Tagged: Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte Set To Retire

By Chris Cue
Thurs. Feb. 4, 2011

     At 10:30 this morning Andy Pettitte is scheduled to hold a press conference at Yankee Stadium and announce his retirement from Major League Baseball.

Red Sox fans won’t be expected to shed any tears.

     Nothing that has the potential to weaken the Yankees is going to get anyone in Red Sox Nation to make a mad dash for the crying towels. Just as Yankee fans weren’t too broken up about watching Manny, Jason Bay, Victor Martinez or even Adrian Beltre leave Boston, Red Sox fans aren’t about to get prescriptions of anti-depressants to help them get over this.

     The above is stated (and it should be taken as such) with all due respect. If Andy Pettitte wasn’t  a tough competitor, then nobody in either fan base would give a hoot about this upcoming announcement. The truth of the matter is, most Sox fans will embrace this news because Andy was a tough competitor and nobody looked forward to facing him…..especially this year considering how left handed the Sox current lineup is.

     At the beginning of the off season, it appeared to many that the Yankees starting rotation for 2011 could very well be:

CC Sabthia
Cliff Lee
AJ Burnett
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes

     After signing Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, the Red Sox lineup looked vulnerable to facing a pitching staff that featured 3 very tough left handed hurlers. As the well known events of this off season have unfolded, the Yankees now appear to have only one tough lefty which the Sox will have to face. That’s good news for the Red Sox.

     However, just as Theo Epstein said regarding the Tampa Bay Rays, “The reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated”, Sox fans should remember that these are still the Yankees and  writing them off now is ill advised. The Yankees have the resources and thanks to the efforts of Brian Cashman and the Yankees front office, they also have a healthy crop of young talent to make a deal for an impact pitcher. You can bet your last dollar that at some point this year they will attempt to do just that. So, while the Yankees appear to be in a desperation mode right now for solid starting pitching, don’t hold your breath expecting it to last the entire season. They may not currently be 100%, but they still have a formidable batting order and what appears to be an outstanding Bullpen. The point being made here is that while the loss of Pettitte is going to hurt, the Yankees are far from being anyone’s door mat.

     Take it for what it’s worth. It’s just a word of caution to perhaps temper what could be for some an over the top reaction that says, “The Yankees are toast”. No team is “toast” in February and most certainly, the New York Yankees aren’t dead in the water because Pettitte decided to retire.  Oh, it’s good news for Sox fans, but like Theo said about the Rays…..any reports of the Yankees demise would be greatly exaggerated at this point in time.

       Congratulations to Andy Pettitte on a fine career. The Red Sox are happy to see you go…..that is a compliment and of course meant with all due respect.


Hot Stove Predictions – Yankees

Posted by Chris Cue
6:05am Sun, 11/22/09

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      OK, here’s my long awaited 2 cents on who and what the
Yankees may do this off season…

(OK, I know nobody was really waiting, but my Mother in
Law may read this and she likes to think I’m important
, so go with me on this one OK? 🙂

Keep in mind, I’m no expert on all things Yankee and I’m not
trying to pretend to be one….(heck, I don’t think I’m the definitive “go to
guy” on the Sox either for that matter
), so this is just an outsider
looking in and taking a rookie stab at what my gut tells me so others can
ridicule it. Here we go…..


The Yanks don’t have a lot of holes to fill, but the one’s they do have are
pretty obvious.

1). Left field would seem to be the priority, but #2 IMO is close….depending.
The Yanks have 3 options to them for LF the way I see it. They could resign
Damon on a 2 year deal, They could promote from within (seems doubtful this
year, but maybe next?
) or they could go the FA route and make a run at
either Holliday or Bay. My gut tells me Damon is option #1 as far as preference
goes, but they aren’t going to be shy about telling him “take this or we’re
moving on”. The point is, the Yankees are not going to allow Boras to drag this
on so that he can use the Yankees name in conjunction with Holliday. The Yanks
are going to want to nail this down before the other options are signed. In the
end, Damon will go where the money is no matter what he say’s. You have to
remember he won a title in Boston and was reportedly happy there too…..and he
still left for the payday the Yanks provided. I see no reason for his attitude
in that department to change. Still, unless a team like the White Sox gets
involved and offers him more, I’d bet the Yanks offer will be the best one he
gets and he will return. I’d also expect that move (if it happens) will be
made long before Holliday or Bay signs else where.
My prediction: Damon returns for a 2 year deal because the Yankees will
make the best offer and Boras will have to play the Holliday field w/o the
Yanks being involved. (a sparsely attended pity party for him then ensues…:-)

