Tag Archives: Pettitte

Yanks to honor 4, retire 3 numbers.

I was going to write a column looking at 2020, and look to what we can expect in the future, but that will have to wait.

For this column is to honor the past.

Today, the Yankees announced that #51 for Bernie Williams will be retired on May 24 (I’ll be there that day. I was there for #23, Don Mattingly and for #42, Mariano Rivera). On August 22nd they will retire the number of #20, Jorge Posada (I think I have to work that day) and on August 23rd they will retire #46 for Andy Pettitte (I will be there for that one).

In addition, on Old-Timer’s Day this year, Willie Randolph will join recent legends Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and Goose Gossage by getting a plaque in Monument Park (no retired number).

No word on when Jeter’s #2 gets retired.

So the Yanks are going to have a serious problem. Once Jeter’s number is retired, that will be 20 retired numbers. Now, there are a few I believe should NOT be retired. I know I’m opening a can of worms here, but here goes. Should these numbers be retired? For the way things are going, the Yanks are 1) going to look like a football team with #82 playing CF, or 2) need to go to 1A, 2A, 3A, etc.

#1 Billy Martin (I believe it shouldn’t be retired. Billy was a major factor in three WS titles as a player, and hit .333 in the WS. He was WS MVP in 1953 when he had 12 hits in six games. He made a WS saving catch in Game 7 of the 1952 Series. He managed the Yanks to a WS title—-but in comparison, Ralph Houk managed the yanks to TWO WS titles, and Houk’s #35 won’t be retired —. Billy was a .257 career hitter. He wasn’t even the best player to wear #1 (Earle Combs, a HOF, was). No).

#2 Derek Jeter (Not officially retired yet). 3465 hits and 1st ballot HOF screams yes.

#3 Babe Ruth. Ummmm…. greatest Player ever. Yes.

#4 Lou Gehrig. Yes.

#5 Joe DiMaggio. Yes.

#6 Joe Torre. Interesting question. The Yanks have so many numbers retired, that you have to ask, players only? Or include managers. If you include managers, then Torre is a Yes. If players only, no. (BTW, Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy never wore a number).

#7 Mickey Mantle. Yes.

#8 Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. Both Yes.

#9 Roger Maris. No. Honor Roger’s 1961 with a plaque, but not the number. .260 career hitter. GREAT for 1960 and 1961, very good in 1962, above average 1963-1964, not even average in 1965-1966. Sweeney Murti argues that Graig Nettles, who also wore #9, should get a plaque in Monument Park. Speaking of, Willie Randolph is getting a plaque. How about Tony Lazzeri and Joe Gordon getting plaques? Both are in the HOF. Willie won’t be. Love Willie, but….

#10. Phil Rizzuto. No. Plaque yes, honoring his 56 or so years of service, but not retire the number.

#13… just kidding. Based on his suspension and turbulent relations with the Yankees, I’ll be shocked if the Yanks honor A-Rod.

#15 Thurman Munson. Yes. Esp. considering the circumstances of his passing.

#16 Whitey Ford. Yes.

#20 Jorge Posada. No. No Offense to Jorge, but unless you are HOF, it’s hard to justify retiring the number.

#23. Don Mattingly. No. I was there when they retired his number. I loved Donnie, but is he more worthy or better than two people who each got a plaque but whose numbers aren’t retired? O’Neill or Tino? I think not. Also, no HOF. Should have the same treatment as Paul and Tino. Plaque, no retired #. Hey, with so many retired numbers, we have to be tough here.

#32. Elston Howard. Plaque yes, retired number, no. 1st black on the Yanks, 1st AL Black MVP, but not a HOF. Tough call, but no.

#37 Casey Stengel. See Torre above. If you want players only, no. If you include managers, yes.

#44 Reggie. No. Only was with the Yanks 1977-1981, not long enough. Plaque yes, retired number, no.

#46 Andy Pettitte. Close call. No. Chuck Knoblauch, who is in the Mitchell report along with Andy (HGH) blasts the selection of Pettitte. I’d argue yes, but it’s a close call. By the way, Red Ruffing #15 and Allie Reynolds #22 both have plaques, no retired number. Of course, #15 is retired for Munson.

#49 Ron Guidry. No. Tough Call. I loved the Gator, but no HOF and not even 200 wins.

