The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Friday, February 4, 2011

NY Times: Pettitte Retires Because of Heart, Not Arm

Pettitte, 38, said his health had no part in his decision, despite some nagging injuries last season. He said he had been working out hard for the past three and a half weeks to see if he was up to another season.

“I’m ready to go pitch at spring training if I had to,” Pettitte said. “My arm feels fine. My body feels fine. But my heart’s not where it needs to be.”

At his news conference, Pettitte sat alongside his wife, Laura, and said part of his decision sprung from the idea of packing up and leaving their home in Deer Park, Tex., for another season. That’s when he felt he was sure retirement was the right decision.

It’s tempting to say athletes have it easy, playing a kid’s game for a few months for ridiculous amounts of money, but I can imagine the travel and the public recognition is very wearying.  I don’t begrudge Pettitte for deciding to retire now.  I’ll just remember this.

--Posted at 11:44 am by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)


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From listening to the presser, my sense was that the injuries last season took a toll on his head. For example, he mentioned that Tino called and told him he was doing the right thing (Pettitte mentioned that he was still slightly undecided) and that he thought that he had retired a year too late.

Andy turning down an 8-figure contract today and Mussina doing the same a few years ago shows that playing baseball is hard work, even for players as successful as these two.

Another memory I have of the 1-0 game in the ‘96 series is AP putting the first two on (in the sixth or seventh inning?), fielding a bunt (Lemke), gunning out the runner at third, and then starting an inning-ending double play when the next batter grounded back to the mound. 

The ‘96 series was awesome.

Battle Cat since the beginning.

It is pretty telling that both Moose and Andy, probably my two favorite starters ever, left big money on the table.

I’ll never forget him pitching a great game on 3 days rest to clinch the World Series.

[4]  As did Gil Meche, who I know is your third-favorite.

Rob Neyer on Pettitte and HOF.

Tangotiger with the same

Quick conclusions - Neyer would probably vote for him when he gets a vote.  Tango thinks Pettitte at least deserves 15 years on the ballot, and will be an interesting case.

I think it’s crazy when “fans” complain about the money athletes make “playing a kids game”.  Being a world class athlete is NOTHING like the version that kids play.  It’s stunning that people make that argument. 

Training, travel, injuries, stress, and fame (some people *gasp* don’t like fame).  Another 10 million won’t change the course of Andy’s life.  And you figure a year is at least 2% of his remaining life.  Now he gets to spend that 2% any way he wants.

[8]  And at least they do it well.  I mean, OK, Ramiro Pena ain’t much, but he’s still one of the current, say, 2000 best players on the planet.  What really steams me is the compensation handed out to Wall Streeters for their “expertise”—shoot, I could have destroyed the economy just as well for half the price.  So could a retarded monkey.

He who has the gold, rules.

[9] Now I’m less than an expert on this, but at issue is the fact that some of those high-paid experts probably kept the economy (or at least, their companies) from doing even worse.  And some of them will be the people that will get the economy rolling again.  Now, how do you correctly identify the ones that have a true talent for managing millions (or billions) of dollars, and separating it from those who got lucky for a year or two, and really don’t have a clue what they are doing?  Sure sounds like some needs to come up with WAR for Wall Street executives…followed by a solid projection system.

Pettitte just said “I would battle my tail off” on YES.  Awesome.

[12] That makes him a BattleManx.

9-and the fact that society underpays teachers and scientists which is a double whammy because physicists and mathematicians who should be working on say physics or math instead invent algorithms for Wall St that help to cripple the economy

“society underpays teachers and scientists which is a double whammy because physicists”

I feel well paid given that I’m doing something interesting and valuable along with almost uniformly extremely smart people in a supportive environment.  I wouldn’t teach fourth grade on my salary though - much too hard.  There are plenty of capable people at my lab; as far as I can tell the limiting factor isn’t that, but funds to build bigger machines and hire capable people to run and analyze them.

I had hoped Pettite would return but if his heart’s not in it anymore, then it’s best for everybody that he hang it up.

Instead, I’ll just raise a glass for my second-favorite Yankee starter of my lifetime - right after Guidry.  (No offense to the Moose fans out there)

(No offense to the Moose fans out there)

What about the El Duque fans?  We have feelings too.

[17] Yes indeed. My favorite non-Mo pitcher was El Duque. Oh… and Alphonso Pulido.

I loved Duque, almost as much as Meche. I still really appreciate Wang, who carried some mediocre staffs into the playoffs.

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