Monday, September 23, 2013

This Has Been Andy Pettitte Day...

This concludes Andy Pettitte Day here on The Greedy Pinstripes. Thank you for everything that you have done both on and off the field Andy. We appreciate you for everything that you do and wish you nothing but the best of luck in everything you do after your baseball career ends one week from today. You are a class act and I think I speak for every Yankees fan when we say we love you. This has been Andy Pettitte Day.

70% Chance Joe Girardi Returns Next Season

Over the weekend a Yankees official said that he believes Joe Girardi's chances of returning as the Yankees manager are somewhere around 70%. The thinking is that Joe could find a less stressful managerial job elsewhere, such as with his old team the Chicago Cubs.

Personally, I don't care either way. I'm not one of those fans that thinks Girardi sucks. On the contrary, I thought he did a good job with the little he had available to him. And the way he's handled the bullpen over the years has been great.

It seems like every week we hear something else that makes us think the offseason could be even more interesting. For all we know, the Yankees could look a whole lot different next season.

Andy Pettitte In The Post Season Meme


1996 World Series Yankees vs. Braves Game 6

Watch the entire game here where, spoiler alert, the Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves to win the World Series. This came the very next game after Andy Pettitte out duels John Smoltz 1-0 to win game five of the 1996 World Series for the New York Yankees. This is Andy Pettitte Day.

Meet A Prospect : Andy Pettitte Edition

This is Andy Pettitte Day

Andy Pettitte, left handed starting pitcher,  was drafted in the 22nd round in the 1990 First Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees out of  his high school in Deer Park, Texas. Andy did not sign with the Yankees that season and instead decided he would go to a junior college which, you may or may not know, allows you to get drafted every season rather then having to play two seasons of college baseball before being eligible again for the draft. Also, as the rules have since changed, no other team could talk to Andy Pettitte nor sign him until a day before the next year's draft because he did not sign with the Yankees. It did not matter anyway as Andy signed with the Yankees the very next season, in 1991, as an amateur free agent for $80,000 which was a nice bonus at that time. Andy turned down a chance to pitch for perennial powerhouse University of Texas to travel to New York.  

Pettitte made his pro debut in 1991 going 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in 6 Gulf Coast League (GCL) starts followed by a 2-2 record with a 2.18 era in the New York Penn League (NYPL). Those two levels combined Pettitte had 83 K's and 24 BB's for nearly a 4-1 ratio, which is amazing. His command was very impressive but his velocity and "stuff" were considered nothing more then average. 

Throughout the minors his walk rates got better and better but his K/9 rate got worse and worse. While he showed all the way through the system that he could get advanced hitters out no one was every crazy about Pettitte due to his strike outs. He never once did rank as a Top 10 prospect in any league that he played in because of the low strike out rates and Pettitte projected to be a back end of the rotation starter due to his strike out issues. Pettitte was never graded higher then a "B" graded prospect in his entire minor league career but he had an uncanny ability to hammer the strike zone, keep batters off balance with his off speed stuff, and give his team a chance to win every single time out there. 

I think that his career, if it ended today, ended up being pretty good and was borderline Hall of Fame worthy. Let's start with where, in my opinion, he really made a name for himself and that was the post season. Who can forget the Game 5 duel with John Smoltz in the 1996 World Series that he won down in Atlanta 1-0 after being pummeled in Game 1 in New York. Who can forget Pettite's dominance going into the 8th inning in Game 4 of the 1998 World Series clinching game against the San Diego Padres? Who could forget his 2009 post season performance where he was the clinching winning pitcher in all 3 rounds of the post season including the World Series?  That is all before you consider his two 20 win seasons including a second place finish in the AL CY Young in 1996 to Pat Hentgen. 

Andy is a borderline candidate in my opinion but I honestly would not vote him in because I would not consider the post season statistics but I know that some will. He was also, lets not equivocate, helped a TON by run support playing in New York and even in Houston. 255+ wins and a huge winning percentage might be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame but who knows, what say you?

Andy Pettitte Roll Call

Now showing up like it is supposed to so here is the line

 Andy Pettitte roll call, skip to 1:40.... chills up my spine. This is Andy Pettitte Day.

