Andy Pettitte announces retirement following 2013 season

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(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

For the second time in three years, Andy Pettitte is retiring from baseball. The veteran left-hander announced his intention to retire following the season on Friday afternoon, prior to the start of the team’s final homestand of 2013. Both Joel Sherman and Ken Rosenthal reported the news earlier in the day. Here is Pettitte’s full statement:

“I’m announcing my retirement prior to the conclusion of our season because I want all of our fans to know now—while I’m still wearing this uniform—how grateful I am for their support throughout my career.  I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap to them during these remaining days and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees so special.

“I’ve reached the point where I know that I’ve left everything I have out there on that field.  The time is right.  I’ve exhausted myself, mentally and physically, and that’s exactly how I want to leave this game.

“One of the things I struggled with in making this announcement now was doing anything to take away from Mariano’s day on Sunday.  It is his day.  He means so much to me, and has meant so much to my career that I would just hate to somehow take the attention away from him.”

Pettitte, 41, first announced his retirement following the 2010 season. He sat out the entire 2011 season before making a comeback in 2012, citing the itch to compete. The comeback was a successful one — 2.87 ERA (3.48 FIP) in 12 starts — aside from the fluke broken leg he suffered on a hard-hit comeback ground ball. That cost him close to three months.

The injury drove Andy to continue pitching in 2013. The Yankees re-signed him to a one-year contract worth $12M last November and he was in their rotation right from Opening Day. Pettitte has pitched to a 3.93 ERA (3.76 FIP) in 28 starts while missing time with back and lat problems this year. He had a real rough patch in the middle of the summer that made him look very much like the oldest starting pitcher in baseball, but Andy rebounded and has been the team’s best starter for a good month now.

Pettitte owns a career 255-152 record with a 3.86 ERA (3.74 FIP) in parts of 18 big league seasons, all but three with the Yankees. He has gone 19-11 with a 3.81 ERA (4.09 FIP) in 44 career postseason starts and was an integral part of five World Championships. Andy is the Yankees all-time leader in strikeouts (2,009) while ranking second in starts (436), third in wins (218), innings (2780.1), and WAR (50.9), and fifth in games pitched (445). He’s a borderline Hall of Famer andsimply the greatest Yankees starter many of us have ever seen pitch.

Andy is scheduled to start two more games this season — in Yankee Stadium this Sunday and one in Houston next weekend. It’s fitting his final two games will come in the two cities he called home during his career. Mariano Rivera is retiring after the season as well, and it’s kinda neat that he and Pettitte are going out together. The two have teamed up for 72 win-save combinations over the years, by far the most in baseball history. It’s bittersweet to see Andy retire (again), and no, I definitely don’t expect another comeback attempt down the line.

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  • Dela G

    isn’t this actually his third retirement?

    ha nonetheless, good for him

    • forensic

      He’s doing his best to try to catch Clemens.

    • MB923

      No it’s his 2nd. His first was after 2010.

    • Tisha

      as much as I love Jeter, he should leave with Andy and Mariano

      • I’m One

        That would be fitting, but I don’t see it happening.

      • Katt

        agreed

      • RetroRob

        No he shouldn’t. He should leave just as Mariano and Andy are leaving. When he decides.

      • Jimmy

        C’mon, man. Derek Jeter had over 200 hits just last year. Settle down.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries
    • Pat D

      No, that would only happen if Jeter called it quits, too.

      • forensic

        They’re all trying to steal Mo’s thunder. Now he won’t get any attention for his retirement…

        • Kim K.

          Did you read what Andy said? He said he did NOT want to take away from Mo, that Sunday is MO’S DAY! No one is trying to steal Mo’s thunder.

          • forensic

            1. I was being sarcastic. I thought that was pretty obvious.

            2. I wrote that over an hour and a half ago, so what he releases now has no bearing on it anyway.

  • forensic

    At least they’ll (theoretically) have finality and closure to that before the offseason so they’re not waiting and waiting for a decision for months without being able to go on with their plans.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting & Defense & Baserunning

      They have plans?

      • forensic

        I did my best to resist adding ‘if they have any’.

      • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixiera – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

        +1

    • http://www.intelliciti.com tuanoe

      I’m glad that the Yankees will have an idea of what they have to go after. What is out there?

      • forensic

        Phil Hugh…

        Sorry, almost got through it all with a straight face.

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    Andy’s scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, which also means that, in theory, if he wanted to pitch his final game in Houston, that possibility presents itself. Kinda neat how that ended up.

    (this would likely be the case even if the Yankees finagle their way to the Wild Card game, which is nigh impossible at this point anyway.)

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

      oh jeez, I screwed that up. He pitched Tuesday, not Wednesday. The basic point still remains, however.

  • JLC 776

    All we need now is for Kuroda to verify he’s pitching in Japan next year and we’ll officially be screwed next year!

    • qwerty

      That’ll probably be the case. Why would Kuroda want to play on a 4th place team?

  • CashmanNinja

    Good for Andy. He had a solid season, but I think he’s at the point where he’s a little more decisive now. It isn’t like the past when he was on the fence. He came back and got one last taste and can leave with peace of mind and won’t have that “what if” in the back of his mind. It’s neat that he’ll end it in Houston. It’s his home and he’ll probably get to have a ton of friends and family come there. Let’s hope he leaves nothing in the tank and just goes all out. Plus I also like that we won’t have one of those off-seasons where we wonder for months whether or not he’s going to come back or retire. Good for Andy. Sucks that so many of our greats are leaving for good. First Posada, now Andy and Mo. Next up will be Jeter :\

  • Greedy Bastards

    Goes out as their best pitcher now and the only starting pitcher they’ve developed into a front-end guy in the last 20 years.

  • JOhn C

    Good for Andy. Class all the way. Lets the Yanks know before the offseason so they can plan without him. COngrats on a great career and thanks for coming back when Yanks needed you

    • Chris Z.

      All the way? Nah, 90% of the way. The HGH thing kind of stinks IMO but hey, its one mans opinion.

      • MannyGeee

        FALSE.

        In fairness to him, he used HGH to recover from injuries back when they were not ‘banned’ or even frowned upon. And has been clean ever since (so far as we know…)

        We’re not talking about a Canseco or Bonds guy who used PEDs to become the best in the game. Mis-informed and unfortunate, sure. But hard to take away from his character for this situation.

        But hey… maybe those are rose colored glasses on my part.

      • I’m One

        I get what you’re saying, but I don’t hold the HGH thing against him too much (so maybe 95% for me). He was trying to recover from an injury, not enhance his on-field performance (sort of). And I’m not clear as to whether or not HGH was specifically banned at the time. Anyone have something definitive on that?

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          He didn’t have a prescription, but it was (and is) a legal drug.

          I honestly don’t give a fuck if anyone, from Matt Harvey to RGII, uses HGH to come back from an injury, though, because that is literally what HGH is for.

  • forensic

    I don’t get too much into this kind of stuff, but it’s kind of neat that maybe Andy and Mo can put together one more win-save combo on Mo’s day on Sunday.

    They’re also facing Petit on Sunday, which also reminds us how over the course of 18 years so many fans still can’t spell Pettitte right.

    • MannyGeee

      Well played, Forensic

  • Gonzo

    No picture of the Andy stare?

    • Gonzo

      There we go.

  • trr

    This will e it for Andy Pettitte. He goes out as our best starting pitcher.

    Thanks Andy for everything. It helps the team to know this now.
    He may have enough in the tank for one more year, but it’s tough to envision this team as a contander for next year right now…but let’s focus on celebrating Andy’s great career!

  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    Using an image from Game 3 of the 2009 ALCS. That’s pretty good.

  • Matt

    Just checked, the last time Pettitte, Jeter, and Mariano played in the same game was October 7th, 2010….I could be wrong

  • Chris Z.

    Bottom 9 and Andy is throwing a perfect game or a no-no. Does Mo end up in CF instead of pitching?

  • Eddard

    It is time for both Andy and Mo to go. They will go into the HOF together as Yankees. It’s just a shame for those two men that Cashman didn’t give them much of a chance to get that elusive 6th ring.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

      The clowns above Cashman didn’t give them much of a chance either, buddy.

