The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Pettitte: “I just came to hang out, really”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 27, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Andy Pettitte was perfectly serious, and Joe Girardi said he liked the idea. It was Derek Jeter who thought the whole thing was a joke.

“I told them I can throw batting practice,” Pettitte said on Monday, making his first spring appearance since his retirement. “I’m doing it every day at my house for the Pony League team. If they need a left-handed arm to throw BP, why not?”

Jeter laughed.

“No chance,” he said. “It’d be a waste of both of our time.”

Brian Cashman asked Pettitte to come down to spring training last year, but Pettitte said he needed the time away. He’d made his retirement decision, and he didn’t want to show up as a distraction. These days, his oldest son is playing varsity baseball, and Pettitte is coaching his 13-year-old’s team. He’s also an assistant basketball coach for his daughter and youngest son.

“I had a little break from the kids’ ballgames so just figured I’d shoot down here,” Pettitte said. “… I think I throw more now than I did when I played. It’s hot in Houston, so you’re always outside. The kids are always throwing. Baseball is in full-tilt already.”

On what he’s doing down here
“I’m just hanging. They just want me to be down here, whenever I can get down here to get down here and be part of the guys. I’m not looking to try to coach anybody or anything. If the guys want to ask me questions or anything, I’ll be more than happy to talk to guys and stuff like that but I just came to hang out, really.”

On whether this makes him think about doing it again
“I’d say yeah, just being honest with you to a certain degree. Then you take a step back. You evaluate where you’re at, what you’ve been doing and the reasons that I retired — to be with the family and spend time with them. Things are good. Things are really good, just loving life. No doubt, when you get around here and get close to it, you’re like, ‘Man, you’re 39 years old and Mo is 42.’ It’s just good to be here and be around the guys.”

On whether he could physically play again
“I’m sure I could. You start training, working out and getting yourself into shape. I’d imagine you could. I retired, I felt, after one of my better years. I felt like I was at the point where I just kind of knew what I was doing mechanically out there on the mound. I retired to go home and be with my family.”

On whether he watches the games from home
“I don’t. It’s crazy. I have four kids and I don’t know how my wife did it. It’s just like, what in the world? As soon as I pick them up from school, it’s just every night it’s something. I hate to say it, but I hardly got a chance to watch any of the games. I tried as hard as I could but my kids, it’s in them. They’re just ate up with it. They’re letting me know everything that’s going on, my oldest Josh and Jared. They keep me posted.”

On Phil Hughes, who Pettitte watched throw batting practice
“Well, I think for him, still being a young player, is just establishing yourself. I think he still needs to try to establish himself. I had some years that were rough, but you were kind of like, OK, I kinda got a track record and sometimes you’re just not going to have a great year, things just aren’t going to work out. But Phil’s kinda still in the mode of competing for a starting spot. He’s just got to show that he can go out there and have the consistency that he needs to go out and pitch at the big league level. The great thing about Phil is he can start and he can relieve so he just needs to go out, work hard, throw the ball well, and things are going to work out for him, that’s for sure.”

On whether Pettitte would like to do this every spring
“Yeah, I think so. If I can. Cash, we’ve stayed in touch. He wants me to be part of it. I’m going to try to do what I can as far as getting down here… There’s no substitute for being in there, so it’s kind of hard to stay really too, too closely connected.”




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