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According to Brian Cashman, Andy Pettitte will not be playing baseball at the start of the 2011 baseball season. That is not to say he won’t be playing at all.

“I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011,” Cashman said Wednesday at the baseball owners’ quarterly meetings in Arizona. “If that ever changes he’ll call us. We’re not going to hound him or bother him.”

“Andy’s been very communicative on these issues and right now he’s not in play, and if he does decide to play he’ll play for us,” Cashman said. “He’s a Yankee from start to finish.”

This doesn’t come as a shock, because it was already stated that Andy was behind schedule with his pre-season preperations. If Andy chooses to return, it could be a mid-season return like Roger Clemens did a few years back. This is not exactly the type of news fans want to hear right now, as Sergio Mitre and Ivana Nova currently anchor the back end of the roation.

Update: 9:53PM ET: (Via The LoHud Yankees Blog):

Just got off the phone with Brian Cashman who said The Daily News story about Andy Pettitte’s decision is not accurate.” It’s a misunderstanding,” Cashman said.

This was Cashman’s quote, as relayed by The Daily News: “I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011.”

Cashman said you could basically substitute the word “pitch” for the word “start.” What Cashman meant was, at this stage, Pettitte is choosing not to pitch in 2011, but the Yankees are — as they’ve been all winter — waiting for Pettitte to let them know something official. He’s leaning toward retirement, and he’ll let them know if that situation changes.

“Nothing new or different,” Cashman said. “Exactly what I’ve been saying for the past month or two months.”

So much for that….

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