    • JLC 776

      Imagine if Jeter also decided to call it quits this year (I know, will never happen) and the three of them all go on the ballot at the same time.

    • Pat D

      Sorry, but Andy’s not making the HOF.

      If he did, it wouldn’t be in his first year.

      • MannyGeee

        I think he gets in, but not first year.

        • Pat D

          ERA is too high, even considering the years he pitched. Not enough wins to offset that. Probably stays on the ballot for years the way guys like Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Jack Morris and Don Mattingly did/have.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            He’s Jack Morris except better in literally every way.

            It will probably take 5-10 years, but he’ll get tehre.

    • gc

      The only way Pettitte goes into the Hall of Fame is if he buys a ticket. Even as borderline as he is, the dummy writers won’t vote for him because of the HGH thing, so subtract a pretty significant percentage of whatever we perceived his vote to be right off the top.

  • Kosmo

    It´s a good decision on Andy´s part. He fits in nicely in a long line of great Yankee southpaws. Herb Pennock, Lefty Gomez, Eddie Lopat, Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry and Andy Pettitte. Fare thee well.

  • teddy

    Andy career war bwar 60.3, fwar is 66.3.

    thats pretty good, not sure what the hof line is, but i say no

    • Pat D

      HOF voters still don’t give a shit about WAR.

      They’ll look at his wins, his ERA, and his strikeouts. He might get bonus points for the postseason wins, but it’s not going to be enough to push him over the top.

      • YankeeTX

        You never know about the HOF voters …. maybe. However, even though I can’t stand Skip Bayless he has said what I think is the best measure of determining who gets in and who doesn’t – If you don’t instantly look at a guy and think “That guy is a HOF” if you have to think about it …. then he is not a HOF.

        Like you said it will be his postseason work that will get him in if he does.

        • Pat D

          That “if you have to think about it” line is bullshit.

          I’d prefer reasoned thought about who to enshrine in the HOF rather than ridiculous knee jerk opinions.

          • MannyGeee

            I kind of agree. If there was any merit to the “if you have to think about it” line, they would not give these voters longer than 10 minutes to fill their ballots.

            • Pat D

              There’s a few guys who wouldn’t be in the HOF without having been thought about (or campaigned for): Blyleven, Gossage, Rice (a mistake, but still), Ron Santo.

              Guys like Tim Raines and Alan Trammell and Adrian Beltre will only get into the HOF by people actually taking time to think about their credentials, too. Trammell’s going to have to hope the Vets Committee lets him in, but it will take the same process.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        These HoF voters are not the 2018 HoF voters, though.

        He’s essentially Jack Morris-plus-plus, so I think he has a damn good shot, even if he’s closer to HoVG for me.

  • LarryM Fl

    Andy was quality all the way. I enjoyed his pitching. Still recall the 95 mph a few years back with the cutter. He made opposing hitters look helpless diving down trying to get the cutter.

    Maybe he can spend the winter schooling CC.

    It was time to go.

  • cr1

    Us crones and geezers remember when Andy came up — and Mariano and Jeter and Posada — young and thin and bigeyed. They have given us some astounding memories and I hope our cheers have let them know that we are grateful for each one.

    We remember the years when they were underpaid, not just the years when they finally collected — it all averaged out to a pretty good buy.

    This oldie is hoping for another bunch just as well worth watching for another fifteen or twenty years.

    That should about last us out.

    • bobby two-knives

      Ditto. You said it better than I. Let’s not forget Donnie and Bernie.

      • cr1

        Absolutely not.

        I started to elaborate more but since sticking to the topic is one of my favorite things about RAB I pulled back just in case I was about to step over our own red line.

  • steves

    Andy’s look of disgust when Cano didn’t run out the ground ball the other night could have sealed the deal; Andy’s busting but the rest of the team already has its bags packed; can’t blame him for deciding that he doesn’t want to be associated with this current bunch any further even though he is still very capable.

    • MannyGeee

      Yeah, he’s retiring from baseball with the same amount of thought as a guy who is walking out of his job at Pizza Hut.

      Seems….. oversimplified, right?

