Trying to find himself
What does a Yankee return mean to Andy Pettitte? And what does it mean to the Astros?
It’s true, Pettitte was the beginning of a buzz, a noise and a feeling that got us aboard a magical train that took us in these past three years to two NLCS, a World Series and being eliminated in the very last day of the regular season. It’s very true that Pettitte was the catalyst in helping us being blessed to see Roger Clemens wearing an Astros uniform.
It’s also true this is not the Andy Pettitte we saw for the first time in Houston, when he told us he wanted to be closer to home, so he could avoid so much traveling back and forth between Texas and NY. Maybe, after sitting down and seeing his 14-13, 4.20 record for 2006, he thought a second chance at Yankee Stadium could take him back to those years in which he was one of the game’s dominant pitchers.
I hope it goes down like that. Honest. You see, it’s not easy dealing with the pressure of playing for the Yankees. And it’s not just hearing Bob Shepard reading your name. Pettitte must know this quite well; and if he is not fully convinced of this, he can ask Randy Johnson how it feels up there right now. Or ask Alex Rodriguez, a guy who saw his bobblehead doll in the New York Times Magazine with a title asking what was going on inside his mind because of all the defensive gaffes and his continuous and bitter struggle with the strike zone.
Playing with the New York Yankees is playing with fire. It can be seventh heaven or the worst place in ****. And worst of all, the keys to both places are secured by the same folks: Mike Lupica, Mike and the Mad Dog, WFAN, the YES network, the New York Post and Murray Chass.
With this deal, the Yankees are dancing to the same beat that is making owners offer preposterous sums of money to the likes of Gil Meche. Pitching is quite scarce these days, not to say nonexistant. At least in the free agency stock market.
Pettitte told us that the Yankees kept on pushing, while the Astros stayed put. I will always thank him for what he did with the Astros, but it’s no less true that he kept on showing shame for his latest performances, while telling astros.com once he even contemplated retirement for this season. And that was before the All-Star break.
Only time will tell us if Houston made the right decision or not. However, I do believe Andy Pettitte didn’t choose the best place for trying to find himself.