that we’re still at least a few weeks away from getting an Andy Pettitte decision on whether he’ll retire or return. Pettitte did talk to a reporter at a charity golf tournament in Texas yesterday, though, and made comments that indicated right now he’s leaning towards retiring. He also made it clear that if he does pitch in 2011 it would be his final season.
“Right now, I can tell you my heart’s right here in Deer Park,” Pettitte told KHOU.com. “If something happens and I play one more year that would be it. It would be one more year and that would be it.”
I’m sure there are some Yankees fans who get frustrated by Pettitte’s indecision, but it’s obvious that his family is a big pull for him. In the same interview, he talked about how he feels like each year he returns to baseball is another year where he’s going to be missing important moments in his kids’ lives.
“My kids are getting older and one’s going to be out of high school real soon, and I’m not going to miss his whole high school,” Pettitte said. “I want to be able to be here and see some of his stuff and you can’t see his stuff playing major league baseball. I just feel like a have a big responsibility here. I have three boys. I feel like I need to be around and raise them and I feel like we’re getting to that point where it’s the crucial ages of their lives that I need to be around a little bit more.”
Obviously the Yankees are counting on Pettitte to continue to be a key piece of their starting rotation though there are no guarantees he’ll return. The Daily News reported earlier today that the Yankees might have interest in Jorge De La Rosa if their pursuit of Cliff Lee falls through, but would they consider him if Pettitte retires? I’d say it’s unlikely, mostly because De La Rosa is a Type-A free agent; losing a draft pick for a No. 1 starter is one thing, but losing one for a middle-of-the-rotation guy is less palatable.
One thing the Yankees don’t have to worry about is Pettitte returning to the Astros. “It’ll be New York or it’ll be nowhere for sure,” Pettitte said. “(I) just feel like I’ve done too many things up there and too many special things up there with that group of guys for too many years, not to finish it up … up there.”
* That’s an AP shot of Pettitte with one of his sons, Luke, at the 2010 All-Star Game.