Who calls a guy a “phony” anymore?

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.

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Comments

  1. Zach Sanders said...

    Wow, pulling out the Catcher in the Rye on us. Bold move.

    Is it so wrong that Pettitte wants to play for Torre? Torre seems to be revitalized by the air in LA, maybe Andy wants the same?

    I have no problem with papers getting on an athlete’s case, but this is too much.

    -Zach Sanders
    http://www.mlbnotebook.com

  2. Jason @ IIATMS said...

    I concur.  It’s shameful and, in one fan’s opinion, not representative of how we view Pettitte.

    If he wants more than $16 million and can get it elsewhere, godbless.  If he wants what his performance and market dictates, great.

    I like Joel Sherman but this is a stupid line of attack.  Almost as bad as Buster Olney’s “neutral field” argument.

  3. Dave said...

    Torre’s “revitalization” probably has a lot more to do with the horrid division he is in, and not some new sense of purpose or coaching ability.

    You said it well, Craig. Sherman’s opinion does not represent the Yankees fan base.

  4. Peri said...

    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.

    Because when someone like Andy becomes a “True Yankee” like Derek Jeter,then yes, we wonder why he would play somewhere else. He’s part of the “family”, and after what the Yankees have given him (standing by him during the HGH stuff) I think it would be nice from him to come back for on year at a reasonable price. And yes, I would expect him to and I would be offended if he did not. Now notice, no one is expecting Abreu or Giambi to do the same.

  5. DonnieBaseballHallofFame said...

    Joel Sherman thank you for having the stones to say this.  Somebody with a voice needed to.

    Andy and his awe shucks gimmick is getting old.  The good cop bad cop with his agents is played out.

    Hey Andy don’t let the needle I mean the door hit you in the rear on the way out.

  6. Chris Simonds said...

    I remember the reason Andy Pettitte started to consider his “home state” Astros when he became a free agent was that the Yankees front office was dropping all these hints that Pettitte wasn’t really a competitor – translation – George just didn’t like him. They didn’t even make him an offer, as I recall, even though the guy was their most reliable post-season starter at the time, more so than Clemens ever was. I think the Yankees treated Pettitte about the way he’s treating them now. It may be entertainment and a great fantasy life to us, but as Craig points out, to them it’s a competitive business, with lots of unlovely tactics and shenanigans coming from both sides.

  7. harris said...

    Pettite is a phony!  How in the world does this guy think he is worth 16 million?  Sure he can probably get that on the open market but he did have like a 4.50 era last season!  Also, the Yankees gave him a contract while not knowing that he was a big lying cheater who was taking HGH!  No way that they would have given him that money after the report!  He knew he was going to be in the report so he suddenly felt some urgency to sign that 16 million dollar deal! After all this bullshit happened the Yankees stood by him!  To add in that factor along with his shity season last year is exactly why Joel Sherman called him a phony and that is why the Yankees rightfully so are making him take a pay cut!  PREACH!

  8. Craig Calcaterra said...

    “How in the world does this guy think he is worth 16 million?  Sure he can probably get that on the open market”

    Um, if he can get that on the open market, that, by definition, is what he is worth.  Doesn’t mean you or I would pay him that, but that’s what he’s worth.

    By the way, can someone tell me what the Yankees did to “stand behind” Pettitte in the wake of the Mitchell Report?  Yes, I know they signed him, but that was obviously because they thought he’d help them win ballgames.  What was done for him that wasn’t done for, say, Giambi, or Tejada, or any of the other scores of players named in the Report?  Are the Yankees getting credit for not shunning him?  For not setting him off on an ice floe to die?

  9. AS Wachs said...

    Well said. I read the Shermanator’s article and he def. wet himself on this one. Yankee fans (not all of them, but a wide throng of them) have gotten used to a team that really doesn’t exist anymore in modern baseball, accounting for some ridiculous comments. They once had an All-Star-caliber team that could acquire anyone at anytime as long as their owner would shell out the cash. As they transition into a “real” baseball team (this consists of setting a budget and actually developing players in the minor leagues into major-leaguers), I am hearing some of the most ridiculous statements. Please just shut it, my fairweather friends. Your team just shelled out around $150MM, and while I don’t think that’ll be enough to net Sabathia, (I hear he doesn’t want to deal with this constant media BS) I know they’ll pick up someone (Burnett) so calm down and be grateful for what you get. You don’t NEED Pettite.

