Joel Sheman of the NY Post wrote an Editorial saying that if Andy Pettitte signs with another team, such as the Dodgers, he is a “world class phony.” I happen to agree with Sherman, especially reading that the Yankees have offered Pettitte $10 Million and Pettitte is apparently balking at that offer. Pettitte owes the Yankees for standing by him after he admitted using steroids, and this is the point Sherman makes as well.
If Pettitte signs elsewhere, regardless of the dollar figure, he should be viewed as a world-class phony forever around here. There should be no more pardons. He should receive no invites to future Old-Timers Games, hear no cheers when the dynastic teams reassemble.
In his moment of need, when it was revealed Pettitte was both a liar and cheater, the Yankees stood by him last season. At that time, Pettitte was only too happy to say the Yankees were the only team he ever wanted to play for any more. He did not say he only wanted to play for the Yankees unless they offer him a paycut.The Yanks have indeed offered that cut. Pettitte made $16 million last year and, according to sources, he was offered $10 million to return in 2009. So far, Pettitte has rejected that bid while his camp has done nothing to dispel reports linking him to Joe Torre and the Dodgers.
Pettitte’s route to another team if he does leave became less complicated yesterday when the Yanks did not offer him arbitration. Thus, any team can now sign Pettitte without also having to forfeit a first-round draft pick in compensation. There are probably plenty of clubs that want Pettitte, perhaps a few who would approach $16 million or give him a multi-year deal.
But that should be beyond the point. Last year, Pettitte announced in early December that he was revoking his retirement plans yet again. The Yanks brought him back for those $16 million and spurned Johan Santana, hoping Pettitte could do much of what Santana might. Pettitte forgot to mention one little item to the Yanks: He had spoken already to investigators from the Mitchell Report and was almost certain to be in the report.
When he was in that report, the Yankees did not isolate Pettitte. They rallied around him. GM Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi flanked Pettitte at a press conference last Feb. 18, and Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera attended Pettitte’s mea culpa. That was the one in which Pettitte told us he had been lying for years about his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs.
Through the season, Pettitte kept saying he only wanted to stay a Yankee and would do so on one-year contracts. He said that right through going 2-7 with a 6.23 ERA to end the year and end the Yankees’ chances. It was a poor finish that even Pettitte thought was possibly attributable to his being unable to work out last offseason like normal due to his Mitchell involvement. Of course, the Yanks had to keep paying him nonetheless.
And now they want to pay him some more, add on to the $108 million Pettitte already has made in his career. Just, for now, Pettitte is balking, going back on his word about fidelity to the Yankees. It should be made clear to him that if he walks out on the Yankees now then he is done with the organization forever. There will be no more pardons for good old Andy Pettitte.