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Instructor Pettitte not thinking of return

Andy Pettitte speaks during a press conference to

Andy Pettitte speaks during a press conference to announce his retirement as his wife Laura looks on. (Feb. 4, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

TAMPA, Fla. -- Andy Pettitte was the first of the Core Four to retire, and wearing pinstripes for the first time since making that decision had him thinking about coming back.

To Tampa for 2013 spring training, again as a guest instructor. But not on the mound in any consequential way.

Did being back in uniform get him thinking about pitching again? "To a certain degree," Pettitte said after Monday's workout. "But then you take a step back and you evaluate where you're at and what you've been doing and the things that I've done, the reason why I retired. And that was to be with the family and spend time with them. Things are good. Things are really good. Just loving life."

Pettitte called it a career despite having plenty left in the tank, retiring after going 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts in 2010. But with four children at home -- his oldest now is 17 -- the lefthander, who ranks third in franchise victories with 203, felt a different pull.

Pettitte, who will turn 40 in June, keeps busy coaching his kids in baseball and basketball and performing other fatherly duties, and hasn't seriously considered a return.

"I was just kind of set with what I was doing," said Pettitte, 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA in his 16-year career, including 203-112, 3.98 with the Yankees. "You think about it, but I was just pretty happy with where I was at."

That's not to say that Pettitte, who ranks first in baseball history with 19 postseason victories, doesn't think he's capable of pitching. He was well on his way to perhaps the best season of his career in 2010 before spending much of the season's second half on the disabled list.

"I'm sure I could,'' said Pettitte, who added that he might throw some batting practice Tuesday. "You start training, working out and get yourself into shape, I would imagine you could. I retired after one of my better years. I felt like I was at the point where I just kind of knew what I was doing mechanically out there on the mound and stuff like that. But I retired to go home and be with my family, and that's why I retired."

Pettitte spent time in the bullpen watching Phil Hughes, among others, and chatted with players and executives behind the batting cage. Pettitte said he's not in camp to "lecture anybody," but manager Joe Girardi hopes he is proactive in talking to players. "There's a lot of wisdom there about how to pitch, how to play in New York," he said.

Derek Jeter said seeing Pettitte and Jorge Posada retire in consecutive years -- and Mariano Rivera hint at it upon reporting to camp last week -- hasn't made him consider his baseball immortality.

"I feel the same age whether they're here or not," he said with a smile. "I was always younger than all of them and I'll always be younger than all of them."

Jeter said last week that Rivera has told him what he plans to do after the season, and Pettitte indicated he knows, too. And no, he's not telling, either.

"Had a chance to talk with him a little bit," Pettitte said. "But whatever Mo's going to do, I'll let Mo talk to you guys about that."

Pettitte, invited to camp by general manager Brian Cashman, will be here a few more days and hopes to return annually if his family schedule allows. "Yeah, I think so, if I can," he said. "Cash, we've stayed in touch and he wants me to be a part of it. I'm going to try and do what I can as far as getting down here."

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