Pettitte: “I just didn’t want to hit nobody.”

andy.st.jpg
One of the things I love about Andy Pettitte is that he keeps things simple. The above quote was in response to the YES Network’s question today about the challenge of pitching against his teammates in an intra-squad game. “I just didn’t want to hit nobody.” Seriously. Doesn’t that say it all? Sure, he wanted to get his work in. Of course he was trying to make his pitches. But bottom line? He didn’t want to hit nobody! Can you imagine if he had nailed, say, Marcus Thames or Randy Winn and sent them to the DL? Talk about guilt. Luckily, everybody was safe.
Continuing to review today’s quotes from pitchers, how about the one from A.J., who, apparently, had a rough first inning in Clearwater. What did he have to say about those five runs he served up? “I threw some good changeups.” O-kay. Good for the Phillies maybe.
And then we have Phil Hughes, who struck out six in Clearwater but gave up three homers. His response? “I felt really good about all my pitches.”
Maybe it’s me, but doesn’t “good” mean, like, good? Just to be sure, I went to Webster’s dictionary and here’s their take on good:
Effective.
Efficient.
Desirable.
Worthy.
Producing favorable results.
It’s possible that pitchers use the word “good” to mean: “It’s spring training and all I care about is working on my mechanics, so bug off, bloggers.”
buffalo.jpg
Now I have nothing against Buffalo – I went to college in nearby Rochester and survived – but why couldn’t the feds meet up with A-Rod and his lawyers in Florida? Not only is it warmer in the sunshine state, but the sun actually comes out! Oh well. Nobody asked me.

19 Comments

i’m tired of the who is the 5th starter conversation. bring on the games. i did get to watch some of the game yesterday and i’m hoping that aj and phil were just working on some stuff in spring training mode because neither inspired confidence despite their remarks after the game. aren’t pitchers supposed to be ahead of hitters in spring training? none of our pitchers have inspired much confidence for me yet. is it to early to worry about getting rocked at fenway the first weekend of the year?
barbara

Hmm…I guess that “good” is very relative…lotsa times, hitters hit a good pitch, which was right where the hurler wanted it…they win the guessing game. Ah well, like you said, Jane, at least nobody got hurt (except maybe some pitchers’ egos)…
Yeah, Barbara…seeing our pitching, I wouldn’t run out and buy a box seat to the opening series at the Fens, bedecked in “Yankees World Champs” gear…but that would be true for me anytime…!
Jane — my sense of geography is diminishing…it looks like Rochester is NORTH of BUFFALO? Ye Godz…how DID that poor little thin-blooded pencil-bod of yours SURVIVE up in them there parts? It’s almost as far north as TORONTO, and everyone up there is a French-speaking Eskimo, n’est-ce pas? Good luck…from Nanook…

Jane,I usually agree with you, but I think you’re being a little harsh here.
I watched the game against the Phillies yesterday, and the numbers really do betray A.J. and Hughes.
A.J. had a very rough 1st inning, he was lit up. But after that 1st inning he settled down and pitched well. His mechanics, his pitches, looked good from the 2nd inning on. He looked like the 2009 AJ, who was good enough for us.
Phil’s pitches looked really good too. He was throwing his changeup with confidence, as well as his other pitches. Three of his pitches stayed a little too high, and that’s what hitters capitalized on. Phillies hitters are no joke, especially as we head into the final days of spring training. He has a couple more weeks to work on that. I don’t think I’d trust the judgement of any beat writer who thought that yesterday’s performance wasn’t a good one from Hughes, on the spring training level.
You said it best: “It’s spring training and all I care about is working on my mechanics, so bug off, bloggers.”
That’s what spring training is about. Winning is great, who doesn’t love winning? But winning in spring training doesn’t mean anything.
I’d rather see a pitcher have an “OK” ERA in spring training and focus on his mechanics, than have the pitcher focus all his energy on winning spring training games. Focusing on mechanics in spring training is the way for a starting pitcher to SUSTAIN his command throughout the season, when winning is all that’s important. Focusing only on ERA in spring training is how a pitcher starts working his arm a month earlier than necessary. Relief pitchers, of course, are different. When we look at Park, Logan and Robertson, we’re looking for them to put up the lowest ERA possible in spring training, because their work load in the season will be a small fraction of our starters’ work loads. A reliever’s job is to not give up any runs, so that he holds or saves the win for the starting pitcher. A starting pitcher’s job, in the season, is to win the game, not necessarily to pitch a shutout.
The rotation spot is Phil Hughes’ to lose, in my opinion. His fate lies in his own hands. Yesterday’s performance was a good one from Hughes. He gave up 3 runs, but if he started the game, those 3 runs wouldn’t have looked as bad as they did coming after the 5 runs already there. He didn’t allow a lot of hitters on base, those 3 runs were solo shots. That was the most important thing in my opinion. It meant that his mechanics were good.

Sorry for the long comment, but I felt I needed to get my thoughts in. I might blog about it, but it would probably be overkill.

