In a deal that will remain preliminary until the hurler can take a physical, Andy Pettitte agreed to return to the New York Yankees next year. The $16 million dollar deal includes an option for 2008, though Pettitte has promised not to exercise it if he’s injured. (David Wells should be taking notes.) Overall, New Yorkers seemed pleased by the news:
Tom Dumser, 26, from Queens, and buddy Fraser Trimble, 22, from Brooklyn, were so happy about Pettitte’s imminent return they stopped by the ESPN Zone in Times Square to celebrate.
Toasting the pitcher with a shot of tequila, Trimble declared, “It’s great to have him back.”
Melissa Riley, 35, of Kingston, agreed, saying Pettitte “is a proven competitor who played so well here before. Now he’s coming home. It’s great even if he can play only one more year. He deserves to retire a Yankee.”
Maria Lugo, 35, was happy about the Pettitte deal too, but for a much different reason.
“It’s really good to have a cutie back,” she said with a big smile.
Though some fans worried that he might spend too much time on the DL and others griped that $16 million is too much money, most fans seemed to keep things in perspective.
Sipping a beer at ESPN Zone, salesman Sean Higgins, 30, of Poughkeepsie, said, “I’m glad to have him back. He knows what it means to wear pinstripes.”
The money? “We spend too much on everybody, so why stop now?” he asked.
Indeed, Mr. Higgins. Indeed.
The big question now is whether Pettitte’s return will help sway Roger Clemens. The New York Times (in a sentimental piece full of advice-giving fathers and weeping children) thinks so, and also points out that this makes our old friend Carl Pavano more expendable.
Personally, I’m glad to have Pettitte back in the AL East. I liked watching him work (and not necessarily for the same reasons as Maria Lugo, 35…though I ain’t complainin’) even if I feared the day he pitched against my beloved Red Sox.