Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pettitte chooses Yankees over Torre

Andy Pettitte has chosen the New York Yankees over Joe Torre in what was likely an excruciating decision for him.

The Yankees lefty has officially taken himself out of consideration for a spot pitching in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA, a squad that will be led by his former manager Torre. Pettitte’s rejection of Torre’s offer to pitch for the team was a foregone conclusion once the Yankees expressed concerns about Pettitte participating, and possibly injuring himself, in an exhibition tournament. Those reservations outweighed any loyalty that Pettitte felt toward the man who protected him when he was a young pitcher from George Steinbrenner’s trade-happy ways, the manager who was at the helm for the first four World Series titles Pettitte helped win.

I’m not one of those baseball fans who hates the World Baseball Classic and I like the idea of seeing Yankee players participate. But I do understand the Yankees expressing concern about a potential injury to their #2 starter, particularly because they know Pettitte is such a competitor that he won’t be able to restrain himself from giving it his all. And Torre doesn’t have the best reputation in terms of not burning out his arms—protecting his pitchers is one area where Joe Girardi definitely is the better manager.
As much personal affection as Pettitte has for his former manager, in this situation the lefty simply was not going to go against the wishes of his bosses. Loyalty only goes so far.

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