Monday, February 16, 2015


And the beat goes on.

Once again this season, Yankee fans will have a chance to watch a pregame ceremony honoring a former Pinstriped Champion.  Last season the Bronx was buzzing for Goose, Mr. T, Tino and Paulie.  In the summer of 2015 we will have a chance to see our beloved “Lefty” enshrined in Monument Park as the Yanks retire number 46.

I am and always will be a big fan of Andy Pettitte. His trademark stare, eyes peering in just under the bill of his cap and above his glove said it all.  He was a big game horse and could flat out deal.  He is always one of the good guys in the sport.  I had the chance to meet and talk with Andy and his wife a few years ago.  What struck me first was the size of the guy.  I am 6 foot 2 and he seemed to tower over me.  What I noticed next was his “regular guy” demeanor.  The three of us talked about baseball, vacation spots and movies.  The Pettittes seemed like old friends.  I had to stop for a second and realize that I was actually talking with one of my favorite players.

I was happy to hear the Bombers were going to hang up 46.  I think he deserves it.  He was a homegrown member of the Core 4.  Yep, it bothered me to learn that Andy had used PEDs, but I’ll admit I instantly forgave him when he came clean about it.

It wasn’t a Ryan Braun or…what’s the other guy’s name? He plays for the Yankees…big guy…has a painting of himself as a Minotaur hanging in his home…no? Can’t place him?

It’ll come to me...

Anyway, I am happy for Andy, and although I am sure he won’t reach Cooperstown because of the HGH, I think Monument Park is a great place to put his plaque.

The thing that shocked me was seeing former Pettitte teammate Chuck Knoblauch taking to twitter to take a swipe and Andy.
Apparently Chucky is not happy with the decision to retire Lefty’s number.  I liked Knobby.  He was also connected to PEDs and his departure from New York wasn’t nearly as grand as his arrival was, but he was good when he was here…despite that bonehead play against the Tribe and ’98…and the throwing issues.

Why take a shot at Pettitte now? What does it earn him? He comes off looking small and bitter.  If his beef was that the Yankees are retiring too many numbers…well, he wouldn’t be wrong. They are.  They have plans to retire Jeter there's a report that says Bernie and Jorge will be retired this season, read HERE.  All of these guys deserve to be honored in my opinion; I just wish I didn’t feel it was the organization trying to bring out the fans tugging the heartstrings of yesteryear.  They have to put a product on the field first, and then they can worry about who will and who will not get there day in the Park.  But that’s a topic for another time.  Chuck Knoblauch was a World Champion in New York.  He played on one of the greatest teams ever to play the game in 1998.  He hasn’t had much to brag about since, so why snipe at Andy?

Look, I think if I were Andy Pettitte I’d say something.  I’d wait until Michael Kay finally gave up the mic to me at the podium and after a rousing speech thanking the Yanks, teammates, family, the fans and the Big Man Upstairs…I say, “And here’s to Chuck Knoblauch.  He couldn’t be here today because he is at home, in his basement, fighting his person war with twitter muscles. I wish him the best.”

But we all know that’s not Andy. He is, was and always will be a class act.  And this summer he will take his place among the greatest ever to wear the Pinstripes.

OH! It’s AROD!  I knew I’d remember.

Congratulations, Andy.  You done good, Lefty.

**This is going out to Chucky. Smarten up, Pal.  There’s no need to cheap shot.**

 --Mike O'Hara
Senior "Features" Writer
Twitter: @mikeyoh21

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