"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Is He Gone Yet?

Saying goodbye is never easy. Just ask Andy Pettitte who is taking his own sweet time to announce his retirement (this just in…Bernie Williams still hasn’t officially retired).

According to Brian Costello in the Post:

“We’ve been moving forward as if he’s not playing,” Cashman said. “He may tell us otherwise at some point, but, no, this week we’re not expecting to hear anything from Andy. He’s already given us the courtesy on several occasions of telling us don’t count on him and he’s not expecting to play. It’s not official, but he didn’t want to hold us up.”

…”He might call and say, ‘Hey, I want to play,’ but I don’t expect a call with him telling us, ‘Hey, I’m not playing,’ because he’s kind of already told us don’t count on me playing,” Cashman said.

A few weeks ago, Steven Goldman was exhausted by this story:

They Yankee with the third-most wins in team history has been waffling all winter, and his indecision has been accorded more weight than it deserves. A 39-year-old pitcher who made only 21 starts the previous season, no matter how good, only deserves to be accorded so much projected value.


1 rbj   ~  Jan 4, 2011 9:20 am

Come back Andy.

We need you.


2 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 4, 2011 9:38 am

1) That's a sad statement.

3 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 4, 2011 9:55 am

We're screwed.

4 rbj   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:03 am

2011 Yankees rotation:

1) CC Sabathia
2) AJ Burnett (good A.J or bad AJ? only Magic 8 ball knows for sure)
3) Phil Hughes
4) ? Mitre ?
5) ? Nova ? (I wouldn't mind giving Nova the #5 spot to see if he can go more than 4 innings, but having to rely on him?)

And against that 19 games against each of
1) Boston, reloaded & most likely won't have as many injuries as 2010
2) Tampa -- Crawford-less, but still a good team
3) Toronto, a decent, .500+ team
4) Baltimore, which shows signs of life and has Buck Showalter lighting a fire underneath the team.

At the moment, I'm going to go into the season without any expectations.

5 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:19 am

I wish I agreed with Goldman...I wish

6 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:21 am

[3] Are we sure of this?

I think Pettitte retiring would be fantastic (though I'll miss him). As Steven Goldman pointed out in the piece Alex linked, it might force the Yanks to use some of their young pitching talent.

Use Nova as the 4th starter, Phelps as the 5th (when one is needed) - and keep an extra hand in the bullpen to help cover innings. Then after the ASB, if one of those guys is struggling, or to control innings, bring up whoever's pitching best in the minors (Banuelos, Betances, Brackman, etc.).

Can pitching two or three kids be any worse than the 59 starts of ~5.30 ERA the Yanks got out of AJ and Vazquez last year? And the 2010 Yanks won 95 games!

7 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:23 am

[4] I was trying to figure out who the number two starter was going to be. I had sort of settled on CC Sabathia in some kind of whacky disguise.

8 rbj   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:27 am

[7] Sabathia and pray for rain?

I actually do expect A.J. to bounce back and be 15-10, instead of the reverse. I also expect to get a million dollars somehow. Any day now.

9 RagingTartabull   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:32 am

I wouldnt be shocked to see AJ have a 2009 type year

10 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:48 am

I think Burnett will probably be better. I do think the best days of AJ Burnett are behind him and he's not going to be anything close to a top three rotation starter.

11 Just Fair   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:50 am

Mabye Susyn Waldman will make a blubbering mess of herself in the press box sometime near the All Star Break announcing Andy's triumphant return.
In any case, here's a nice little poem I've shared with my class each year.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,"
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
by Oliver Herford.

12 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:54 am

Bill James said something that was telling semi-recently. He was talking about the Red Sox, and how much better they have gotten since he has been there in 2003. Yet they don't win any more games. The reason is that everyone is getting better all the time. Each year, teams improve personal, scouting, strategy, etc.... To stay in the mid-90s requires constant improvement.

So going into next year and trying to "match" the crappy performance the yanks got out of burnett and vazquez with similarly crappy performances by the minor leaguers and mitre and thinking that will get them 95 wins is probably not going to work.

13 Ben   ~  Jan 4, 2011 10:58 am

[8] Something about -
on day 1, sabathia,
all the rest, anathema

... not my forte. Where's Chyll with something witty?

14 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 4, 2011 12:28 pm

[12] I agree with you and Bill James. However, I think the kids can best the crappy performances of last year, not "match" it. My broad, general point was that teams can win a lot of games even when two of their starters suck. It might not be a formula for postseason success, however.

Everyone seems to be saying, "Oh noes, without Pettitte, the Yanks are toast!!1!11!" I don't believe that. The Yanks, as currently constructed, are a 90-win team. It might not be enough to win the division, if Boston does as they are supposed to, but it should be enough for the wild card.

15 Raf   ~  Jan 4, 2011 12:30 pm

[12] But it has worked, more often than not.

16 Raf   ~  Jan 4, 2011 12:33 pm

[14] I see years like 2004-07 where the pitching imploded, yet the Yanks were able to win 90+ games. I'll believe the Yankees are toast when I see it.

17 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:01 pm

[16] They added ARod & Sheffield in 2004, Cano, Wang, & Randy Johnson in 2005, Damon & Abreu in 2006, Pettitte in 2007 to improve the team to keep pace with the deteiorating pitching.

In 2008, they added no one, went with the kids, and missed 90 wins and the postseason.

Then they added CC, Siwsh, AJ and Tex and won the series. Last year it was Granderson and they weren't as good.

This year, they have added Russell Martin. Feels more like 2008 than any of the 95+ years...

But they're not done yet, either now or in the season, they could still improve the team. I just don't think they have done it yet.

18 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 4, 2011 2:23 pm

[13] (The part of Chyll Will will be played tonight by New York Yankees Sr. Vice President and General Manager Brian Cashman)

Meh, I've got nothin'...

19 Raf   ~  Jan 4, 2011 4:20 pm

[17] In 2008 they had Melky, Cano & Posada ineffective and injured. Jeter had an off year. And still won 89 games. 2008 level of injuries is what happened with the Red Sox last year. The pitching wasn't the problem in 2008.

20 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 4, 2011 5:33 pm

[19] Having bad pitchers pitch a lot of games was definitely one of the problems in 2008. If they had a better staff, they might have weathered the injuries and off seasons on the offense.

But whatever, this current team might be good enough to make the postseason. If they don't make any major changes, we'll find out.

21 Raf   ~  Jan 4, 2011 8:59 pm

[20] The Yankees of recent vintage have hit their way to the playoffs, the one year they didn't hit, in 2008, they missed the playoffs.

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