Guest Post by D’Bickataw Purgaton
*Editor’s Note: The following piece has been slightly modified for general audiences. You can read the article in its original form here.
The Yankees are totally screwed now.
At least, that seems to be Jon Heyman’s thesis here. Okay, I really don’t know what his thesis is. I think it’s that Andy Pettitte is like the Aaron Rodgers of baseball. Not sure. Let’s find out.
Andy Pettitte’s franchise-crushing decision to retire has solidified the Yankees’ place atop our list of winter non-winners (sounds nicer than losers, doesn’t it?), a rare spot for a team that usually heads the winter winners list.
The New York Yankees, a $1.6 billion sports franchise with 523,489,335 championships and its own TV network, have been crushed by Andy Pettitte’s retirement. GROUND INTO POWDER. LAID OUT TO DRY.
Now all they have is Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia, Rafael Soriano and Curtis Granderson. What ever will they do with only 10 star players?
They surely wouldn’t even want to imagine things without Rafael Soriano, perhaps the most controversial signing of the winter.
I think Brian Cashman has made it quite clear that he spent the entire winter imagining things without Rafael Soriano.
But thanks to that $35 million outlay for a setup man, against general manager Brian Cashman’s wishes, at least they have a lockdown back-end of the bullpen. And they’re going to need it.
Unlike all the other teams, who don’t need good relief pitchers.
Pettitte will be recalled as one of the most consistent (he’s the only pitcher ever to throw in at least 16 seasons without a losing year)
Wins and losses are definitely the best way to judge pitchers. That record couldn’t possibly have anything to do with pitching 13 seasons for the team with the highest payroll in professional sports buying every single free-agent superstar hitter. That can’t possibly be relevant.
Andy Pettitte’s ERA by year: 4.17, 3.87, 2.88, 4.24, 4.70, 4.35, 3.99, 3.27, 4.02, 3.90, 2.39, 4.20, 4.05, 4.54, 4.16, 3.28
I’ve never seen such consistent mediocrity! Let’s get him in the Hall of Fame!
and clutch (his 19 postseason victories are a record) pitchers ever.
Things that may help you win 19 postseason games:
- Starting 42 postseason games
- Being on the team with the highest payroll and all the best hitters
Things that may not help you win 19 postseason games:
- Being “clutch”
Things that may not help you win 19 postseason games unless you’re on the Yankees:
- Giving up 271 hits in 263 postseason innings
- Having a career postseason ERA of 3.83 and WHIP of 1.30
Pettitte’s postseason numbers are almost exactly the same as his regular-season numbers. He wasn’t clutch in the postseason. He was just himself: a decent starting pitcher with occasional flashes of brilliance playing on a series of great teams. That is to say, a Yankee legend.
He will also be remembered, at least in the near-term, as the man who left the Yankees with a rotation that is extremely questionable beyond ace CC Sabathia and up-and-comer Phil Hughes.
Because he wasn’t just a pretty good pitcher; he was also secretly the general manager, lurking in the shadows and constructing a rotation that relies heavily on soon-to-be-39-year-old Andy Pettitte, only to crush the Yankees franchise with his retirement. Sneaky dude.
Kevin Millwood is the only viable name left on the free-agent market. He’s certainly a consideration, a solid veteran with a decent track record within the division despite a 4-16 record with Baltimore last year, when a groin injury plagued him.
Millwood’s track record within the division:
- Red Sox: 4.05 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
- Rays: 5.03 ERA, 1.55 WHIP
- Blue Jays: 5.17 ERA, 1.42 WHIP
- Orioles: 3.74 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
- Yankees: 5.12 ERA, 1.64 WHIP
If you need someone to beat the Orioles and no one else, he’s your guy!
The sad thing is that Millwood’s career numbers are very comparable to Pettitte’s, especially before last season. Too bad he didn’t have the Yankees’ lineup behind him almost his entire career.
As for where the current Yankees may be headed, if they don’t improve their starting pitching situation, some wonder if their usual October trip will be scrapped.
Yeah, all they have is a stacked lineup, two top-flight starters, about five credible-looking starting pitching prospects coming through their system, and the best one-two bullpen combo in baseball. What ever will they do?