NEW YORK (AP) – Andy Pettitte announced his retirement at Yankee Stadium, saying he no longer has the “hunger” to pitch another season.
With wife Laura sitting at his side, Pettitte said Friday he had conflicting feelings about leaving the game. He said “it was an easy decision, but it wasn’t an easy decision.” As recently as two weeks ago, he thought he would return for another season.
The 38-year-old left-hander said at a news conference that his body was in shape to pitch but “my heart’s not where it needs to be.”
“It just didn’t feel right for me anymore,” he said. “I didn’t have the hunger, the drive I felt like I needed.”
Pettitte is a five-time World Series champion who finished 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA in 16 major league seasons, 13 of them with the Yankees. He set a major league record for postseason wins, going 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA.
Pettitte said he was pretty sure after the Yankees’ last playoff game in October that he would retire, but Laura persuaded him not to make a decision until he was sure. She said he made up his mind last weekend, while driving home to Deer Park, Texas, from their ranch.
“I’m done,” she remembered him saying. Yankees manager Joe Girardi watched from a front-row seat.
Former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams entered about 20 minutes in and took a second-row seat.
“Always strolling in a little late,” Pettitte said with a smile.
Pettitte won’t disappear from public view entirely. He is expected to be a witness this summer at the trial of former
teammate Roger Clemens, indicted on charges he lied to a congressional committee when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
“That has not had any affect, I mean zero, in my decision,” Pettitte said. “It’s had no impact in my life.”
Pettitte admitted using human growth hormone and said Clemens told him he had used HGH. Clemens testified Pettitte didn’t remember the conversation correctly.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)