Big League Stew - MLB

So word has leaked that Andy Pettitte(notes) is set to announce his retirement from baseball on Friday. A press conference has been scheduled for Yankee Stadium and people are set to publish all sorts of articles — from "Core Four" obits to arguments against his weak Hall of Fame case to "Hey, isn't Jeff Weaver(notes) still a free agent?" theoreticals— in the hours before and after Pettitte tells us that his left arm has had enough after 16 seasons. 

My only request is that Pettitte make it abundantly clear that he's really walking away.

But while I think Pettitte seems like the type of guy who's ready to retire to the family life — and perhaps his flight to New York is good evidence of his conviction — I will admit that asking him to assure everyone of his retirement is too tough a task. No matter what he says on Friday, 2011 is still going to be littered with speculative articles on his possible return.

That's what happens when word leaks out that Pettitte is still working out. That's what happens when the New York Yankees are rolling the dice on Freddy Garcia(notes), Bartolo Colon(notes) or Mark Prior somehow regaining his form from 2003 and serving as a decent rotation piece.

And because he's "only" 38 and because other athletes retire and unretire all the time, I expect that Suzyn Waldman will have one eye peeled on Hal and Hank's box all season long.

Maybe nothing Pettitte says on Friday will change that, but it's going to be interesting to see him try. 

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