Friday, January 30, 2009

How Important is the Addition of Pettitte?

Richard Justice of the Sporting News thinks it's very important.
Andy Pettitte brings credibility, a winning attitude and a relentless work ethic to the Yankees. In the end, those things might end up being more valuable than anything he does on the mound.

The Yankees have been overhauled again this winter, and as manager Joe Girardi tries to instill the right mindset, people like Pettitte can play a huge role.

Cashman has signed/acquired the right kind of people this offseason. Mark Teixeira gets it. So does C.C. Sabathia. Nick Swisher seems to get it, too.

The Yankees could be pushed by the Red Sox and Rays from beginning to end. There will be losing streaks, tests and all of the other things even really good baseball teams experience. Somewhere along the way, the Yankees will become a real team, or they will come apart at the seams. If there are enough core guys that understand it's only about the bottom line, they have a chance to survive. Maybe they even will survive A-Rod's usual soap opera.

Those great Yankee teams got it, and Pettitte will help this Yankee team get it, too. No one knows what he has left in the tank. After all, Pettitte is a 36-year-old pitcher with a cranky elbow, and he is coming off a season in which he pitched terribly down the stretch (5.35 ERA after the All-Star break). Pettitte pitched hurt at the end of last season because his team needed him. He was setting an example for every other player in the clubhouse. His teammates knew he wasn't right, and they appreciated his effort.

Pettitte is an interesting guy in that he doesn't say much and needs an occasional kick in the pants. He isn't a star in the way the Yankees sometimes measure stars. No headlines. No celebrity rating at all. He is just a baseball player -- a good, tough baseball player who only wants to win. He doesn't care if it is about him or someone else. He just wants another ring.

Even after all of Cashman's good work, it is impossible to know how good the Yankees are going to be. But re-signing Pettitte pushes them a step in the right direction.

(hat tip to Was Watching)

Justice makes a good point here. I've always felt the addition of Pettitte to this rotation was very important and its importance went beyond numbers. Not only is he a very solid no. 4 or 5, but he's going to be a leader on that staff, and will help CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett adjust to New York. Oh, and like Justice says, he gets it.

But what about you, how important is the addition of Pettitte?


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Justice.

Anonymous said...

I dont think the yankees have not won a world series recently because of the big boppers. I dont think guys like Giambi or A-Rod are to be blamed. The reason the yankees haven't won was because Cashman made some terrible pitching signings. Hopefully that changes with CC and AJ. Look at the Phillies they were a homerun hitting team that did not play small ball and yet they still won a world series, Because they had a dominant starter in Cole Hamels and a lights out bullpen.

Anonymous said...

And it's not like there philospy changed Teixeira is a big star with pop.

Robert De Niro said...

Funny how this turned into a Torre book article.

Greg Cohen said...

I don't believe they are to be blamed either. But I do blame the philosophy that brought them here.

Either way, the main point of this post was supposed to be about the importance of Pettitte. I'm going to edit the Torre book stuff out, I don't want this to turn into a Torre book post like Robert said.

Greg Cohen said...

Their philosophy did change. They're refocusing on the farm, and are actually developing some talent. That's the most important part. For years the team totally ignored the farm system.

Pitching and defense also became secondary to the lineup.

Teixeira is a big star, but he's here as much for his defense as he is for his offense.

Joseph Ventura said...

I agree Greg. Not only did we get an AWESOME switch hitter who can protect A-Rod (or vice versa, as im sure they will be flip-flopped alot), but we got argubly the best 1st baseman in the game, a hole we needed to fill pretty much for 7 years. Funny, I was watching The top AL plays of 08 on MLB Network, and Tex got number 1 play for 1st baseman.

About the importance of Pettitte, I have always loved him, but I thought it was time to say goodbye and let Hughes finally show us his potential. Either way, I think Hughes will end up in the rotation and become a big part of it, whenever someone gets hurt, which always happens, just part of the game.

Greg Cohen said...

There are always injuries, at some point Hughes will get some starts. Plus he could use a little more work in AAA and work on his changeup.

Anonymous said...

This is why Pettitte is important. He's a number 4/5 in the regular season, but he's a number 1/2 in the postseason. Look at the other guys: CC's failed, Wang's failed, Burnett's always injured, and Joba has little experience. Pettitte will lead the pitching staff during the postseason, his makeup is ready for it.

Anonymous said...

he WAS a postseason pitcher, now he has a 3.96 era in the postseaon which will probably go up

jmas12 said...

He still is a postseason pitcher. Come on, Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS wasn't that long ago. One of the best games I've ever seen him pitch.

Greg Cohen said...

I still think he can give the Yankees a great postseason start or two.