2). Setup Man. If Andy returns and if the Yanks are content with both Hughes and Joba in
the rotation (there is a good case for that one being debatable.), then
I think priority #2 will be on getting that bridge to Mariano….at least IMO it
should be #2. I don’t have a particular player in mind to fill that role,
mostly because the FA market (Soriano, Gonzalez, etc,.), the trade
market and even a promotion from within could deliver any number of guys who could end up with the Setup role in NY.
I have the feeling that if the starting rotation above is acceptable, then this
is where Cashman may spend a good deal of time. Until Hughes was brought up last year, the BP was a weakness for the Yanks and I’m sure they will try to address that if Hughes now ends up in the rotation.
My “outside the box” prediction: (get ready to laugh) I’ll throw
a long shot out here just for giggles……After Wagner declines the Sox offer of
Arbitration (which he will) and after he sees the money he may get from
other teams considering they are surrendering draft picks, I don’t think it out
of the realm of possibility that the Yanks could make him an attractive one
year deal to set up for Mo. I know that’s a stretch, but I think if that option
was out there the Yanks might be able to talk Wagner into it. Like I said….it’s
a long shot….but what good is a crystal ball if you can’t make stupid predictions


3). Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. The 64 thousand dollar question is: Do the
Yanks feel good enough with what they already have in place or are they looking
to buy or perhaps make a deal? Well, they did fine with what they had last
year, but expecting health for an entire season with your starting staff is a
gamble. There may also be other factors at work here that I alluded to in the
Red Sox predictions I made. For instance, if say the Sox get seriously involved
in the Doc Halladay sweepstakes, then I don’t think the Yanks will stand idle
and let that happen w/o putting in an offer or 2 of their own. Let’s take that
one step further and pretend the Sox do indeed manage to land Halladay. Does
anyone think that the Yanks will just let that go w/o a counter move? What if that
happens and Lackey is still out there unsigned? I’m not convinced that the
Yanks are interested in giving him the years and money he’s looking for, but
I’m also not stupid enough to think that they can’t do it if they want. We
could just as easily turn that entire situation around and play the “what if”
game on the Sox should the Yanks land Halladay, but this is my sillyYankee’s
prediction so I’ll save that one…for now 🙂

I’m also not sold on the idea that
the Yankees feel comfortable with both Joba & Hughes in the rotation even
if Andy does return. Personally, I think both of these kids deserve a shot, but I’m also
sure that if the Yanks go that way, Cashman will be looking for some quality
insurance to back it up, so he may very well be in the Sheets, Harden type hunt
as well.
My prediction: All hell breaks loose as soon as the Sox show clear
intentions to trade for Halladay. Absent of that, I think the Yanks will go
with what they have in CC, AJ, Andy (who I’m betting returns) and give
the kids a shot w/some veteran back up plans in place just in case.

4). DH. Will Matsui return? My gut say’s no and here’s why. I think the Yanks
have plenty of options to work a rotating DH into their plans for next year.
While I’m sure they will have someone on their bench that looks like the
everyday DH, my gut tells me that whoever that is will have on the field duties
assigned to him as well. With Damon back, with Posada behind the plate and the
option to rest guys like A-Rod and Tex by letting them DH, the Yanks don’t need
to clog the DH spot with somebody who can only serve in that limited role.
My prediction: Too bad for Hideki. He’s one of the guys that play for the Yanks that I can truly say I like and respect. I have the feeling Matsui gets thanked for his time and the Yanks make no
concerted effort to fill a FT DH spot.

I’m sure there is a lot more that can be covered, but I think I’ve probably ruffled
enough feathers with this….


Enjoy and as always, Go Baseball!

Oh My!

