Pettitte announces retirement

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees announced Friday that left-hander Andy Pettitte is retiring at the end of the season.

Pettitte retired in 2011 but came back a year later. He is 15-14 with a 3.60 ERA in the past two seasons.

Pettitte makes his next start on Sunday, and that will be his final start at Yankee Stadium. The team is also honoring Mariano Rivera, who is retiring.

Pettitte is 10-10 with a 3.93 ERA this year.

"I really knew coming in that I was almost a hundred percent (done) coming into the season that this was going to be it," Pettitte said at a press conference Friday afternoon. "When I decided to come back, last year was supposed to be for one year. That was the whole plan all along and obviously breaking my leg put a little wrinkle in that, so just coming into the season I knew that this was probably going to be it. There was nothing that went on during the season that was changing my mind."

Pettitte had issued a statement earlier Friday, explaining why he decided to announce his retirement now.

"I'm announcing my retirement prior to the conclusion of our season because I want all of our fans to know now -- while I'm still wearing this uniform -- how grateful I am for their support throughout my career," Pettitte said in the statement released by the club. "I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap to them during these remaining days and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees so special.

"I've reached the point where I know that I've left everything I have out there on that field. The time is right. I've exhausted myself, mentally and physically, and that's exactly how I want to leave this game.

"One of the things I struggled with in making this announcement now was doing anything to take away from Mariano's day on Sunday. It is his day. He means so much to me, and has meant so much to my career that I would just hate to somehow take the attention away from him."

Pettitte said during his press conference that he was convinced to announce his retirement now after having lunch with Rivera in Toronto this week.

Over his 18-year career, Pettitte is 255-152 with a 3.86 ERA. He is the winningest pitcher in postseason history at 19-11 with a 3.81 ERA and five World Series titles as a Yankee. He is also a three-time All-Star (1996, 2001 and 2010).

The only other team Pettitte played for was the Houston Astros (2004-06). Pettitte's final start will be against the Astros at Minute Maid Park next weekend. He is from the Houston area.

His 218 wins as a Yankee are third in club history behind Whitey Ford (236) and Red Ruffing (231).

Pettitte is a Hall of Fame candidate but his admitted involvement with performance-enhancing drugs in 2007 could affect his chances of being inducted.

"Every outing for me has been absolute grind, to tell you the truth," Pettitte said during his press conference. "When I look at lineups and teams that I'm facing it seems like every hitter is hitting .300 off me, and for people to bring that (the Hall of Fame) up for me to know that there's even a chance, that is just an honor and a blessing for me.

"I am very thankful and blessed that people would even bring up my name in that conversation. I feel very fortunate and very blessed to be able to play with the great players that I've played with and have the success that I've had."
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball
View Comments