The starter decided to hang up his cleats for two main reasons, writes Sherman. The season has been tough on Pettitte's body physically, much more than he anticipated. He also sees that the Yankees era is coming to an end, and wants to leave before it completely falls apart.
Pettitte will make two more starts in a Yankees uniform. His last home start will come Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, with his final MLB start coming next weekend against the Houston Astros.
The 41-year-old pitched 18 seasons in the majors. He has 255 wins with a 3.86 ERA over 3300 innings. Pettitte spent 15 seasons with the Yankees, spending three consecutive years with the Astros starting in 2004.
The veteran has retired in the past, walking away from baseball after the 2010 season. Pettitte missed all of 2011, but returned to the Yankees in 2012, posting a 2.87 ERA over 75 1/3 innings. The southpaw is 10-10 with a 3.93 ERA this season.
Pettitte will also serve as a witness Sept. 25 in the ongoing Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee civil-court battle, according to Kevin Davidoff of the New York Post. McNamee is suing Clemens for defamation, alleging Clemens damaged his character after the release of the 2007 Mitchell Report.
Update: Pettitte released an official statement discussing his retirement:
"I'm announcing my retirement prior to the conclusion of our season because I want all of our fans to know now while I'm still wearing this uniform how grateful I am for their support throughout my career. I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap during these remaining days and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees so special."
"I've reached the point where I know that I've left everything I have out there on that field. The time is right. I've exhausted myself, mentally and physically, and that's exactly how I want to leave this game."
Pettitte will make his final start the same day the Yankees are honoring Mariano Rivera. The starter discussed the issue, stating:
"One of the things I struggled with in making this announcement now was doing anything to take away from Mariano's day on Sunday. It is his day. He means so much to me, and has meant so much to my career that I would just hate to somehow take the attention away from him."