Pettitte in pinstripes once again

first_imgAfter three seasons with his hometown Houston Astros, Pettitte is back with the New York Yankees, his hair a little shorter and some hints of gray starting to show. New York’s starting rotation has been unsteady since Pettitte and Roger Clemens departed after the 2003 World Series, shifting like sand in the wind, and the Yankees haven’t won any pennants since the pair bolted the Bronx to play for Houston. Pettitte seemed to be right back at home in the Legends Field, his gear stored in its old stall, just to the left of the television in the clubhouse. His family is never far from his mind, and as he started to speak with reporters Wednesday, his cell phone rang with the special tone he assigned to wife Laura, the lyrics “I’m so in love with you” from Lonestar’s “Amazed.” “You know what I told her?” he said after saying he’d call back. “It was so funny, `Like, man, before I get to the ballpark, I got to get rid of that ringtone.”‘ Later, when another call came in, it rang with the theme from “Rocky.” And then he arrived in Tampa on Tuesday night. The feeling was eerie. “Me and my wife just looked at each other. It’s like, `Man, it seems like we never left. It’s all the same as it was,”‘ he said. “That’s my fight song,” he said. A smile on his face, Pettitte is starting spring training on a happy note. His elbow feels fine and he’s returning to the team he helped win four World Series titles and six AL pennants – he even got a house in Westchester, just 1 miles from his old one. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman remembered the conversation he had with Pettitte the day the two-time All-Star decided to sign with the Astros. “You never know, you might come back this way again,” Cashman said then. With the Yankees telling Bernie Williams he doesn’t fit on their roster, Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada are the last links to the glory days. Alex Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi are nouveau riche for many Yankees fans, baseball nomads who put on the pinstripes in search of rings. The guys who won the titles are the most beloved. “What we did was special. I don’t know if it will ever be done again,” Pettitte said in that soft, twangy voice. “Obviously, we hope we can.” The Boston Red Sox offi Around the horn cially added outfielder J.D. Drew to their roster on Wednesday after left-handed pitcher Lenny DiNardo was claimed on waivers by the Oakland Athletics. The club announced the $70 million deal with Drew on Jan. 26, seven weeks after preliminary agreement was reached. The deal had to be reviewed by Major League Baseball and the team needed an open slot on its 40-man roster for Drew. After the preliminary deal was reached Dec. 5, lawyers fashioned an arrangement that would allow Boston to opt out of the guaranteed money for 2010 and 2011 if Drew’s right shoulder injury recurs. The shoulder was operated on in September 2005. A sign of the times is finally sprouting at Wrigley Field: Advertising will appear among the ivy on the outfield walls. Doors in right field and left field will sport the logo for Under Armour, a sports apparel manufacturer. The outfield signs represent a change for the storied ballpark. “The Cubs are committed to finding alternative and creative revenue streams,” team marketing and sales director Jay Blunk said in a statement. Free agent right-hander Steve Trachsel finalized a $3.1 million, one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, filling a void in the starting rotation left by the Kris Benson’s injury. The 36-year-old Trachsel went 15-8 with a 4.97 ERA with the New York Mets in 2006. He reached an agreement with the Orioles on Monday, when the team learned Benson would be lost for at least several months with a torn rotator cuff. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Andy Pettitte was at home in Texas, packing all his clothes to be shipped to spring training. “The closet in here is empty,” he remembered thinking. “That’s when it really hit me.” last_img