Saturday, December 09, 2006

Beakman's world

For Pettite is an honorable man

Well, if you haven’t heard, Andy “The Beak” Pettitte has decided all that crap about wanting to play in his hometown and be near his family was, after all, just crap, and signed a one-year, $16 million deal to play for the Yankees again.

And why? Was it the money? The Astros offered him $12 million. He counter-offered, saying he’d be willing to stay for $14 million. The Astros gave him a counter-counter-offer of…$12 million. And Toucan Sam flew the coop.

I understand that baseball is a business and everything. I get it. But what infuriates me about this is Pettitte’s attitude, demonstrated in an article. Pettitte says what drove him to leave wasn’t the money, per se, but that the Astros seemed ready to head into 2007 without him. Apparently, this hurt his feelings. Last week, the Astros tried to engineer a trade that would get them top-shelf starter Jon Garland, and this was the last straw. “You’ve got to figure that was a pretty good sign that they were going to move on,” he said.

Well, gosh, Andy. You spend the entire offseason waffling about whether or not you’re even going to play in 2007. You refuse to make a commitment to anything. You refuse to speculate on next season. You state openly in several interviews that, had you to make the decision at that moment, you’d go ahead and retire. You question your physical status. Your ability to remain healthy for a season. You keep silent.

And then, when the Astros start covering their bases on the off chance you proved sincere with your retirement threat, you throw a fit and run back to New York. Huh?

See, the Astros got burned this way once before. After the 2004 season, they badly wanted to re-sign Carlos Beltran to a long-term deal. He was, of course, the hottest free agent on the market, and they spent two whole months locked in a massive bidding war. They spent so much time on Beltran, in fact, that when they ended up losing that battle to the Mets, there was no one left on the market at all. The stubborn pursuit of one player burned them badly, and the 2005 Astros were a weaker team because of it. (Yes, the 2005 Astros went to the World Series. If they hadn’t wasted all that time on Beltran and picked up another bat or two, they might have won.)

So this time, the Astros weren’t going to be played that way. Yes, they wanted you back. So did I. They offered you $12 million to pitch for a single year. And you’re telling me that $2 fracking million is what ruined this? $14 million is acceptable to pitch a single year close to home, but $12 million is an insult? Huh?

Even funnier (and stranger) is the news that another missing part of the deal was an option for 2008. The Yankees tacked on an option for a second year with the same price tag, $16 mil (and perhaps thirty pieces of silver). The Astros wouldn’t offer this. Again, Pettitte’s feelings are hurt. You’re hurt, because they wouldn’t add an option for a second year to a guy who, for months, was on a 60/40 lean toward retiring? The fuck? That would be like me telling my boss that I’m thinking about quitting my job because I don’t think I’m physically able to drive anymore, him offering me $9.00 a hour for all of next year, and then me leaving to work at Pizza Hut because he won’t guarantee it for the year after that, too.

And as if all this wasn’t bad enough, Pettitte made himself sound like a world-class dick during his press conference. If anyone reading this ever plans on becoming a famous athlete—or a famous anything, really—here’s a free tip on how not to be an asshole: never, ever refer to yourself in the third person. Andy, on the speculation that Roger Clemens will follow him back to the Bronx:
“I haven’t talked with Roger one time during these negotiations. I don’t know what Roger’s going to do. I worry about what Andy Pettitte has to do, and then go from there.”
The only way he could have sounded more like a colossal asshole just then would have been to end all those sentences with “Know what I’m saying?

So, yeah. I’m pissed. If it’s not clear from my subtle innuendo, I feel betrayed. I realize baseball is a business and all, like I said. But…dammit, this kind of attitude just pisses me off. You told us over and over you weren’t sure you wanted to go to the Prom, and then get pissy when we ask someone else, just in case you didn’t.

Well, whatever, Beaky. I don’t like to openly hope for athletes to get injured, but let’s just say if your elbow falls apart in Spring Training, I won’t pity you or the Yankees.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass—or the nose—on the way out.

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