Andy Pettitte’s return has everyone excited. Well, almost everyone.
When reached for comment, Phil Hughes, who may be ticketed to the pen or to the minors as a result of the Pettitte signing, offered the classically passive-aggressive “is what it is.” Though to be fair it was surrounded by some more diplomatic noises.
But there was one guy who was a bit more obviously peeved: Freddy Garcia.
As we mentioned on Friday, Garcia is likely the odd man out in the Yankees pitching plan. And Garcia seems particularly underwhelmed, bordering on grumpy, about the idea of Pettitte being back in pinstripes. From Marc Carig’s report in the Star-Ledger:
“I don’t really care,” Garcia said, when asked about Pettitte’s return. “That’s their decision. I’m here to pitch and that’s what I want to do.”
When asked if Pettitte’s addition was good for the team, Garcia threw his hands up, seemingly exasperated by the turn of events.
“I don’t know man,” said Garcia, who like Hughes a day before, gave a lukewarm reaction. “Ask the people. I don’t know. I guess …You play with the Yankees, nothing surprises you.”
Garcia’s exasperation is perhaps understandable. But given how much love there is for Andy Pettitte in both the fan base and in some quarters of the New York sporting press, he’s not going to win any popularity contests if he’s noticeably angry about this.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.