Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On letting go

I've said many, many times here that the one thing that I respect about the RedSox organization is their ability to cut relations with their "heroes", guys like Pedro, Damon, Lowe, Manny, Nomar and now possibly Varitek. There's a fine line between being heartless and having conviction in your beliefs. The Yanks have been guilty of keeping their recent heroes past their primes while paying "in the prime" prices. Going the extra year on both Mo and Posada most recently were classic examples of this.

Let there be no confusion: I am a big Andy Pettitte fan. Even with the whole PED situation, I remain a fan of his game, his demeanor, his contributions to the dynastic run. All that said, if Andy truly wants "in the prime" dollars/years right now, I will not shed a tear if he doesn't return. He's a 4th or 5th starter in the AL right now, at best. At worst, slightly below league average (see the 2nd half of 2008). Maybe he pulls a Mussina and cranks out a 20 win out-of-nowhere season in 2009, but I'm not holding my breath.

Pettitte did not tell the Yankees that he might be included in the report, which said he had used human growth hormone. Pettitte admitted his use and the Yankees supported him publicly. But his performance suffered in the second half of the season, when he usually gets stronger, and he admitted his distracting off-season might have been a factor.

In a way, though, such honesty has always been part of Pettitte’s appeal; his sincerity and earnestness have made him a fan favorite. In an interview in September, Pettitte forecast a quick negotiation, even though he knew it might not be wise to do so.

Obviously anyone else would say, ‘I’ll go wherever I want to,’ because people want to try to get the most money,” Pettitte said before a Yankees-Angels game in Anaheim, Calif. “But, I mean, I’m not going anywhere, you know what I’m saying? The Yankees know me enough, it’s not like I’m going to hold out. I guess if I had spent all my money or whatever, it might be different. But it’s not about that, really, anymore.”
If Andy can get $16m or so from another team, TAKE IT. Seriously. I would not be remotely upset if he went after the money. Heck, it's in everyone's DNA to take the highest dollar, or to at least ASK for the highest dollar they feel they are worth. Just don't tell me that you're not going to hold out for the highest dollar then do just that. That's hypocritical, Andy.

Don't forget, Andy, how the team wrapped their collective arms around you in Spring Training as you apologized for the PED usage. This team would be better with you in it, but if you want that extra few million, after you have made over $100m in your career, best of luck. See ya at Old Timer's Day. I'll be cheering for you then.

Fellow blogger "el duque" at the well-written IT IS HIGH... penned an open letter to Andy, begging him to return, citing Pettitte's legacy. This is precisely the thing that the Yanks have done over the years in the face of declining productivity.
We need you as starting pitcher on the day the world greets the new Yankee Stadium.

The Yankiverse needs you.

The other starters -- Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, Chamberlain -- may someday be great Yanks. You, however, have already earned that distinction. Therefore, please consider this request.
Andy, I'd like to see you back in pinstripes in 2009 but if it's not meant to be, it's not the end of the world. The Yanks should just be willing to let go. The 2009 season is the dawn of a new era. A new ballpark, a new club. Sabathia should be on the hill that Opening Day in the Bronx as the unofficial face of the new era.


dinologic (Dean D) said...

I'm more upset about the fact that he let himself get into the position in the first place. Every day that passes chips away at my perception of him - a classy, team-first guy. I suppose a $6 million pay cut is tough to swallow, but I've always thought Andy to be the type of person that understands reality (unlike most pro athletes [ahem...Roger Clemens]). Either he doesn't understand reality or is in denial. Or he's greedy, which I just can't allow myself to accept. Yet.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

I just don't know what I'll do when Chipper's contract is up at the end of the season.