By Chris Cue
April 26, 2009

     With over  5 months to go in the baseball season, it’s probably a little too early to go jumping up and down with 2 game lead over the Yankees and a 4.5 game lead over the Rays heading into today……BUT……if you want to do a little cheering, I’m certainly not going to mock you for it 🙂

     The last 2 games vs the pinstriped brigade have been just about everything a baseball fan could expect. So far, we’ve witnessed some of the very best baseball we’re likely to see. Granted, yesterday’s game was far from what most expected. With Josh Beckett on the hill for the Sox and AJ Burnett pitching for the Yankees, most felt we would be in for a real old fashioned pitchers duel. With a final score of 16-11, the Red Sox had another win in what turned out to be an offensive battle and not a toe to toe 9 round fight between elite pitchers at all. It’s funny how baseball is tricky like that sometimes. On paper everything looked like it was going to be a low scoring game, but then Wham! Here came the Yankees with 6 runs in 4 innings. Not to be out done, the Sox then returned the favor by putting up 5 runs of their own in the 4th inning lead by a Grand Slam from Jason Varitek.  The Sox then followed that up with 3 runs in the 5th, 1 in the 6th, 3 in the 7th and finally 4 runs in the 8th inning. While yesterday wasn’t a classic pitching matchup, it certainly was an impressive display of offensive power from both sides. Another hard fought game by both teams and another win for the Red Sox. There’s not much to complain about there.

     Yesterday’s win for the Red Sox gives them a league leading 9 game winning streak and pulled them within 1 game of tying the Blue Jays for the lead in the AL East. For all you baseball historians, yesterday’s comeback from six runs down was Boston’s largest comeback in a game against the Yankees since May 16, 1968 (according to the Elias Sports Bureau). Today, the Red Sox go for their 10th win in a row and third consecutive home stand ____ (I don’t want to jinx it by saying it) of an opposing team after defeating the Orioles in a 4 game series and the Twins in a 2 game series at Fenway.

     Justin Masterson will take the hill for the Sox hoping to secure the win and veteran Andy Pettitte will be trying to stop the bleeding for the Yankees. You wait and see. Today will end up being the pitchers duel. Why? Because baseball is tricky that way 🙂

Game time is set for 8:05pm est on ESPN.

Enjoy the game


GO SOX!!!!!

Busy, Busy, Busy

By Chris Cue
April 23, 2009

     Boy I’ve been busy. Sorry for not posting in a while and thank you to those of you who e-mailed wondering if I’d fallen off the face of the Earth. Obviously I haven’t, but I have to admit, there were a few times when that seemed like a pretty good option. 🙂

     On to Baseball…….How about them SOX huh? Reeling off seven victories in a row! Wow, that’s pretty good. In fact it’s the best run so far this season in all of MLB. That puts the Red Sox tied for 2nd place in the AL East with the NY Yankees.

Speaking of the Yankees…..

     “Hey Mom, look who’s coming to dinner.”


     That’s right, Baseballs best rivalry gets underway once again starting this Friday night. I don’t want to say that there is a lot of interest generated when these 2 teams get together, but when compared to others, well……

!Bus Stop.jpgI know it’s probably not fair to compare 2 teams that have had an intense rivalry for decades to others, but who cares about being fair? It’s the truth. While we no longer have the Fisk – Munson matchup and seeing how it’s going to be impossible for even a little A-Rod Varitek dust up, what are we left with?

!Youk-Joba.jpgHa Ha! That’s right. A little Youkilis – Chamberlain love-fest! We’ll see how much chin music Joba thinks he can get away with before our first baseman decides it’s time to color up one of his eyes. This mini drama kicks things off Friday night as Joba Chamberlain is the scheduled starter for the Yankees. As hot as Youk is at the plate right now, I can see Mr “I didn’t mean to throw at his head” look to try and cool him off a bit. We’ll see how that works out.

The game times, networks and scheduled starters for this weekend are:
Friday: 7:10pm est – NESN / Lester – Chamberlain
Saturday: 4:10pm est – FOX / Beckett – Burnett
Sunday: 8:05pm est – ESPN / Masterson – Pettitte

     As usual, this looks like it’s going to be one heck of a series. The pitching match ups look good and both teams are playing pretty well right now. Even some of the players appear to be getting up for this one.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
“Obviously, they have a great team and we feel we do too. Anytime you
play those guys, they’re going to be long games and exciting games. I
think everyone is looking forward to it.”


“It’s always fun to play those guys,” said Red Sox closer Jonathan
Papelbon. “When you put two competitive teams on the field, it’s always
going to make for an interesting game. We definitely have two teams
that are going to compete, and two teams that have a lot of talent on
them. It should be a fun series like always.”

(quotes taken from Ian Browne’s story on MLB.com)

So, even though we’ll have to endure and off day today, it appears that this weekend will more then make up for it. Regardless of how this series ends up, we’re sure to once again be treated to baseball at it’s best. I for one am looking forward to it!

