Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pettitte's Stay Short This Time

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pettitte's Stay Short This Time

Article excerpt

TAMPA, Fla. - There was nothing cloak and dagger about Andy Pettitte's appearance in Yankees camp this time.

Two spring trainings ago, Pettitte arrived as a guest instructor and emerged with a one-year contract, ending his restless one-year retirement. Monday's donning of a pinstriped No. 46 uniform at Steinbrenner Field was purely ceremonial.

But just to be certain, general manager Brian Cashman playfully inquired as to whether or not Pettitte had thrown an early morning bullpen session. The 41-year-old lefty had a good laugh at that line.

"No, there's nothing in the works, I promise," Pettitte said. "It's been good being home."

Pettitte had genuinely exhausted his every-fifth-day passion for pitching by the end of last season, when he belatedly joined Mariano Rivera's retirement tour.

So, on a warm, sunny Monday morning, Pettitte was content just to toss batting practice and talk about Derek Jeter's final season and discuss CC Sabathia's transitional year. By Wednesday, Pettitte will be back in his suburban Houston home.

"His wife bought him a roundtrip ticket this time," said manager Joe Girardi.

Nothing will ever replace the drive to compete on a mound, and Pettitte says he still has the equipment to do it.

"I don't think I'm ever not going to miss it," he said. But this winter, "I was never going crazy about wanting to get ready for a season. I was never there."

While at home a few weeks ago, Pettitte shot off a tongue-in- cheek text message to Jeter upon hearing the captain's announcement - via Facebook - that 2014 would be his final season.

"Man, I appreciate the head's up," Pettitte wrote. Jeter shot back: "You knew, dude."

With Jeter limited to just 17 games due to leg issues, and with Rivera and Pettitte making their final bows last season, Pettitte had sensed something different in the captain's demeanor. …

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