Yankees fans were crushed Thursday when they learned beloved starter Andy Pettitte will officially announce his retirement at a Yankee Stadium news conference at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
“I’m like, totally, totally bummed. He’s like the consummate Yankee,” said Matt Spiegal, a 30-year-old attorney originally from the Upper East Side. “But I’m not sure if he would have made much of a difference if he was here this year. I think they would have pitching problems with or without him.”
As he had done the prior two offseasons, the 38-year-old lefty kept fans in suspense all winter as he mulled returning for another season. Pettitte, who already broke fans hearts once when he ditched the Yankees in 2003 for a three-year stint with Houston, hasn’t hidden his desire to spend more time with his family in Texas and call it a career.
Yankees blogger Ben Kabak of riveravenueblues.com said Pettitte’s retirement leaves a gap in the Yankees’ pitching staff.
“I think he could still be an effective major leaguer for a few more years, but I think he realizes that his age is catching up to him, and he probably wants to go out when he’s still feeling good about it instead of fading away,” Kabak said.
The potential Hall of Fame pitcher, whose 16-year-career began with the Yanks in 1995, will retire with the most postseason wins (19) by a pitcher and five World Series rings.
“The Yankees will get another pitcher. But money can’t buy you a World Series ring,” said Alejandro Bravo, 31, of the Lower East Side.
“[Pettitte] represented a progression in terms of dedication and commitment. It’s the end of an era.”
(with Tim Herrera)