Holden Caulfield –er, I mean Joel Sherman of the New York Post has some sharp words for Andy Pettitte:
If Pettitte signs elsewhere, regardless of the dollar figure, he should be viewed as a world-class phony forever around here. There should be no more pardons. He should receive no invites to future Old-Timers Games, hear no cheers when the dynastic teams reassemble.
In his moment of need, when it was revealed Pettitte was both a liar and cheater, the Yankees stood by him last season. At that time, Pettitte was only too happy to say the Yankees were the only team he ever wanted to play for any more. He did not say he only wanted to play for the Yankees unless they offer him a paycut. The Yanks have indeed offered that cut. Pettitte made $16 million last year and, according to sources, he was offered $10 million to return in 2009. So far, Pettitte has rejected that bid while his camp has done nothing to dispel reports linking him to Joe Torre and the Dodgers.
I suppose it’s fair to call Pettitte out if you feel he reneged on a pledge to remain a true and blue Yankee forever end ever, but (a) I don’t think that anything he said at the time amounted to such a pledge; and (b) even if it did, surely there is some reasonableness test to be applied to such a situation. Would Pettitte be a phony if the Yankees offered him the major league minimum while the Dodgers offered him a raise? Would the Yankees make any assurances that he wouldn’t be DFA’d if he went 3-9 with a 7.53 ERA through June? Are they doing things with blood oaths in the Bronx now, or are all of the parties involved still business people?
But even if Pettitte is a phony and takes his phony left arm to Phonyville, California for all of that phony baloney money, is it really necessary to drum him out of the clubhouse the way Sherman does? No cheers and no Old Timers games? For a guy who was a key part of four World Championship teams?
Yankees fans and Yankees writers often wonder why a free agent would choose to play anywhere else but in New York. When I read stories like this one I wonder why anyone would want to at all.