The “Yankeeography” footage looks ancient, with Andy Pettitte strenuously working out alongside two men — Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee — whose association with the franchise has been wiped out.
“I can’t wait,” The Rocket tells his left-handed protégé, “to come back and do this with you when you’re 40.”
Cut to a close-up of Pettitte, dated March 30, 2003, at the then SkyDome in Toronto, with these words: “When I’m 40, I don’t think I’ll still be playing baseball. I’m not quite that inspired.”
And yet here we were yesterday morning at George M. Steinbrenner Field, a 40-year-old Pettitte preparing for his 18th major league season and smiling upon hearing his words from nearly 10 years ago. Acknowledging his 2011 leave of absence has dramatically changed his career outlook.
I offered to Pettitte that he seemed considerably different now than during his second Yankees gig, from 2007 through 2010. In that stretch, he operated constantly with an eye on retirement, on becoming a full-time husband and father. Currently, I proposed, having scratched that itch, he appears more open-minded about his future.
“You’re right,” Pettitte said. “The years in Houston [2004-06] were good, because I got to see some stuff that I never got to see. But then when I came back, ’07, ’08, ’09, my family wasn’t with me. I think by the time I retired, I was so mentally and physically drained from every off day trying to fly home.”
Retirement not Pettitte’s obsession anymore
New York Post | Mar 1