Andy Pettitte Retires: Cliff Lee's Role

Bernadette PasleyContributor IFebruary 4, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04:  Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees speaks during a press conference to announce his retirement on February 4, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

So, I watched Andy Pettitte announce his retirement today.  A class act. Some thoughts:

One of the big questions was whether or not he will stay retired. Will he come back and pitch at some point? He did utter the three magic words, "Never say never." I'll bet those words end up on the back page of at least one newspaper tomorrow.

But anyway, something else he said makes me think he's at least thinking "never." It was his comments about Cliff Lee. He said he felt a huge obligation when the Yankees didn't get Lee. He "felt a tremendous amount of pressure..."  Yet, pressure or no pressure, he still retired. That tells me he is done for good.

So, what happens now? The Hall of Fame debate is just getting started. Personally, I don't think Pettitte belongs in the Hall of Fame. His career ERA is closer to 4 than it is to 3 and there is his use of performance enhancing drugs.

Whatever the case, he will be missed by teammates and fans alike. I will especially miss that look in his eyes when he faced opponents.

Congratulations, Andy, and good luck.