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.