It’s Thursday. It’s cold. No one reports to Spring Training for another 12 days. Might as well go over a few assorted stories about pitchers, with my own analysis and speculation sprinkled in.
Andy Pettitte is Calling it Quits
This might be an outlandish theory with no basis in reality, but I think Andy Pettitte is retiring because he’s so broken up about losing game 3 of the ALCS. I really believe that.
(I don’t really believe that.)
It leaked out this morning that Pettitte was on his way to New York to announce that he’s done playing baseball.
Putting myself in his shoes, I wonder if it would be so easy for me to walk away, knowing that I can still compete at such a high level. Not to say he’s got another decade in him, but he could probably pitch the way he does for at least a couple more seasons and be pretty effective.
I know that I would love to see him in a Texas uniform right now, even if some consider that a [expletive] joke.
Of course, we know the Yankees need him, but I guess he just feels like it’s the right time. Can’t blame him for ending it on his terms. If nothing else, at least we won’t have to hear about the Core Four* anymore.
I do wonder if this is really the end. There’s definitely a scenario where I could see him getting lured back to New York sometime around July, helping the Yankees make a playoff push. Not saying it will happen, but I’d at least consider it a possibility.
I think as time goes on Pettitte is going to be one of those guys whose legend grows until it reaches mythical proportions. I don’t think he’s a HOFer, but he could get in as Bert Blyleven did.
Of course, Blyleven never did PEDs. Pettitte will be an interesting case in that regard, since he admitted to juicing and said that he only did it briefly.
He could be one that sneaks through.
Nobody Knows Quite What the Yankee Rotation Is
Now that we know where Pettitte will be, we’re trying to figure out where the Yankee rotation will be. Some people [myself included] think it’s going to be a rough year in NYC. Others think they’re going to be ‘just fine’.
(For probably the first time ever, the Texas rotation should be favored way ahead of New York’s. It won’t be, but it should be.)
There are just too many questions right now for me to assume that they’re going to be okay. Sabathia is the only thing close to a sure thing and, because of that, I feel a little bad for the guy. He is the rotation for the time being.
I hope that, sometime in June, every team with an even slightly above average pitcher starts calling the Yankees and asking for their star prospect** or nothing at all.
Couldn’t hurt to try and they might be just that desperate by then.
Speaking of Slightly Above Average Pitchers
Richard Durrett references an article written by Buster Olney [which is behind a paywall] that floats the names of some pitchers that might be available around the trade deadline. Some are interesting, but nothing like what we saw last year [Cliff Lee].
(I do hope the Rangers avoid James “The Muppet” Shields.)
Kevin Millwood Wants to Get Paid
Former Ranger starter Kevin Millwood wants some money. Too much money, most people seem to think.
(I hope he gets a gig. I always liked him as a person.)
Tim Wakefield is the Active Wins Leader
Aaron Gleeman points out that without Pettitte or Jamie Moyer pitching in 2011, there are no 200+ game winners in baseball. As far as wins go, I guess 200 is the new 300.
(Unless Wakefield finds himself a starter again, I don’t see him breaking 200 in 2011. That might mean he never breaks it, which would be a real shame, because I also like him as a person.)
The Return of Dontrelle Willis?
(Here’s a late addition about a pitcher I pull for more than almost anyone else in the game.)
Rosenthal reports that Dontrelle Willis’ agent thinks he is physically and mentally ready for a comeback. I was wondering back in December if he’d gone underground. I don’t know why, but for as long as I have known who he is, I’ve wanted Willis to succeed.
When he came into the majors he was so highly touted [winning the NL Rookie of the Year] and then for no reason he stopped being able to find the strike zone. He’s since struggled with anxiety and hasn’t ever been able to put it back together.
I wasn’t sure what happened to him after the Diamondbacks let him go and apparently the Reds scooped him up. If he weren’t already spoken for, I’d be fine with the Rangers kicking the tires on him.
Either way, I hope he figures it out.
That’s all for tonight. Here’s hoping I can slip into a 12 day coma and wake to a better world.
* The Core Four is the stupid media nickname for four of the Yankees that have been on their last five WS teams. With Pettitte gone, it’s just Jeter, Posada, and Rivera that remain.
** Catcher Jesus Montero, who was almost traded to the Mariners last summer for Cliff Lee.