Breaking News: CC Done For The Season With Injury

CC Sabatha has been shut down for the rest of the season with a grade two hamstring strain. Just when CC started to look good, especially at home, the big man is done for the season just like that. This is a huge blow and all but ends any chances we have at running the table or sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays. The recovery time is eight weeks so there will be no issues with having CC back in Tampa next year for Spring Training but even if we made the playoffs CC is done for the 2013 season.

CC reportedly got the injury in the second inning of the game against the San Francisco Giants but stayed in the game and pitched through it. The Yankees are not expected to DL him with the expanded rosters but we have seen the last of Carsten Charles Sabathia this season.

A Youtube Tribute To Andy Pettitte

Mario Vallejo on Youtube released a tribute to Andy Pettitte and I am sharing this with you today. This covers his 1995 seasons throughout his 2010 seasons including his time spent in Houston. I find it amazing he fit this all in an eight minute video. This is Andy Pettitte Day.

New York Yankees Wild Cards Update

Andy Pettitte Tells The Andy Pettitte Story

Andy Pettitte is the best person that can tell the Andy Pettitte story and he does so in this five minute video. Andy touches on everything from his relationship with God, his HGH use, and so much more. It is a very touching story and everyone needs to watch this. This is Andy Pettitte Day.

Mo's Magical Day Ends With A Helpless Look Into The Future

Come on...don't lie. You KNEW the Yankees were going to win yesterday, right? It was the only way for Mariano Rivera Day to finish up at Yankee Stadium. Many people thought it wouldn't just be a win, but that it would be re-aired on YES for years to come, with a graphic overlaid on the top-right corner that reads, "Yankees Classics".

It certainly had the makings of one, for sure. After all the emotional, incredible moments of a 50-minute long ceremony honoring Mo, his fellow Core Four brother Andy Pettitte jogged out to the Stadium mound for the final time in his career. With a white number 42 painted along each baseline, it reminded me of David Cone's perfect game (with a white number 8 on the field in the same fashion) on Yogi Berra Day, especially when Andy breezed through a perfect top of half of the first inning. And the second. And the third. And the fourth.

That's right, as apropos as possible, #46 was perfect through four innings. Thanks to a solo shot into the Giants' bullpen by Mark Reynolds, the Yanks had a 1-0 lead as Andy went back out for the fifth. It started to approach "call your friends and tell them to shut off the ugly Giants football game" time, especially when he got the next two outs.

A walk to Pablo Sandoval ended his chance for a perfecto, but Andy got the final out of the fifth and personally, I thought a no-no was imminent. It had to happen. Perhaps it was a bit late, but the mystique and aura of the New York Yankees had finally found its way back to the Bronx.

Ol' reliable had the 8-9-1 hitters due up for the sixth, convincing me he'd at least take his no-hit bid to the seventh. He got Tony Abreu to ground out, and now up was Ehire Adrianza, whose unique name caught my eye when I saw it on the lineup card.

And wouldn't you know it, it was the rookie shortstop, batting ninth, who zapped the magic out of the afternoon when he got the best of an inside pitch and drove it over the left field wall for a home run.

Still, it was a tie-game, and the Yanks were well-equipped to come away with the win that was rightfully theirs. Yusmeiro Petit was showing signs of vulnerability, and the Yankees had him on the ropes in the seventh. There were runners on first and second with one out, and Petit was pulled for left-hander Javier Lopez. But, he promptly struck out the Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki, ending the threat.

Andy Pettitte left to a huge ovation after surrendering a lead-off double in the eighth, and in came future closer David Robertson to try and keep the San Francisco Giants at bay. And, he simply didn't get the job done. Abreu laced a double down the right field line that scored pinch-runner Nick Noonan and gave the Gigantes a 2-1 lead. The Stadium, as loud and jam-packed as it was hours prior, was now emptying and as silent as it's ever been.

However, the Bombers muscled up another rally in the bottom half. A-Rod singled and Robinson Cano doubled, putting runners at second and third with no one out. This was it. Here was the moment of the game. The Yanks would take the lead, and hand the ball to Mo in the ninth. He'd pick up the save and beautifully end a majestic day in the Bronx.

If only it happened that way.

Soriano grounded into a fielder's choice, as Noonan threw out a clueless Zoilo Almonte at the plate. Curtis Granderson struck out, and then...wait, what?!?! Eduardo Nunez got a hit! Coming home was Cano and the Yankees were gonna tie the game!

