NEW YORK (AP) — Andy Pettitte was having a hard time telling people he wasn’t sure if he’d be back next season when he already knew this was it. And he wanted to thank fans for all their support, something he wished he had a chance to do the first time.
So after discussing it with several close friends — including Mariano Rivera over lunch in Toronto — Pettitte chose to formally announce his decision at a Yankee Stadium news conference Friday.
“I’m ready to be home again,” Pettitte said. “But the biggest thing is, I’m just done.”
In a statement released Friday afternoon, hours before the Yankees began their final homestand, the 41-year-old Pettitte said he has reached the point where he knows he has left everything he has on the field.
The left-hander initially retired after the 2010 season, but sat out only one year before returning to the Yankees.
This time, he means it.
“The time is right. I’ve exhausted myself, mentally and physically, and that’s exactly how I want to leave this game,” he said.
Pettitte holds MLB records for postseason wins (19) and starts (44), but it would take quite a surge by the Yankees for him to get an opportunity to add to those marks. They began the day 3½ games behind Tampa Bay and Texas for the second AL wild card, with three other teams in between.
A three-time All-Star, Pettitte has helped New York to seven AL pennants and five World Series championships during 15 seasons in pinstripes. He was the MVP of the 2001 AL championship series and is the franchise leader in career strikeouts with 2,009.