This Has To Be The End For Andy Pettitte In The Bronx
No one will ever forget the postseason wins, the bulldog mentality, the cap set down just above the eyebrows as the cutter dives in on righties and away from lefties. No one will forget saving the bacon in the Bronx time after time after time, nor will they forget outdueling John Smoltz in the 1996 World Series.
But this isn't 1996 anymore. Hell, it isn't 2009 anymore, either. Andy Pettitte and the Yankees need to be finished with one another after this year, once and for all.
The same movie has played again in 2013. It starts the same way each time, with Pettitte in great shape in the offseason at his Texas home, talking to his wife and kids about playing another year in the big leagues. Then he signs a one-year deal with the Yanks. Then he pitches a few times like it's 1996 again. And then he gets hurt, comes back, gets hit, gets hurt, comes back, gets hurt again and then the Yanks hope he is healthy for postseason play. And for what, one possible good start in the American League Division Series?
This is getting old. Look at the Cardinals, Giants, Reds, Rangers, Tigers and Nationals. All of those teams are built for the next seven to 10 years and are championship contenders in those years. Why? Deep starting pitching through the farm that isn't aging. Look also at the Rays, a team that during the long haul of a season doesn't advance as far as the Yanks, but give them trouble during the season because of active, young arms.
Pettitte is the last great Yankee arm from the farm. New York needs more, of course, and needs to rebuild the pitching staff through the minor leagues and smart free agent signings or trades in order to contend for a title for the next decade.
Pettitte's time in the Bronx has been wonderful. But that time is up.
The movie needs a new actor.
By: Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," Yankees pre/post game on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.