Deep Thought: What’s the deal with Andy Pettitte?

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I’m not prepared to make some final and serious moral judgment on the matter right now or anything, but I have to ask: am I nuts for thinking that Andy Pettitte’s coyness on whether he will or will not return is really annoying?

I know he’s a free agent and his own man and has a right to proceed in any way he likes. I also know that the Yankees have, publicly at least, been totally accepting of the months-long process that Pettitte apparently requires to decide if he’s going to pitch again in 2011.  But really: wouldn’t it be a hell of a lot more considerate of him to give the Yankees an answer on this earlier rather than later?   If it’s a negotiating point, can’t he simply take the position that, yeah, he’s coming back, and then simply change his mind if the Yankees offers are insulting?  As it is, though, he’s not even getting into that negotiation stage.

Maybe it’s not a big deal. There are enough holes in the Yankees’ rotation — and enough uncertainty with A.J. Burnett — that it’s not like the Yankees could or should simply stop looking for starting pitching if he said he was going to get back into the fold.  But I do think that I’d be rather ticked if I were the Yankees.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.