#51 Bernie. Tough call, but no HOF. The only difference between him getting his # retired and Paul and Tino getting just plaques is that Bernie spent 16 years as a Yankee while Paul and Tino spent considerable time with other teams (Cincy and Seattle).

So I eliminated 10 numbers, 12 if you think players only should have the numbers retired. This isn’t to disrespect the players whose numbers I want to “unretire” but to state which I think should be retired vs. those I think the Yanks went overboard on.

The Yanks could have a problem in years to come. Hopefully I am alive to see it. It means I would have lived through one more dynasty.



Yanks to retire #46.

On August 23rd, Andy Pettitte will join the list of retired numbers when #46 will be retired. Andy won 256 games, 219 with the Yanks (37 with Houston) and won most of his 19 postseason victories with the Yanks as well.

Bernie Williams will have a day this year, too. No word yet on whether #51 will be retired. I expect it will be.

O’Neill (21), Gossage (54) and Tino (24) had plaques put in Monument Park in their honors. Probably because they didn’t spend 15-16 years as a Yankee like Pettitte did (although that didn’t stop the Yanks from retiring Reggie’s #44 (1977-1981) or Maris’ #9 (1960-1966)). No one may be wearing those numbers now, but they are not officially retired and they are probably just “out of circulation” for a while.

You know Posada and Jeter are coming. Hey, the more days, the bigger crowd. Milk it for what it’s worth…

We may need to get into 1A, 2A, 3 A soon….

Anyway, here’s the list….

1 Billy Martin
2 Derek Jeter?
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Bill Dickey AND Yogi Berra
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford (the only one not retired while the Yanks were at Yankee Stadium; the Yanks were in Shea in 1974 and 1975 while Yankee Stadium was being remodeled).
20 Jorge Posada?
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera  (and Jackie Robinson )
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams?

Mo and Andy: The career stats.

This could take a while.

Rivera: Ends 2013 at 6-2, 2.11 and 44 saves. ERA+ 192 (that could change slightly).

82-60, 2.21 in career. 11x ERA under 2.00. Record 652 saves. The 2.21 ERA is the lowest of any pitcher in the live-ball era (1920 on) who pitched at least 1000 innings. His career ERA+ of 205 is the best, by about 50 points. He led the majors in saves in three seasons.

1115 games pitched, 4th on the all-time list (4 behind John Franco. #1 is Jesse Orosco and #2 is…. wait for it…. ex-teammate Mike Stanton). All-time leader in games finished with 952, exactly 300 more than his number of career saves.

He was ONE OUT away from a WHIP of exactly 1.00. Walks + hits in career: 1284; IP 1283 2/3. Wow.

He made just six regular seasons errors in his career, the last one in 2004.

1999 WS MVP. 2003 ALCS MVP. 2013 ASG MVP. The only man to be MVP of a WS, LCS and an ASG. 

13x All-Star. CYA consideration (not counting this year. Will he get any?) 6x, inc. three 3rd places finishes and a runnerup finish in 2005.

MVP consideration in 9 years, top-10 twice (2004 and 2005). (Any MVP consideration this year?)

8-1, 0.70 ERA in the postseason. An appropriate number of 42 postseason saves, the most ever.  

141 postseason IP, of which his WHIP was .759. Less than one.

11 earned runs given up in the postseason. By contrast, 12 men have walked on the moon.

His HOF monitor on baseballreference.com is a 262. A likely HOF has about a 100. That number is 8th all-time. Not for pitchers, but for EVERYBODY.

Appeared in seven WS, winning five.

Pettitte: 11-11, 3.74, ERA+ 108 (could change slightly) in final season. Only man in MLB history to pitch 15 or more seasons and never have a losing season.

256 wins, 219 as a Yankee. 3rd on Yankees list behind Ford’s 236 and Ruffing’s 231.

438 GS as a Yankee, tied with Ford. Led league in GS 3x.

256-153, 3.85. ERA+ 117. More than 100 games over .500.

Two-time 20-game winner. Led AL in 1996 with 21.

3x All-Star. 3rd in ROY 1995. CYA consideration 5x, runnerup in 1996. MVP consideration twice.

2001 ALCS MVP.

19-11, 3.81 in the postseason.  Most postseason wins.

8 WS, winning 5.

Andy’s HOF monitor is 128, but he is a borderline Hall-of-Famer. The HGH admission hurts his chances severely.

