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Andy Pettitte: New York Yankees Pitcher Calling It Quits

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIFebruary 5, 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

When talking about Andy Pettitte, it’s only fitting to thank God. And thank God that baseball's version of “Favregate” came to a quick conclusion.

As most of us know by now, New York Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte officially called it quits on Friday. Pettitte retired with a career record of 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 16 seasons with the Yankees and Houston Astros.

Now that Pettitte is done playing baseball, there are only two questions left to answer:

  1. How will the Yankees replace him in the rotation?
  2. Is Pettitte a Hall of Famer?

Let’s answer the first question first.

In regards to improving their starting rotation, the Yankees’ offseason has been an unmitigated disaster. They lost out on their No. 1 priority in Cliff Lee, and now the mainstay in their rotation retires.

The Yankees rotation now consists of CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. They also have gray-beards Freddy Garcia, Mark Prior and Bartolo Colon competing for spots in the rotation as well.

This Yankees rotation has more holes in it than a Mel Gibson apology.

Where is the consistency in this Yankee rotation? If Sabathia is not on the mound, who is the guy to stop a three- or four-game losing streak?

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New Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothchild said in a recent interview that he believes Burnett can turn things around. Okay, I will believe that when I see it. Burnett certainly has the talent, but the only person who has ever gotten through to him was Roy Halladay.

Rothchild will certainly have his hands full in his first season in the Bronx.

I fully expect the Yankees to go out and acquire a back-of-the-rotation type of starter. They could sign someone like Kevin Millwood or trade for guys like Joe Saunders, Joe Blanton or Scott Kazmir. The pitcher who might be the best fit for the Yankees would be Fausto Carmona, but I think the Cleveland Indians will go into the season with him.

The second question concerning Pettitte and the one that has the baseball community on Twitter in a heated debate is: Is Pettitte a Hall of Famer?

The simple answer to that question is no.

Let’s take his numbers and his playoff success out of the question for a second. Pettitte is a known user of PEDs. How have the other known users of PEDs done on the HOF ballot the last couple of years? Not very well I remind you.

The users I am referring to are Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. Those two put up immortal numbers. And you can’t say, "Well, the only reason they put up those numbers is because of PEDs." You can say the same about Pettitte as well.

Pettitte was a very solid pitcher for a very long time. His playoff numbers speak for themselves. He was as clutch in Game 2’s as any pitcher in any game in playoff history.

Game 2 of a series was the Pettitte game. No matter what the Yankees did in Game 1, you knew Pettitte would either get them 2-0 or even the series at 1-1. He was that good in that game.

During the regular season, Pettitte was very solid and I think the best word to describe him was consistent. Pettitte never had that season that defined him like an Orel Hershiser in 1988 or Dwight Gooden in 1985. He was a very consistent pitcher on a team that allowed him to be one.

So why would two players who put up immortal numbers only receive 10-25 percent of the vote, but Pettitte get in? That makes no sense to me.

The voters have proven they won’t vote for guys who have used PEDs in the past. Pettitte won’t be any different.

To be a Hall of Famer, you need to have a chance to get into the HOF. And Pettitte won’t get into the HOF.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg.

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