Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pettitte's sounding petty

Andy's sounding a bit too emotional these days. Frankly, it's pathetic. He's trying to use his legacy to justify getting more money than he deserves and thinks his 2008 season wasn't as bad as the Yanks are making it out to be. Andy, you sound like McCain saying the economy's solid when really it's cratering.

The 36-year-old's grievances with the Yankees feature, most prominently, these three sentiments, according to people familiar with his thinking:

1. Pettitte believes that the Yankees should display more appreciation for all that he has done for them.

2. While the Yankees are asking that Pettitte take a pay cut, the team clearly is not hurting financially, given its large investments in Teixeira,
CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

3. Pettitte thinks that his 2008 season wasn't as bad as the Yankees are making it out to be.

Let's review his "issues", shall we? I'll keep it brief:

On wanting more appreciation:
The Yanks have paid Andy $77,654,000 over his 12 seasons. That doesn't count as being appreciative? The Yanks signed him to his contracts and he fulfilled his side to the best of his ability. That's all either side owes each other. We'll shower him with love and affection on Old Timer's Day, but spare me the "they aren't showing me the love" crap, Andy, will ya?

On not hurting financially:
Correct, the Yanks are printing cash and also fleecing the taxpayers. Quite the double-dip. But, those other investments are for the future of the Yanks and even the Yanks have a year-to-year budget. They are also probably keenly aware of their 2008 payroll and doing whatever it takes to be even a dollar lower, so they can maintain their "we have a lower payroll than last year" argument, no matter how hollow it is. Just because they have the cash doesn't me you get to claim it as rightfully yours.

On 2008 not being as bad as the Yanks are making it look:
Andy, you were 14-14 last year with a 4.54 ERA and a 98 ERA+ (that's slightly below league average). You had an ugly 1.412 WHIP. Your second half was particularly bad, with a 5.35 ERA over 13 starts. Essentially, you are now a league average pitcher and league average pitchers do not earn $10m or more per year. Especially those with sketchy elbow histories.

Andy's story is not dissimilar to the way Bernie was phased out. It's what the Yanks need to do, acting with the mind more than the heart. {Of course, the biggest test will come after 2010 when Jeter's deal is done. All bets off.}

Andy, please stop the whining. Either take the offer or don't. Just stop grousing in public about it. Telling the public that $10m isn't showing you the love enough has no audience these days. No one wants to hear it.


Zoolander said...

Last year he said his off season training slipped due to the distraction of the Mitchell Report.

You have to wonder how much work he is putting in right now with the "distraction" of the Yankee negotiation.

At this point, I do not want him back at any price.

dinologic (Dean D) said...

It's sad really. At least Bernie's departure was more about the team just not having room for another aging OFer. I don't believe they offered him anything to come back. Andy could just as easily have taken the offer and gone out and pitched as the #5 guy in a young and ridiculously stacked rotation. In a brand new stadium. In front of 50+ million fans every night.

If the HGH thing wasn't enough to tarnish his image for me, this certainly gets me a little closer. Man, I hate having to force myself to lose respect for these guys.

Dammit, Andy.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

While I agree that Pettite is being dumb, I don't necessarily agree that he got worse or is now a league-average pitcher. ERA+ is nice, but it still relies on ERA. I wrote about this while you were gone.

Brian said...

A) Nobody owes the other party anything. Sentimentality is a holdover that the old-guard fans cling to.

B) Pettitte's periphs indicate a much better season than his ERA and WHIP show. He was let down by a miserable defense. His FIP was a delicious 3.71 in '08. But his most redeeming value is that he can eat 200 innings. With CC/Wang/Pettitte as the anchors, the Yankees will have something that they've been missing for a long time: enough innings covered to avoid signing a Ponson for June.

Pettitte is probably worth about $15-16MM in this market. Especially for a one-year deal. Of course, the Yankees don't have to give that to him if no other ball club is willing to come close to that. The Yankees don't have to pay Andy for what he did in the past and Andy doesn't owe them anything.

bigjf said...

The Andy and (upcoming) Jeter situations are not quite the same as Bernie. Bernie was in deep decline production-wise and was being kept around strictly out of sentimentality. Andy's final numbers last year weren't good, but there were indications that his numbers should've been much better. I'm sure you know what I'm referring to. The better argument against Andy is his elbow issues. Jeter had some injury issues last year, but he still get his hits and gets on base well enough to stick around. The toughest part with him will be whether the DH will be open to him or if the Yanks have to bit their collective lip and live with him at SS until it becomes too embarrassing to deal with.

Jason @ IIATMS said...


I understand that some of Pettitte's underlying peripheral stats were indicators of performance levels above where his actual performance finished. I get that and I'm willing to concede the fact that he's probably better than his 2nd half.

But he made fairly definative statements about "wanting only to return to the Yanks" and "money won't be the issue". And now, because the Yanks overpaid to fill their most glaring of holes, he thinks he's worth more than his ACTUAL performance warrants. You can't have it both ways.

He's a legacy and a great one. I will cheer the guy on Old Timer's Day but don't be some damn hypocritical, Andy.