Officially stating what we already knew to be true, on Friday morning Andy Pettitte announced his retirement at a press conference in Yankee Stadium.
Pettitte has been working out for a number of weeks and said that his body and arm feel terrific. Health, it seems, had absolutely nothing to do with his decision. Rather, what it came down to was that his heart just isn't in it anymore, and he doesn't feel like he's up for the grind of another long season.
“That’s when I started working out. I felt like I owed it to the organization. I felt like they wanted me before, but now they needed me. But this organization will continue to move forward, and I’m sure they will be great this year. But yes, I felt a tremendous amount of pressure.”
Ultimately, the feeling of responsibility wasn't enough to push Pettitte to a comeback, and while he'll surely be rooting the Yankees on this summer, he'll be doing so from his home, rather than the dugout.
Leaving the door open just a little, Pettitte did say you can "never say never" about the chance that he returns in 2012. From everything else he said, though, he gave off a feeling of permanence. He's absolutely not going to pitch in 2011, and he's not planning to pitch at any point after that. Barring some miracle turnaround, Andy Pettitte's days as a big leaguer have officially come to a close.
(For a discussion on whether or not Andy Pettitte belongs in the Hall of Fame, check out Rob Neyer's companion piece here.)