Monday, March 19, 2012

Andy Talks His Return With Michael Kay

Anthony J. Causi/New York Post
Andy Pettitte called into ESPN's The Michael Kay Show this afternoon, and spoke about his decision to return back to pinstripes. In case you missed it, here are some excerpts from the discussion:

On how his return came about:

"Me and [Brian Cashman] spoke in December and he told me if I was interested in coming back, he wanted me to know that the Yankees would be very interested in bringing me back. I was like, 'Okay, well I'm gonna have to think about this and pray about this and talk to [my wife] Lauren, and just see if she would even think about considering doing this.' So, we just thought about it for a few days and ended up calling back and saying hey...I wanna do it.

"I just started working out and trying to see how I felt and...we continued talking with the Yankees and they offered me a very nice contract to come back in January, but I was nowhere near at a place where I felt like just even physically or mentally I had done enough work to say, 'Man, I can maybe do this again,' you know. So I could not commit to them; I didn't want to say 'Of course I can do it; you're offering me a lot of money...I'll just do it.' I wanted to make sure I felt like I was going to be healthy and mentally I'd be able to just...grind through a season and mentally be in there.

"I ended up going down to Spring Training and finally got to the place after throwing bullpens here at the house...where I felt like this was something I could literally do if the Yankees were still interested in me trying to do it."

On his delayed decision costing him money that eventually went to Hiroki Kuroda:

"[I cost myself] just a little bit [of money] {laughing}. I think anybody that has followed my career [knows]it's never been about the money for me. To a certain degree it is, but [these were] things that me and my wife and my family have literally prayed about since December, and I just asked God to just lead me where he wants me to. It's really just about being in the right place where I need to be right now."

On the surprise of coming back:

"I really didn't think it was gonna happen. I had my life [at home with my family] planned out and I've had to cancel things. I just didn't think it would happen,'s the same situation like it was last year. I just know in my heart that this is the right thing to do. So we'll see what happens."

On his comeback not being a success:

"Well, that's okay. Of course you always think about that a little bit. A few of my friends have asked me that. It's like, 'You went out on top, this or that.' That was never important to me; to go out and feel like 'Oh [I was] great.' I'm not scared to come back. It may not turn out great, but I feel like it's the right thing for [me] to do right now. In my stage of life, I guess, I kinda look at things a little differently. But I'm not scared to come back and fail, and I can tell you, I don't think I'm gonna fail or wouldn't come back to do this."

On the timetable for his return:

"I would say right around [May 1st]. Me and the organization, we talked and were like 'Don't even put a timetable on it' because you just don't know what's gonna come up. I went a long time without working out December I started cranking it back up. So, I'm gonna have to go through some stuff, there's no doubt about it, but I'm feeling really, really good right now and I would imagine [the Yankees are] probably going to back me off a little bit. I really don't even know what to expect; I would just say that if everything went absolutely perfect, I would think [May 1st] would be a good date for us to shoot at."

 On what he missed most not playing last year:

"I missed the guys, just because it's fun being around those guys. I was so engulfed in my family, I only watched a couple of games, really. I didn't miss it that much...and maybe that's why I've got such a hunger [for the game] right now.

On returning being to pad his Hall of Fame stats:

"That has nothing to do with it. I think that whatever I've done...people are going to have their minds made up [about my Hall chances] one way or the other. Like I said, I don't know what to expect. I think I'm gonna be as good as I was, but we're gonna find out." 

On talking Mariano Rivera out of retirement:

"I don't know; we have to get through this year {laughing}. I wouldn't try to talk him out of it because I had an opportunity to go home, and I know how awesome it is to be with your family. As a man, you gotta do what you feel like you gotta do, and really any advice or any opinion of anybody else is what it's an opinion. It's advice. You...take it with a grain of salt."

On whether he's starting or coming out of the bullpen:

"I'm a starter. I'm coming back to start, I'm gonna get in shape to start, I'm gonna get stretched out to 100 pitches and we'll be ready to rock and roll."

(Quotes courtesy of The Michael Kay Show, 1050 AM ESPN Radio)

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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