Greetings once more, everyone. Vacation appears to have concluded two days earlier than scheduled, thanks to Andy Pettitte's decision to retire.
I am mildly surprised. I thought the safe bet was for Pettitte to keep coming back until he didn't. Furthermore, the fact that he had been throwing recently indicates that he at least contemplated pitching once more in 2011.
Pettitte surely will emphasize his family, and his desire to be around them full-time, in his news conference tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. And I'm sure that's part of it. Certainly not the only one, though, and besides, his family had told him back in November to go ahead and pitch.
So what else? I don't think Pettitte would admit to this, but he had to be discouraged by the Yankees' chances to win the World Series, given Cliff Lee's rejection of them. And his health would be a natural concern, too, given that he spent about two months on the disabled list last year.
The Roger Clemens trial? I asked Pettitte about that last September, and he insisted that would have no bearing. Maybe he hadn't thought it through at that juncture, and upon further discussion, he realized that he'd rather not be as public a figure anymore come the Clemens trial. Maybe Pettitte was lying to me last September. Maybe he still thinks the Clemens situation is "nothing"; I'm betting that's what he'll say tomorrow.
As for the Yankees...yeah, they're in some real trouble here. Big-picture, they're in pretty good shape, given the strength of their farm system. But considering how much emphasis ownership places on winning the World Series each and every season...2011 could get a little hairy.
A starting rotation of CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and a mix of Ivan Nova, Sergio MItre, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon - to start the season, at least - is rather underwhelming, and it doesn't get much better if you throw someone like Kevin Millwood in there, either.
Yup, they have a great lineup and a pretty good bullpen, but it's just hard to intellectually envision that rotation getting the Yankees through even half of a season. Sure, you never know who will become available in July, but it might prove difficult for the Yankees to keep pace with the rest of the American League heavies.
--I'll be on "Good Day New York" at 7:15 tomorrow morning, on Fox 5, to discuss the Pettitte situation.
--With each passing day, the Wilpons' situation looks increasingly worse. Now, their settlement talks with Madoff trustee Irving Picard have ended, and Jim Baumbach reports that the Wilpons won't oppose the unsealing of the documents concerning the case.
I'd say that means that the documents will make the Wilpons look good, that the Wilpons wouldn't green-light this unless that was the case. But that's giving the Wilpons the benefit of the doubt that they lost last week.
Their decision to send their attorneys after Picard by having their attorneys rip the trustee was remarkably stupid. And I don't understand their crazy anger at the New York Times. I've been reading the Times' coverage of this, and nothing stands out as insanely biased, unlike the work of other publications (cough!).
--All right, so your updated blogging schedule: I'll post something after Pettitte's news conference tomorrow, and then we'll be fully back next week, when we'll have a giveaway contest each day from Monday through Friday.