At least he only made a mistake once or twice, confessed and didn’t do it again. I have more forgiveness for a person like that than for someone who took it continuously for years and who denied until he was caught… then went back on the stuff.

But an all-time Yankees great.

#42 is retired (Jackie Robinson and Mo). It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of #46.

#2 will be retired (Jeter).

Numbers 6 (Torre), 21 (O’Neill), 20 (Posada) and 51 (Bernie) aren’t officially retired, but no one is wearing them. O’Neill’s 21 was briefly worn by LaTroy Hawkins, who was booed unmercifully for wearing it.

You wonder if those numbers will be retired or how long it’ll be before anyone else wears those numbers.

Monument Park may need a new wall.

In any case, Mo and Andy’s careers are over. We’ll never see them in another MLB game.

God bless both of them.

Game 161. Pettitte’s last game is a CG, 2-1 win.

Mo wasn’t available. Never would be again.

Before the game, Mariano Rivera announced that the popup he induced at Yankee Stadium would be the last pitch he threw, and that Jeter and Pettitte coming out to get him after that pitch would be it.  He announced the tank is empty and he would not be playing (even CF) in Houston. It was also revealed that he had an injured forearm and has been pitching through it for some time, not telling anybody. How great is he? With an injured forearm, and at age 43, he ends 2013, his final season, at 6-2, 2.11 and with 44 saves.

So Andy Pettitte didn’t have the guy behind him as his cushion. The greatest 1-2 win/save punch in MLB history didn’t have #2. So Pettitte just did it himself, throwing a CG, 2-1 victory in his final MLB game. It was at Houston, near his hometown of Deer Park. It came in front of family against the only other team he pitched for.

It was his first complete game since he pitched for Houston, over seven years ago.

With the victory (career #256, Yankees 219), Pettitte finished 11-11, 3.74 on the season and avoided a losing season. Pettitte NEVER had a losing season in his career (14-14 in 2008, 11-11 this year), and thus became the only man in MLB history to pitch 15 or more seasons and never have a losing season.

Andy went 9, 1 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 5 K. He gave up a run in the fourth on a single, groundout (runner to second) and another groundout in which the runner scored all the way from second.

The Yanks got two in the sixth. Stewart singled and after Granderson struck out, Nunez singled. Cano singled to tie it up. Soriano walked to load the bases. After a lineout, catcher Matt Pagnozzi tried to pick Cano off second with Almonte batting. He lost his grip or something, spiked the ball into home plate, and Nunez barely scored from third when the ball bounded away. What a way to win.

From there it was all Andy. Andy got two outs in the 9th and was a strike away then gave up a hit. With the tying run on first, Girardi came out to check on Andy. You’d have hated to see a walk-off HR there that would have made Andy a loser. But after asking Pettitte if he was ok and getting confirmation that he was, Girardi left him in there. It was Andy’s game, and he got a groundout on his last MLB pitch for the CG victory.

What a way to go out.


Game 160. Yanks beat Astros 3-2.

No, Mo didn’t save it, or play CF, but the Yanks beat Houston last night, 3-2.

The Yanks got all three runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Mark Reynolds and a 2-run double by David Adams.

Adam Warren started and went 5. (W, 3-2, 3.39) 0 R, 2 H, 1 H and 4 K.

David Phelps 1 2/3, 2 R, 1 H, 2 walks and 1 K. 5.04.

Phelps wasn’t THAT bad. He left with two on and two out in the seventh and for some inexplicable reason, Girardi brought in Joba who immediately, on two pitches, gave up a double and single to let both inherited runners score. Then, after a SB and 2nd and 3rd, and a walk to load the bases, he got an out to get out of it. Terrible.

Joba 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 4.93. Truthfully, Joba should have the ERA over 5, not Phelps, but what can you do?

Claiborne 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 4.17.

David Robertson got the save, and a lot of boos. The Houston crowd wanted to see Mo. No offense to them, but I hope Mo doesn’t pitch again. The way he went out Thursday night at the Stadium should be the way to go and should be the last pitch he ever throws. Now for CF, who knows?

Robertson (Save #3), 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.07.

I’ll post Rivera’s and Pettitte’s career stats after the season is over, but tonight, Pettitte makes the last start of his career. Hopefully he wins. He is 10-11 and NEVER has had a losing season in his whole career. (He went 14-14 in 2008).