– Hiba
http://prettyinpinstripes.mlblogs.com/

I wonder if Andy realized his quote was a double negative. I know, I know, I’m an ****. Sorry. I like Pettitte. Always have. That southern drawl, that calm poise, that butt chin… the dude is pretty classy. I was p.o.’d at him for the HGH stuff, but he cleared it pretty quickly by fessing up and moving on. Gotta respect that.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

At least two of the homers looked wind blown. I wouldn’t worry about it.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

Barbara, I’m with you – bring on the games already! And you have a point about the pitchers usually being ahead of the hitters in spring training. At least that’s how I remember things. But I understand if they’re trying out new pitches and experimenting to make themselves more effective. And don’t worry about getting rocked at Fenway. They usually beat us early in the season and we get them late. Plus, their pitchers haven’t been perfect either.

I don’t know how I survived in Rochester, Dave, except that the University had underground tunnels like they do in Toronto, so I didn’t have to go outside in the snow to get to classes. I think that saved me. But I was on the tennis team and we had to go to Buffalo and Ithaca, etc, to play the other schools and it was ALWAYS windy and cold. I was better indoors. LOL.

What a thorough evaluation, Hiba! I really do understand that spring training isn’t about winning. Honest. But it’s a bit disconcerting when a starter like A.J. gives up 5 in the first inning. I was very glad to see he settled down and performed so well after that. As for Hughes, certainly the wind played a part in those homers. And his strikeouts were impressive. If he doesn’t give up 3 homers at Fenway in a couple of weeks, I’ll be thrilled. Will he get the #5 starter job? I’ve always thought so, but Girardi’s not showing his cards just yet. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I love when Andy uses double negatives, Jeff. It cracks me up. It’s easy to forget these guys aren’t scholars, so when they say stuff like that, it’s funny. I do love his chin!

I’m not worrying about it, Paul!

I’ve decided it sucks to be a sports DJ or host or even a lowly blogger during spring training because you can’t evaluate anything without someone popping up and saying “oh but it’s just spring training!” If they do well, the numbers mean everything and they are going to kill this season. If they do poorly, they’re just experimenting and working out their kinks, don’t worry they’ll be fine. Everyone is going to be fine. No one is sucking. Spring training means nothing but let’s all watch anyway!

I’m assuming grammar was not Pettitte’s strongest subject in school. Then again, he’s being paid for his command of his pitches, not his command of the English language.

BTW, I didn’t get to watch any of the game, but when I saw how many homers there were, I figured it had to have been a windy day.

Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Jane,

A-Rod going to Buffalo is the difference between real life and the movies.

In real life Axel Rose’s boss never would have let him go chase bad guys in LA. Okay, he snuck out there the first time, but in real life there never would have been any sequels.

I’m sure the agents who have to “interview” A-Rod would have been happy to make a trip to Tampa and follow the team around for a few days while they did “research.” They just have a boss back in Buffalo, who won’t let them spend the money.

There’s also a problem with your map. If you’d have shown NYS just a bit further east, I would have waved to you from Schoharie. I think you missed me by about 75 miles, as the crow flies.

Love your comment, kaiser. It made me laugh. “Spring training means nothing!” I’ll have to stamp that on my forehead. LOL.

That’s right, Sue. No one can bust Andy for his grammar when he’s getting paid to make good pitches. I guess it must have been a windy day at Bright House yesterday. Don’t you wish we’d been there? Sigh.

So that’s where you are, jojovanb. I’ve never heard of Schoharie but I hope it’s not as cold and snowy east of Buffalo. Yeah, I’m sure the feds would have preferred Florida for their meeting with A-Rod. At least they could have gotten a tan. :)

I messed up my A-Rod story earlier. That was supposed to be Axel Foley(Eddie Murphy) not that Guns ‘n Roses dude who spells his name Axl.

No Jane, I was definitely out of my element with those references. I enjoyed Beverly Hills Cop I & II, but unless my kids are in the area and force me to go, I don’t see movies until they hit my TV. My music is Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole. It’s only by accident that I ever heard of Axl Rose. Further proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Also, sending you a question via your Web site.

I was wondering about that, jojovanb. I was going, Axl Rose? But I figured you must know what you’re talking about!

Nat King Cole. Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years, jojovanb. But glad your kids are keeping you in the popular cultural loop. I see movies on DVD but for me there’s nothing like sitting in a dark theater waiting for the big screen to light up. I love going to movies. And yes, that email address is perfect. I’ll check it later.

The sun comes out in Buffalo!! Its sunny out right now. I guess the Feds in Buffalo were just more qualified. But I will try to get a Arod sighting when he comes!

Hey, Robin. Good to know the sun really does shine in Buffalo. HAHA. Please be on the lookout for A-Rod and tell him we don’t want to start the season with some messy scandal!

I like Petitte :) he’s a Yankee I like heh heh just joking

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

p.s. I meant “just joking” on the fact that Petitte is the only yankee I like. I like more than one person on the yankees!

I’m glad you like Pettitte, Mimi. He’s hard not to like. He just goes out and pitches without a lot of fanfare, but he always seems to get the job done, year in and year out.

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