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Posts Tagged ‘Brett Favre’

31 days until pitchers and catchers report, and Andy Pettitte has yet to decide whether he wants to pitch in 2011. He announced he may sort of, maybe, pitch for half of 2011. In my humble effort to help the Yankees’3rd winningest pitcher of all-time make up his mind, I offer 5 reasons he should schedule a presser and announce he’s retiring.
  1. We’re all expecting it, anyway. By now, most of the drama is out of the situation. If were trying to let all of Yankees fans down easy, you’ve pretty much accomplished that. All winter, we’ve been deluged with reports that you’re leaning towards retirement, that you’ve told Brian Cashman to proceed as if you won’t be back, that you told Mark Teixeira you doubt you’re coming back for 2011. By now, this is beginning to feel more like we’re being teased than primed for a triumphant return.
  2. If last year showed us anything, it’s that injuries are catching up to you. Yes, you had a great first half. An All-Star caliber first half. Then, your 38 year old quad blew out and when we saw you again in late September, you weren’t the same pitcher anymore. Why should anyone think a 39 year old quad will hold up any better?
  3. You’ve had a great career – go out on top! We all have memories of our sports heroes playing when they should have been home, feet up, enjoying a cold beer. Willie Mays stumbling around in center field for the Mets. Mickey Mantle reduced to playing first base. Most recently, Brett Favre not even being healthy enough to put on his uniform for his last two games. Better to go out on a high note, a la Mike Mussina and Ted Williams.
  4. It’s time to let the Yankees move on. Even thought the front office keeps telling us they’re going on as if you’ve already retired, it sure doesn’t look like it to those of us shivering through the winter. The team came into the offseason needing another starter, a set-up man, and bench depth. So far, they’ve only added an injury plagued catcher and a pitcher who hasn’t fired a ML fastball in anger in four years. Until you tell them you’re not coming back, they’ll probably continue to walk around as if trying for a part in Zombieland.
  5. 2011 is going to be stressful enough. Let’s face it: 2011 is going to be a year for seclusion, when possible. Besides all of the retirement talk you’re starting the year off with, you have that pesky Roger Clemens trial coming up in July. Do you really want to deal with the whole steroids issue in what would be your final season? Nah, of course you don’t. Better to have our final image of you being one of gutting it out on the mound in another classic playoff performance.

So, there you have it. Just let me know when to call the press and have them assemble on your front lawn. Heck, you can even wear your pj’s for the event.

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Item 1: Derek Jeter will be a Yankee in 2011 and get paid like the Derek Jeter of 2000, not 2010. At least that’s the scuttlebutt coming from Wallace Matthews of ESPN. The good news is that no other teams have even bothered contacting Casey Close, Jeter’s agent. Nor do they have any plans on doing so, since they would rather pay Jeter on a Marco Scutaro type contract, not a Derek Jeter type contract. (On an aside,why does every sportswriter want to compare Jeter to Scutaro? If Jeter isn’t offended by that comparison, then he’s made of sterner stuff than I imagined).  Even though Hal Steinbrenner sounded a note of hardball negotiations last week, Matthews’ sources think it’s more bluster than anything else. As he wrote,

“…although the Yankees appear to hold most of the leverage in this one, both sources agreed they are unlikely to wield very much of it.”

The even better news is that it dashes Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle’s hopes of putting Jeter into a Giants uniform.

Item 2: Baseball’s latest arms war, better known as the Cliff Lee bidding war, has begun. As expected, Brian Cashman was on the phone with Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, first thing Sunday morning. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly), the general managers for several other teams were also burning up Braunecker’s minutes on Sunday. Those teams are reputed to be the Rangers and Phillies – and then several long-shot candidates, including the Nationals, Brewers and Cubs. Given the financial situations of those last three teams and the fact that Lee is expected to get a contract somewhere north of 6 years/$125M, I doubt you can consider them serious contenders. That leaves the Yanks, Phillies and Rangers battling it out. Regardless, Braunecker has been busy telling everyone and anyone not to expect anything soon:

“Historically, these deals take some time,” Braunecker told the Daily News in a telephone interview Monday. “When you look at the calendar and we’re already into the second week of November; we don’t handicap the timing of this stuff, but we don’t anticipate this happening too quickly.”

The Rangers desperately need Lee back, since without him they don’t make it to the World Series last year. Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg has made no secret that he has every intention of bidding high. Ruben Amaro of the Phillies has to be kicking himself (and is being kicked bythe Philly press) for trading Lee away last off-season for what was basically nothing. And the Yankees really don’t have a plan B for 2011 without Lee. There aren’t really any internal options now, although one of the “Killer Bs” (Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, and Manny Banuelos) may be ready for a late-season call up. This dovetails neatly into…

Item 3: Has anyone heard from Andy Pettitte? Not really – and the Yankees aren’t figuring to hear from Andy before Thanksgiving. Although I love Andy for what he’s done in the past and think he can still be an extremely effective pitcher in 2011, he is beginning to remind me of Brett Favre. As much as the Yankees would love to have Cliff Lee in pinstripes, if neither he nor Pettitte are around in 2011, the Yankees rotation looks to be paper thin. Pettitte is the key, since regardless of what happens with Lee, if he decides not to come back then the team is stuck with Ivan Nova or a journeyman (quick: how fast can you say Dustin Moseley?) in the 5 spot. Neither can be particularly enticing. Although I can say that possibility would give Joe Girardi’s binder a heck of a workout.

Item 4: And finally, speaking of giving the Girardi Binder a workout, the pages would be burned out by May if Mariano Rivera doesn’t wear pinstripes in 2011. Fortunately, nobody really expects that to happen. But it does appear that Rivera’s contract has taken a back seat to those of Jeter and Pettitte, which has to give Yankee fans everywhere at least momentary heart palpitations.

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