Only one man ever has pitched in 10 or more seasons and had a winning record in EACH one. Do you know it was Babe Ruth?

Game 156. Mo’s #42 retired, Andy great in last home start, but Yanks lose 2-1.

What a special day I was privileged to attend yesterday. A great day… except for the ending.

The Yanks put up a special plaque on a side wall of Yankee Stadium honoring Jackie Robinson’s #42 being retired throughout baseball in 1997. Jackie’s widow, Rachel, was there and she looks marvelous considering that she has to be somewhere around 90.

Then, where #42 used to be in Dodger Blue for Robinson, a sheet was dropped to reveal the #42 in Yankee Blue. For the Yankees retired Rivera’s number—Mo is the last player ever to wear it, he was grandfathered in in 1997—so not only is 42 retired throughout baseball for Robinson, it’s also retired by the Yanks for Mo.

What a wonderful pre-game ceremony. Back to honor Mo were Gene Michael, Jeff Nelson, John Wetteland, Coney, Tino, Godzilla, O’Neill, Jorge, Bernie, Torre, Gene Monahan… and Metallica was even there to play a live rendition of Enter Sandman. In between innings, there were testimonials to Mo from teammates, opponents and others in the sporting world, like Magic and Kareem, even Tom Brady. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

Andy Pettitte, also retiring, made the last home start of his career, and Andy was fabulous. He retired the first 14 batters he faced. Mark Reynolds hit a solo HR in the second (20). Andy had a no-no for 5 1/3. Then he gave up a game-tying HR to Ehire Adrianza, his first MLB HR.

Going into the eighth, it was 1-1 and Andy had a one-hitter going. Then he gave up a double to Kung Fu Panda, Sandoval. Sandoval left for a PR and Pettitte left, period. No longer will he grace the Yankee Stadium mound as an active player. More ovations. More tears.

Robertson came in and got a groundout but then gave up a double and the lead. 2-1 Giants.

Andy (L, 10-11, 3.88) 7+, 2 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 6 K. He was brilliant, and it’s a shame he has to take the loss in his last home start with such a great effort.

Robertson 1/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.13.

Then on the day they retired his number, Mo got the last five outs.

1 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.15.

The Yanks got a single by Alex and a double by Cano to start the eighth, but a great stop by Noonan on Soriano’s smash then he nailed PR Almonte at home. I don’t think Almonte should have gone there and it hurt the Yanks. Instead of bases loaded and none out (there is no way Noonan could have got Sori at first), there was 1st and 2nd, one out and Granderson whiffed. Nunez singled but Cano was gunned down at the plate.

The Yanks had their chances. They blew them, and lost 2-1 on a day in which Mo’s # was retired, Andy pitched great in his last home start and Mo himself pitched.

Worse yet, the loss puts them 4 back of the second wild-card slot with just 6 games left.

It’s just about impossible to make the playoffs now.

I have some computer issues, so if I don’t post in a while, you’ll know why.

Game 154. Pettitte to retire, A-Rod sets slam record in Yanks 5-1 win.

The Yanks kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 win over the Giants Friday night, as Alex Rodriguez’ seventh-inning grand slam broke a 1-1 tie.

It was A-Rod’s 24th career grand slam, breaking a tie with Lou Gehrig for the most all-time. A-Rod’s 7th HR of the season was #654 of his career, putting him six behind Willie Mays.

Alfonso Soriano homered (33, 405) in the second to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead before S.F. tied it in the third. Soriano is two behind Duke Snider on the all-time list.

CC (W, 14-13, 4.78) went 7, 1 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 4 K.

Robertson the 8th.  1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 2.14.

Mo the 9th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.21.

Andy Pettitte announced that this time he  is retiring for good. He retired and sat out all of 2011, but came back in 2012. On Sunday, I’ll be heading up to the Stadium for the pre-game ceremony to honor Mo. That same day will mark Pettitte’s last Yankee Stadium start. It appears that his last start ever will then be in Houston, where he pitched for three years and near where his home is. Hopefully he gets the W and Mo the save on Sunday. It’d be fitting. Mo has saved 74 of Andy’s 218 Yankee wins. As of now, Pettitte has a 255-102 career record and a 3.86 ERA (ERA+ 117). He is 19-11 in the postseason, 3.81.

Cleveland now has the 2nd wild-card spot. The Yanks are 3 out with 8 to go.