      • steves

        Do you think if the Yanks were on a roll and primed for a deep post-season run that Andy would have made any retirement announcement? The timing actually does suggest he was reacting a little hastily/emotionally than someone who had planned this way in advance.

        • BFDeal

          I believe you’re overthinking it. First or last, I think this was Andy’s last year and he made that decision at the beginning of the season.

    • Captain

      it kinda goes the other way when Andy was pitching like the worst pitcher in baseball for some time in the middle of the season while the rest of the team was busting it.

      I think you’re just overthinking it. He probably wanted to retire at the end of the season but now that the team is most likely out of the playoff race, he can make the announcement without it coming in the way of the playoff chase.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    8 inning no-hit loss in Houston with Mo to pitch the 9th.

  • Kim K.

    I think it’s smart on Andy’s behalf. With his back giving him issues on and off and his age creeping up on him, it’s for the best. For those thinking that people are trying to take away Mo’s thunder, you realize Mo doesn’t want all this attention, it’s not something he craves. Andy came up with Mo so why in the world would Andy want to take away everything people are doing for Mo?? Use your heads and actually read the article, Andy himself said he does NOT want to take anything away from Mo; that Sunday is MO’S DAY!! I wish Andy all the best. Hopefully his son will pan out and we’ll get to see another Pettitte on the mound in the years to come!

  • John C

    My fondest memory of Andy will always be his outdueling John SMoltz on game 5 of the 96 WS to give the Yanks a 3-2 lead and a sweep of the Braves in Atlanta, especially after they spanked him in game 1.

    • I’m One

      This.

  • CashmanNinja

    I don’t think Andy will get into the Hall of Fame. Wins are a big thing and since we probably won’t see a 300 win pitcher for a while. His PED usage is what will keep him from the HoF.

  • Michael Allen

    Ah screw it. Let’s win out and see if we can’t push these retirements back a few weeks.

    • I’m One

      I’d love to see that. All they have to do is start winning some games (and, of course, hope that all the teams in front of them lose games).

  • JGYank

    He’s serious this time. Nice career. No farewell tour for him though. I wonder how they honor him. He just misses the HOF IMO since he never really dominated and wasn’t really an ace.

  • Chris Z.

    Rivera or Andy jersey on Sunday…. #decisions

  • your mom

    Even Andy knows this team is heading to the shitter next season.

    • BFDeal

      Yeah, that’s it.

  • the Other Steve S.

    Sign Posada to a one-day contract

  • Vern Sneaker

    He’s been so great. I love to watch him pitch — his stuff, his craft, his determination. As for the HOF, Ford with his 236 wins, 1956 SOs,1.21 WHIP, and 10-8 post-season record over 17 years got in, so Pettitte’s 255 wins, 2637 SOs, 1.35 WHIP, and 19-11 post-season over 18 years should be good enough, IMO. I agree that on balance Ford was a slightly better pitcher, his 2.75 ERA and .690 W-L compared with Pettitte’s 3.86 and .627 attest to that, but Pettitte didn’t have Ford’s spitter, which I witnessed and was damned near unhittable.

  • cooolbreeez

    You should go Andy innings one through five and Mo six through nine. Andy gets the win amd Mo the 12 out save.

  • BFDeal

    Thanks for everything, Andy.

  • http://facebook kim kapschock

    Will Miss you Andy :(

  • Pasqua

    It’s odd…in some sense, even though the retirement of Pettitte and Mo, and the likely departures of Hughes and Kuroda, feels like a new birth for the team, it’s not one that makes me fee a sense of dread. It’s kind of exciting to think of all the possibilities for the future in terms of where things will go. Granted, they could go very, very badly, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the team evolves.

  • Nathan

    Rotation next year?

    – Sabathia
    – Phelps
    – Nova
    – Pineda
    – ???

    Suppose Yankees keep Kuroda, it’s still a very average rotation with big question marks (Sabathia & Pineda).

    I have a feeling next year isn’t going to be much better than this year.

    • FIPster Doofus

      I have a feeling they’re going to get Tanaka.

  • Dick M

    Andy’s besting of a “top of his game” Smoltz helped to jump-start the 4 out of 5 run and was one of the most important victories in Yankee history.