When Andy Pettitte left the Yanks for Houston a few years ago, a lot of Yanks fans were upset. I wasn’t one of them. I thought it was a good move by the team given his elbow issues, and the fact that money would be cleared for up-and-comers such as Javier Vazquez (I’m never going to be a general manager). For whatever reason, I wasn’t that emotional about the departure of one of the faces of the dynasty. If Mariano leaves, for instance, after the season, I will probably spend a week catatonic in a corner somewhere off the grid.
Yes, we’d been through a lot together–fan and Andy–but it seemed like he wanted to move along, and, frankly, I thought it was time for him to go. It is odd then that my first reaction to the news of his signing this winter was one of pure elation. Am I getting soft in my old age? Well, maybe, but I don’t think so. What made me excited initially was that it was a short-term deal, and in this market, that is a luxury and a bargain. In other words, it was a smart move made by a team that needed to fill out its starting rotation.
But who am I kidding? There’s more to this whole fan thing than rooting for your team to make smart moves. Andy Pettitte is starting for the New York Yankees today in front of the home fans! He hasn’t done that for three years. Yesterday, during the team introductions, I’m pretty sure he got the biggest cheer from the home crowd. Today as he walks to the mound for the first time, how long will the standing ovation last? That first pitch, as he, in his inimitable way, peers over glove at the signs laid down by Jorge, is going to be something else, ain’t it? It’s good to have him back where he belongs. Now let’s hope fate (in the form of the weather) let’s us celebrate his return.
Update: The game has been postponed. Bummer.