NEW YORK (CBS New York/ AP) — In a day that Andy Pettitte “knew was obviously going to eventually come,” the Yankees’ sturdy lefty said goodbye to baseball on Friday.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond with comment from the southpaw
With wife Laura sitting at his side at a Yankee Stadium news conference, Pettitte he had conflicting feelings about leaving the game. He said “it was an easy decision, but it wasn’t an easy decision.”
“This was not an easy decision for me,” Pettitte said at Yankee Stadium. “I’m trying to figure out exactly what I’m trying to say.”
Pettitte said he was pretty sure after the Yankees’ last playoff game in October that he would retire, but Laura persuaded him not to make a decision until he was sure. She said he made up his mind last weekend, while driving home to Deer Park, Texas, from their ranch.
“When I left Arlington Stadium at the end of the season last year I felt like I was done,” Pettitte said. “I’m sure that everyone that I spoke with, some of the teammates that I spoke with towards the end of the season knew that I was headed in that direction.”
“I’m done,” she remembered him saying.
1010 WIN’s Juliet Papa reports from the news conference
Pettitte said that while his body is ready for spring training, the “desire to compete” isn’t there.
“My arm feels great, my body feels great,” the lefty said. “I know that my body would get to where it needs to be but my heart is not where it needs to be.”
“My heart’s not where it needs to be and I just feel like that if I have any hesistation on doing this, and this isn’t a one day deal where I feel like I don’t want to do this, I would never make this kind of decision with that,” he added. “I just feel like that my heart is not fully, completely sold out to do this again and to do what I feel like what I need to do as a player on the New York Yankees and that’s not go and just pitch every fifth day there’s a lot more that I feel I need to do to be effective.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi watched from a front-row seat. Former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams entered about 20 minutes in and took a second-row seat.
“Always strolling in a little late,” Pettitte said with a smile.
Pettitte won’t disappear from public view entirely. He is expected to be a witness this summer at the trial of former teammate Roger Clemens, indicted on charges he lied to a congressional committee when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
“That has not had any affect, I mean zero, in my decision,” Pettitte said. “It’s had no impact in my life.”
Pettitte admitted using human growth hormone and said Clemens told him he had used HGH. Clemens testified Pettitte didn’t remember the conversation correctly.
Pettitte is a five-time World Series champion who finished 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA in 16 major league seasons, 13 of them with the Yankees. He set a major league record for postseason wins, going 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA.
What was your favorite Andy Pettitte moment in pinstripes? Let us know in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)