Then, Juan Perez fired a bullet. Cano was easily tagged out for the third out of the inning. It was that abrupt, and it was that moment, more than any other this season, that made me realize that the era of Yankee baseball that started in the mid-1990s had ended.

Although Mariano fired 1 2/3 of scoreless baseball, the Yankees went down without a fight in the bottom of the ninth. It was the team's 74th loss of the year, guaranteeing them of their worst finish since 1993 when they went 88-74 - and it's safe to say they won't get to 88 wins either.

Sunday's game was the Yankees' past, present, and future in a nutshell. It started off as magical as any night in the Bronx from 1995-2001, with Andy throwing 4.2 perfect innings. Then the Yankees were hampered by numerous RISP fails, as was the case in each of their championship-less seasons from 2002-2008. Then, the never-say-die mentality of the 2009 team showed through in the late innings, but then shattered into a million pieces as it did with heart-breaking playoff loses in the 2010, 2011, and 2012 postseasons.

And with the bottom of the ninth's feeble comeback attempt led by Mark Reynolds, Brendan Ryan, and J.R. Murphy, it was a retrospective on this season and the impending changes - and not for the better - that our beloved Yankees will undergo starting this offseason.

On top of losing Mo and Andy, there are a ton of players whose days in pinstripes look numbered as well. Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis, Brendan Ryan, and Lyle Overbay are all impending free agents. While Cano will likely stay put and most of the other guys are expendable, their losses create a ton of holes on the roster. The Yankees will be have just two starters in place for 2014 - CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova - and have no clear-cut closer, set-up man, lefty specialist, left fielder, shortstop, and third baseman if Alex Rodriguez's suspension is not reduced significantly. Not to mention the catching position, which right now still looks to have Chris Stewart and Austin Romine serving as the dynamic duo for another season.

One could look at all those likely departures and say, "Well, the Yankees will have a ton of room on the payroll!" Which is very true. But, if last offseason was any indication, the team is not looking to spend the money to adequately field a "championship-caliber team" as Hal Steinbrenner claimed to strive for a few years ago.

That fact, coupled with the Yanks' barren farm system, points to 2014 being potentially even more disastrous than 2013.

This offseason will probably be the most intriguing one the Yanks have had in a very long time. It could be somewhat beneficial, but in all likelihood next season will make Mo and Andy's absences even more glaring.

And, to conclude, I'll add a personal prediction of mine - I think Joe Girardi will not return as manager. Not because the Yankees don't want him back, but because he doesn't want to be back with the Yankees. The Cubs, Nationals, and Angels all will likely have managerial openings, and they all have brighter futures than New York at this point. Joe likely realizes that this winter and bolts for one of those three clubs. It'll be tough, but it may be a move that makes even the most confident Yankees fan see that, as Bob Dylan sang, the Times They Are A-Changin'. And not for the better.

Andy Pettitte Announces Retirement In Press Release

Here is the press release of Andy Pettitte announcing his retirement from the game. What a humble guy that has always been way too hard on himself. What a class act and most definitely a New York Yankee. This is Andy Pettite Day!

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/23

On this day in 1999 the Yankees set a new record for attendance in New York City when they saw their 3,072,009th fan come through the gates. The previous record was held by the 1988 Mets when they saw 3,047,724 fans come through the gates. 

On this day in 2001 Mariano Rivera set a new Yankees franchise record when he recorded his 47th save of the season beating the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 in 10 innings. Dave Righetti held the mark of 46 saves in the 1986 season before Rivera broke the mark. 

On this day in 2007 Mike Mussina became only the 45th pitcher in major league history to record 250 wins. Moose led the Yankees to a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays to reach the milestone. Mussina, the class act that he is, gives the game ball to Yankees fire baller Joba Chamberlain as he picked up his first career save on this same day.

On this day in 2008 the Yankees were officially eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since the strike shortened 1994 season. This would also mark the first time in Derek Jeter's playing career that the Yankees did not see the post season.

Today Is Andy Pettitte Day On The Greedy Pinstripes

The 18 year veteran Andy Pettitte has decided that his final season will be this season and that he wil be joining Mariano Rivera in retirement. Andy has been the rock for the Yankees pitching staff for so long, the stopper, the veteran presence, and everything the Yankees embody. With Andy not giving us much notice and his final Yankees Stadium start yesterday on Mariano Rivera Day I wanted to make today's off day Andy Pettitte Day on the site. Enjoy as we take a look back at his storied Yankees career.