The lede in Ken Davidoff’s latest column says it all: “Andy Pettitte is extremely unhappy with how his negotiations have gone with the Yankees, and the lefthander might be softening on his opposition to rejoining the Astros.” Once Pettitte rejected the Yankees $10 million offer, this development became inevitable. Pettitte hails from Texas and spent three years pitching in Houston, so the speculation makes sense, at least on one level.
The problem is that the Astros have not been inclined to spend this winter. In fact, as recently as Tuesday, Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle noted that “the Astros are essentially done shopping and unloading.” Drayton McLane has said the same himself. How, then, would the team go about freeing up the more than $10 million Pettitte seemingly desires? Ortiz’s colleague at the Chronicle, Jerome Solomon, explains:
Don’t be distracted by the reports that Pettitte told the New York Yankees he would not work for $10 million this season. That’s in New York. We’re Texas.
A quick check of the cost-of-living in Houston on the site CNNmoney.com shows that $10 million in Manhattan equates to only $4,054,415 in Houston. (And it is cheaper in Deer Park where Pettitte owns a home.)
Throw in New York state taxes versus the Republic of Texas and heck, a man as rich as Pettitte could work for a couple million bucks and one dollar in Texas, donate the couple mil to charity — keeping the dollar — and feel better about himself than he would taking the Steinbrenners’ money.
Sorry, forgot to factor in the hometown discount: cha-ching. Got change for a dollar?
First off, the telling line in Solomon’s little spiel is the second sentence of the first paragraph. That’s Texas. This is New York. Is there really any need to go further than that?
I can only think this is a tongue-in-cheek remark by Solomon, because it’s so patently ridiculous. He can’t seriously think that Pettitte wants more than $10 million from the Yankees solely based on the cost of living. That would make him, uh, not so smart. Pettitte wants more than $10 million because he feels he’s worth more than that. That number won’t change because of taxes and living costs in Houston.
Another insane Solomon quote: “Wouldn’t you sleep a lot better if you made up for being injured in Houston by returning for a modest salary this coming season?” Excuse me, but don’t the Astros have Mike Hampton on their team? Ah, if only he went back to the Braves to make up for all the time he spent on the DL.
Oh, and I’ll keep laying it on. Yet another: “Money isn’t that important to Pettitte.” If money wasn’t that important to Pettitte he’d be on the Yankees roster right now. At least that’s not an obscured fact. Check out an earlier paragraph:
If Pettitte was so willing and felt he had no choice but to take performance-enhancing drug because of an early-season injury, then he ought to be willing to play for a discount rate this season to make up for it.
Uh, he did that for the Yankees. He got injured (it was 2002, IIRC) and took HGH to return quicker. He might have done it with the Astros as well. Of that I’m not sure. But, again, why such a Houston bias here? He played just three years there. He played most of his career, and won all of his rings, with the Yankees. Not that I need to tell you guys that.
Unless the Astros open the purse, Pettitte will not be returning to the team he pitched for from 2004 through 2006. He’s not going to return to a team he reportedly did not enjoy playing for, at a discount, just to spite the Yankees. And if he does, well, I think we can wrap up the discussion about his integrity.