A lot of MLB pundits look at the New York Yankees’ pitching staff as past its prime. One of the main reasons for that is starting 40-year old Andy Pettitte in the number three spot in the rotation. Why would the Yankees continue to hang on to this old guy when he’s obviously too old to pitch?
Well, guess what? The old guy can still pitch. Pettitte is like an old cat now going on his seventh or eighth life. He moved on from New York in free agency only to return two years later. He survived the steroid scandal by basically admitting trying PED’s and passively blaming it on his ex-best pal Roger Clemens.
He retired. He came back. He suffered a broken ankle last year that many thought would do him in for good. But Andy’s back. And by the way he pitched Thursday night against a Boston Red Sox team that had the Yankees’ number in their first two games this year, Pettitte might end up being the bright light of the staff.
Mariano Rivera, now 43, and on a comeback of his own from a freak knee injury while shagging fly balls last season, might have something to say about that.
Both Pettitte and Rivera took the hill on Thursday and in the same fashion as they had done for over 15 years–only now they have salt and pepper stubble and crow’s feet along their eyes. The heart of a champion still beats within them though as you can see it in the cold glares from beneath the bills of their caps.
They have little to prove, yet have everything to prove. Neither seems to be concerned about the weight of carrying their team on their shoulders. These two winners will quietly just lead, perhaps a Yankee team that might be a little lost right now, by example. Just like they did as they combined to beat their AL East rival for the Yankees’ first win of the season.
Chances are this will be the last go around for these two veterans. But while combining to shut down the Red Sox on Thursday night, they looked like a couple of kids playing championship ball just like old times.