Let’s try for 10 in a row…..


Show Us The…….Names

By Chris Cue
February 8, 2009

     In the wake of the Sports Illustrated report that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for Testosterone and the anabolic steroid Primobolan back in 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers, an old wound has once again been re-opened. With it’s opening, old questions are once again being asked as well. The faces may change, but the questions are the same. The most frequent question being asked right now is: “Who else?”. We’ve heard the names Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte and now Alex Rodriguez. These are not the only names out there, they are just the most high profile. What about the others? Why haven’t more names been exposed? Why did the Mitchell report seem to focus so heavily on the Yankees when all of baseball is known to have been involved in this mess? What culpability does Major League Baseball have to own up for? What about the Players Union? The questions go on and on and on, with some answers being given, but the 800 pound gorilla in the room continues to be ignored. “Who else?” remains the big unanswered question.

     From the 1980’s to 2004, baseball was believed to have been in “The Steroid Era”. Every player during that time is now suspect. Is it fair? No, it probably isn’t. Not every player was a cheat, but when you have high profile players getting caught, MLB as an organization turning a blind eye, Owners of teams implementing a “Don’t ask – Don’t tell” policy and a players union that is now accused of tipping off players to testing, the ugliness just gets uglier and fairness takes a back seat to the headlines. Don’t fool yourself, the steroid era didn’t really end in 2004. It goes on to some degree even today. It always will. Cheaters will find a way to cheat and they will always be one step ahead of those who are trying to catch them. Do you need further evidence beyond the common sense it takes to come to that realization? If so, do yourself a favor and read THIS article written by Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus. You’ll soon find out that there is a new age of drugs and their use may or may not rival the use of those in the so-called steroid era. It’s an eye opening article that brings back memories of “Deep Throat” and the Nixon scandal. It is a reality and we need to accept it in order to move on and do the work that’s needed.

     Who is to blame? That’s another question that’s getting new life. The answer is there isn’t one person you can point a finger at. In this case, it was a group effort. A total Cluster ____!  It took a village to create this mess and it will take the same village to get it under some sort of control. Once you get over the fact that this will never go away, it becomes much easier to focus on what can be done to curb the problem. In today’s game when millions of dollars are on the line, expecting honesty from those that stand to lose those millions may be too much to expect. There are however, higher authorities that can and should expose all who have been and will be caught. If legal issues prevent that from happening now, then work should be done to erase those barriers for the future. The only way for the sport to regain it’s credibility in this area is to show that it is willing to expose those who cheat and to have them pay dearly for it. Reports such as the SI.com story that names only 1 name from a list of 104 isn’t the way to do it. That only fuels the speculative fires. Name them all or name none of them. The later shouldn’t really even be an option if the intent is to truly clean up the sport.

     Until active players who cheat get more then a slap on the wrist, this problem isn’t going away. Until all who are known to have been participants in this scandal are exposed, questions will linger. If positive identifications can be made, then those names on the list should ALL be revealed. Not 1 name, not 2 names, not a few or even a majority…..ALL of the names need to come out. It’s a healing process that has to get underway and it’s been avoided for far too long. Acknowledging the fact that cheaters will always be able to cheat is step one. Step two is seeing that those who get caught cheating are made an example of. If you can’t beat the problem, the least that should be done is to show future members of our society that the risk/reward isn’t worth it. It won’t stop them all, but it would make people pause before they decide to head down a path that could potentially ruin their lives let alone their careers or a sport.

     The enormity of this problem can’t be covered in one article, blog post, Radio or Television report. It has too many facets to it to be completely covered without making it a book that would rival “War and Peace”. However, one simple piece to this mega-puzzle can be looked at and it should be addressed.  It isn’t the whole puzzle, but one could argue that it’s the most important piece. Expose those that cheat and make them pay. It’s the only weapon professional sports organizations have in their arsenal and they should use it. In case it wasn’t obvious before, it should be now. This isn’t going to be easily swept under a rug and ignored until such time as a real Spring cleaning takes place. Spring is here. Get it done. All that concerned people ask is for these organizations to show that they are willing to do it. Show us it doesn’t pay for these people to cheat.  Show us who owes an apology to the “clean” players. Show us the names….ALL of the names and let’s finally go about cleaning this mess up.