    Regardless of that, the NY media has no business ripping into Pettite. Understand that Pettite’s comments were context-based. I’m sure he never expected NY to lowball him, however, the truth stands in front of us. The Yanks realize he’s not worth the 16MM. Andy believes through his agent that it’s possible his market value may be 16MM+. Since the Yanks are always the highest bidder on the open market, why shouldn’t they cough up at least 16MM? This is simply a conflict of interest on both sides. I can’t find a way to blame either party, but blaming a former team hero just looks bad for the Yanks’ media. 

    I can’t believe Sherman used the word “phony”. When I originally clicked the article, it was because I haven’t heard that word in a hot minute and was unfamiliar with what he might have been talking about. I still don’t get it – it doesn’t really even make sense in this context if you agree that Pettite isn’t the anti-christ. But this line, “But even if Pettitte is a phony and takes his phony left arm to Phonyville, California for all of that phony baloney money,” made me laugh, then say it aloud, then laugh some more. Well done, Calcaterra.

  10. Travis M. Nelson said...

    By Sherman’s logic, Boston should not allow Carlton Fisk, Luis Tiant, Darryl Evans, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Johnny Damon, Pedro Martinez, or Derek Lowe to participate in Old Timers Day games, either. 

    Two-thirds of the starting lineup in the deciding game of the 2004 World Series eventually signed free agent contracts with other teams, rather than play for Boston.  I don’t recall Sherman calling Damon on the carpet when he signed with the yankees after specifically saying that eh couldn’t imagine wanting to play for them.

  11. Houston Mets Fan said...

    As a Mets Fan I would take him in a minute. He has a strong post season record and you can always use a good lefty.

    That all being said what Andy is doing is playing the Yanks for more money. The entire argument is stupid. He has the right to try to get every dollar he can…and they have the right to try and get him for the lowest dollar they can. If LA shows interest the Yanks will need to pay more to keep him…business decision.

  12. JohnnyC said...

    Travis, the Red Sox don’t hold Old Timers’ Days. As I recall, they had to give Carlton Fisk “a job” in order to even have him physically return to Fenway Park. And, since when is Joel Sherman a Yankees’ writer? Is Peter Gammons a Red Sox writer? It’s his opinion. I don’t agree with him but it’s HIS opinion. And I don’t think Sherman hands out invitations to Old Timers’ Day.

  13. Guidas said...

    Does anyone have the Official True Yankee Formula? I hear about these “True Yankees” all the time from Yankee fans but the Trueness seems to change from year to year and player to player. I mean Kei Igawa’s gotta be one right? $46 mil and only MLB team he’s ever played for. Help me out here…

  14. Bruno said...

    Man, this place is crawling with finger pointing, judgemental dildos. Hey Craig, go dry hump Dustin Pedroia or somethin’, will ya?

  15. pete said...

    Scott Brosius = “True Yankee”
    A-Rod ≠ “True Yankee”

    Thanks…that’s all I need to know.

    Just more Yankee arrogance—Imagine how ridiculous it would be if someone suggested that Casey Blake should accept a below-market contract with the Indians because he’s a “True Indian” and because they rescued him from minor league obscurity.

  16. smsetnor said...

    I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did Pettite go? I was wondering where Pettite went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if Torre came in a truck and took him away to Los Angeles or something. Or if Pettite just flew away.

  17. ceciguante said...

    i agree with sherman.  i think he does represent a big part of the yankee fan base when he calls out pettitte for repeatedly playing the “i only want to play for the yankees” card, and then going along with his agents’ hardball tactics to get him every last dollar after a down year that andy admits was likely hindered by the HGH scandal he was embroiled in.

    is there no player accountability anymore?  it’s OK to spew BS about your desires to play in NY and your drug use, and then reverse course whenever you want?  and the SPORTSWRITER (i.e., professional sports critic) is the bad guy when he calls the player on his track record??

    i don’t live in that world.

    i’m no longer an andy pettitte fan if he leaves for a few extra $M this offseason.  he should suck it up, negotiate a fair $10-12M deal, and work his ass off this offseason.  or retire.

  18. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Bruno—Criticize people’s arguments all you want.  Indeed, feel free to explain to me all of the reasons I’m full of it in a 1,200 comment.  If it’s good, I’ll even put it in a blog post.

    But drop the crude stuff and drop the infantile garbage.  Any more of it, and your comments get deleted.  Any more beyond that, and your IP address will be banned.  This has been a friendly blog for a long time now, and friendly it shall stay.

    That aside, I’m still waiting for someone to tell me how the Yankees went out of their way for Pettitte, and why Pettitte’s right to freely make a contract with the highest bidder should be curtailed because of it.

