‘Hart of the Order’
By Sean Hartnett
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When Andy Pettitte called it a day on his career in February 2011, it didn’t feel right to Yankee fans.
We respected his decision to spend time with his family but in the back of our minds we all knew that he had so much more to offer in pinstripes.
Statistically, he was a dominant 11-3 in 2010 and pitched to his usual brilliant level in the playoffs but it was a sour ending considering what was expected from the 2010 Yankees.
Pettitte now has the rare opportunity to re-write his exit from the game of baseball in storybook fashion. There wasn’t any histrionics when it was announced that Pettitte was making his 2012 return. He quietly slid into the Yankees rotation without the fanfare of Roger Clemens’ 2007 over-hyped comeback.
There wasn’t any holding the Yankees to ransom or pitting teams against each other like Clemens did in 2007 to secure a $4.7 million dollar per month deal for a half season’s work.
Pettitte didn’t shout his announcement from the heavens of the Steinbrenner family box at Yankee Stadium with all the ridiculousness of a WWE-style soap opera moment. Andy slid through the side door unexpectedly after the Yankees’ rotation looked complete.
He could’ve demanded more than the $2.5 million he’s set to earn should he return to the majors. According to YES Network’s Jack Curry, Brian Cashman offered Pettitte an offer in excess of $10 million to return in December but Pettitte declined and decided to test his body by working out.
Andy’s return is simply about his love of the game, the desire to compete and the joy of locker room camaraderie. He’s earned enough money over 16 years but championship rings are what Pettitte and ‘The Terrific Trio’ of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Pettitte can’t have enough of.
The dream scenario for Pettitte and Rivera is that the two Yankee icons can exit the game on top of the world as champions in what is likely their final season. It will be a wonderful moment if Rivera and Pettitte can call it a career with a sixth World Series to add to their current collection of five.
For a moment, let’s forget about who Pettitte is expected to replace in the Yankees’ overloaded rotation and just enjoy the ride. Yankee fans everywhere are glad to have the classy hero with the #46 on his back in pinstripes once again.
Can Pettitte and Rivera go out on top with a final World Series ring? Share your opinions below and send your tweets to @HartnettWFAN.