Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yankees could have used Pettitte vs Boston

Imagine how much better the prospects for the New York Yankees would be if they had Andy Pettitte starting against the Boston Red Sox tonight instead of AJ Burnett.

It’s a moot point, of course, since Pettitte seems to be happily retired and the Yankees are still contractually committed to Burnett for two-plus years. But I can’t help play the “what-if” game. Assuming Pettitte was healthy, he would be the guy I would most want to see on the mound tonight.

If the Yankees somehow managed to win this game in spite of Burnett, it would be a great boost to their collective confidence. After last night’s disappointing loss by Phil Hughes, leaving Boston having won two out of three games and being a mere half game behind the Red Sox would be a tremendous victory. But I seriously doubt it will happen because I think Burnett will put them in a hole they will just not be able to dig themselves out of. Imagine the outcry that will happen if Burnett fails spectacularly against the Red Sox tonight, as most Yankee fans expect, and Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman still choose not to send him to the bullpen. The vast majority of Yankee fans, sick and tired of Burnett and his drama, will be angry and unsympathetic, with one possible, hilarious exception.

Imagine how much better Yankee fans would feel about tonight’s game if our homegrown lefty was on the mound versus the Saux. Pettitte was one of the most dependable pitchers the Yankees ever had, a fact that I think us fans and the Yankee brass too often took for granted. I still think the Yankees win that 2004 American League Championship Series if Pettitte was still with the Yankees. They lost because they didn’t have a starter capable of stopping the Boston juggernaut once it got started. Pettitte, with 19 wins in the postseason, could have been that guy if the Yankees hadn’t let him walk away. But they did and the course of Yankee-Red Sox history was forever changed.

Alas, it’s not Mr. Dependable Pettitte but Mr. Unreliable Burnett who gets the ball tonight against the archrivals. But daring to dream never hurt anybody.

No comments:

Post a Comment