  19. iBLeeDPiNStRiPeS said...

    i for one loooooooove Andy Pettite .. when i 1st read about his name in the steroid report i felt my heart drop. Im 23 years old going on 24, so from the ages of 11 on up Pettite, Jeter, Posada, Mo, Joe Torre, Girardi… were heroes to me … God like figures who got to do everyday what i would give my left leg to do just once.. and thats play in Yankee stadium… on the same grass and dirt Mickey Roger Maris Joe D The Babe and the Iron horse all played on. It hurts me to hear Andy referred to as a phony but everyone has there opinion. Opinions are like assholes everyone has one… unfortunatley for Joel Sherman hes never had to be competitive. All he does is make comments on things he cant ever do. Its easy to judge a player in any sport, but i ask you this Mr Sherman, can you throw a 12-6 curve ball? a cut fastball?? even a circle change ( the 2nd most basic pitch you are taught ) …  id probably say #### no … those who cant do, teach, as the saying goes.. in this instance its those who cant do or teach talk #### by way of an article in a newspaper. Andy has been one of the most consistant and productive Yankees in tha history of the Yanks and id #### an absolute infant if his number isnt retired one day right next to that character defining shnoz in monument park. For the man to even be able to pitch under the incredible scrutiny he was under and still maintain the record he did is commendable. The US Govt pretty much threw his relationship with his best buddy under the bus, add that to the open book his life is because he deals directly with the dirtbag media dogs we have here in NY, im shocked he didnt retire mid season. Why not stop focusing on trying to ruin the image of a proven blood sweat and tears champion, and focus the scrutiny on the lame ass punks we have in the farm system. we put a dick load of stock in ian kennedy and phil hughes ( whose names dont even deserve to be capitalized ) who went what? a combined 0-9 with an era of over 20.00. Pettite was a freshman in High School when these chumps were swimming around in their Daddies ball sacks and they couldnt stay healthy enough to only be terrible.. instead they exceeded expectations in the area of sucking ass. Plain and simple no matter where Pettite lands his place in Yankee lore is sealed… a great ball player a great teammate a hell of a nice guy ( ive met him ) a church goer and a great american. PERIOD. he has nothing to prove .. look up his stats at ESPN.com … however if you want to ruin him but praise utter garbage .. Me and my friend Nick are the same age as kennedy and hughes .. we can go 0-9 with a 20.00 era for free … wearing those pinstripes is payment enough … i didnt know sucking was ok but feeling ur worth 16mill is a travesty

  20. Eric said...

    I enjoy reading Sherman’s stuff.  There is a certain je ne sais quoi that flows through it that reminds me of fantasy baseball.

    However, I am a Yankees’ fan, and my family is a big Andy Pettitte fan.  Sherman’s opinion was hysterical and on par with George King’s very, very tired American Idle references to Carl Pavano.

    Just as I possess some opinions that may not be popular, I’ll give Mr. Sherman a pass on the Pettitte one.

  21. Andrew said...

    Frankly, I like this tidbit of logic:

    1) Andy Pettitte should sign a contract with the Yankees or be considered a phony because he is generally believed to prefer playing in New York.

    ergo

    2) CC Sabathia should sign a contract with the Yankees because they are offering him far more money than his generally believed to be preferred destination of Southern California.  One assumes failure to sign said contract would make him a phony, or at least a fat pussy toad.

  22. Tony said...

    “he should suck it up, negotiate a fair $10-12M deal, and work his ass off this offseason.  or retire.”

    What are we quasi-commies?  Its a capitalism people, if a team wants to shell out $16m + then not only should he take it, but if he doesn’t, he would be committing an injustice!  Since when is baseball about sentimentality, and loyalty?  Its a business from where I come from, and where was this loyalty crap when the yankees sold andy down the river a couple of years ago as they chased their latest off-season affection (Arod).  If the yanks get off the hook for letting Andy walk to Houston, then Andy ought to be able to blow the Yankees off just as well this time around.  Besides, who wants to pitch for that awful team of has-been all-stars at every position?

  23. Paul said...

    Don’t you remember when Pettitte came down with a rare and lethal strain of the T-virus and the Yankees spent millions to provide Pettitte with “the antidote”? C’mon Andy, they scratched your back, now scratch theirs…

  24. MikeD said...

    Most Yankee fans like and appreciate Pettitte, and they did not blame him for leaving originally because the Yankees basically made him feel unwelcome.  They may be doing it again, although I think this is more a battle for the right price that both sides will agree on.

    Do even NYers take anything the tabloid newspapers write seriously?  I doubt it.

  25. rdkoch said...

    SMSETNOR: Amazing reference. Nature will take care of Pettitte.

    I love what Pettitte has done and hopefully will continue to do as a Yankee.

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