One of the hardest things in the world to do is to say goodbye especially in sports. In sports you get to stand on the greatest stages of all time, in the biggest events of all time with thousands and thousands of people cheering your name.
Just ask Brett Favre, Ric Flair and Muhammad Ali who all have had a problem stepping away from the spotlight, it is just too hard. It is especially hard for the fans who wear that player’s number on their back, come to the various arenas, stadiums and sporting venues to watch their favorite athlete walk away from the sport.
The latest example of an athlete that will be hard to say goodbye too is Andy Pettitte; one of the things about Pettitte that most fans enjoyed was that he was a warrior. The lefty would always go out to the mound, with the patented Darth Vader glove to his face look and bear down on you with one of his pitches.
Oh yeah and let us not forget that Pettitte, 36-years-old is one of the clutch pitchers in the history of the team. Pettitte compiled a 240-138 record and a 3.88 ERA in 13 seasons of wearing the Pinstripes, along with being a three-time All-Star, a two-time 20-game winner and owning five World Series rings. The lefty is so clutch in post season in the fact that he has won more games, 19, than any other pitcher in the history of the fall classic.
Let us not forget that we have been down this road with the lefty once before, all of the fans thought they had their chance to say goodbye to the great lefty before they had to watch him wearing a Houston Astros uniform. Then there is the whole ‘s’ word controversy and this supposed link with Roger Clemens.
The thing with Pettitte is though is unlike most of the great players linked with the ‘s’ word, he seemed truly, deeply sorry about letting down his fans and went back to the business of busting his butt again to earn back the respect of the faithful fans in the Bronx.
Right now the majority of the feelings around this announcement is retirement, is this for real-are we really watching Andy go away. Will he finally now get to enjoy the time he so desires with his wife and family that he keeps talking about, time to enjoy his life outside of baseball. Or will this be another Favre or Flair and fans have another letdown.
If this is for real then Pettitte leaves with a final ring and the well earned respect of Yankee fans everyone. This one journalist wishes Andy and his family nothing but the best, because in the end it really is hard to say goodbye.