The 4th $tarter

By Chris Cue
January 14, 2009

    At this point in the off season when most teams have settled their number 1 through 3 starting pitcher positions, many teams may now be looking for that innings eater. The 4th starter. The guy who still has potential to be better then league average, but comes with fewer guarantees.

    For Red Sox fans, these questions have been answered with either Wakefield, Penny or Smoltz filling that role, so it’s only natural that we would turn our attention to the team a hundred or so miles to the southwest. Yes, every Sox fan always keeps her or his eye on what the “Empire” is doing and right now, they have more unresolved business in this area then the Red Sox do. So, let’s take a look at where they are and what they may do.

   By the way, have you ever noticed how annoyed some Yankee fans get when Red Sox fans stick their nose into the business of their team? It gets even more funny when Sox fans tell Yankee fans what they should do. They seriously get down right resentful about it. It’s as if they are a little put off knowing that we are educated enough about their team to make intelligent analysis of their current situation. That makes this exercise even more enjoyable don’t ya think? Well, it does for me anyway :-).

    The Yankees need a 4th starter and there remains a lot of guess work on which direction they will take. As an outsider looking in, what seems clear to me, has members of the pinstriped brigade pretty divided on the issue. In my honest opinion, the Yankees best option remains one that up until now, they seem unwilling to pay for. I know, imagine that right? So who is that “best option”? In my humble opinion it’s Andy Pettitte.

    Andy, as I’m sure you know, had a 10 million dollar offer on the table from the Yankees that his agents turned their nose up at due to the 6 million dollar pay cut the Yankees were asking him to take. Adding to the dilemma is the fact that the Yankees offered Andy a 2
year, 32 million dollar deal last off season. He turned it down at the time because he wasn’t sure he wanted to pitch beyond 2008. As it turns
out, he should have taken it. But that may explain why he and his agents balked at a 10 million offer this year. Afterall, if the Yankees saw the value last year in paying him 16 million for this season, then what’s changed? It’s an understandable position to take I suppose and it would make you think that the 10 million dollar offer smacked of getting low-balled. The Yankees are clearly playing some hard ball here and perhaps, rightfully so.

    In case you were unaware, that 10 million dollar offer to Andy has now officially been taken off the table. Apparently, the Yankees warned Pettitte’s agents that if they reached a certain team salary level that they would remove the offer. After signing Mark Teixeira, that salary level was seemingly met and Pettitte’s offer was indeed taken off the table. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Yankees will not renew negotiations. It simply means that for now, they are willing to let Andy twist in the wind and hope he warms up to the idea (and fact) that he’s no longer a 16 million dollar a year pitcher. However, I seriously doubt that the Yankees have run out of money and now find themselves unable to sign Andy Pettitte to a one year 10 million dollar deal. Andy Pettitte is exactly what the Yankees need at this point in time and his agents know this. What isn’t known is if the Yankees are willing to find those innings somewhere else. There are afterall, other options available to them for less then the amount offered to Pettitte.

    So the question is: If not Andy Pettitte, then who? The trade market remains a possibility but it’s almost impossible to speculate on. The Yankees have some pieces to move (Nady, Swisher or some prospects), but the return for them alone being a starting pitcher is very slim. The Yankees could look in house and once again decide that Phil Hughes or a platoon of rookie pitchers could fill that need. However, after spending the kind of money they did this off season on pitching, it’s hard to believe they would take that chance again knowing that Joba Chamberlain is already in the rotation.

    Taking a look at what remains available on the free agent market courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contract’s (link HERE), a few names remain that might fit the bill. Names like John Garland, Paul Byrd and even Oliver Perez all seem to be capable of eating 180 – 200 innings this year. The biggest question is what are the odds that any of those guys could be a .500 pitcher for the Yankees while throwing those innings? At best, I think you could say they might be able to do it. At worst, you could look at them and say the don’t have a chance in H-E-Double toothpicks. So what do the Yankees do here? Do they take a chance on a low cost guy that might bring high rewards? Someone like Ben Sheets, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez or even (Hee Hee) Bartolo Colon? I very seriously doubt it. No, if the Yankees don’t pull the trigger on a trade, Andy Pettitte and what he brings to the table has got to be the best option they have. If you have a better idea, I’m willing to hear it. For now, if the Yankees go the free agent route to fill that 4th spot, my money is on Pettitte returning and doing so at or above that 10 million dollar price tag. It is however, money I hope to lose because I don’t personally see a better option.