Odds and Ends…
*In the wake of Andy Pettitte’s retirement announcement today, I got an email reminding me that Pettitte’s first big league manager was Orioles skipper Buck Showalter. Digging through my season archives I found this quote from last fall about the first time Showalter saw Pettitte back in instructional league with New York.
Yankees pitching coach Tony Cloninger had asked Showalter to look at the young prospect, who was in the infancy of that infamous over-the-glove staredown from the mound.
“Andy was a big pudgy kid in Greensboro, but [Cloninger] loved him makeup -wise,” Showalter said.
You will read and hear a lot in the next few days about Pettitte’s makeup and what kind of guy he was. In my limited dealings with Pettitte, during the postseason and doing some backing up in New York last year, he was always kind, courteous and willing to talk.
I remember during this year’s postseason getting an email from an MLB.com colleague asking if I could get Pettitte to talk about Phillies lefty Cole Hamels, who has tried to mimic his postseason success.
When approached in a packed clubhouse, on his way to the podium to field a throng of media questions about his upcoming postseason start, Pettitte obliged my request to pick his brain about another pitcher on the way to the stage. And he didn’t hesitate to patiently stop outside of the media interview room to finish his thoughts.
He could have just as easily blown me off or grunted a few words. Instead, he gave me more than enough quote-wise to send over to my colleague, a small act not soon forgotten.
Here’s that story about Hamels with the Pettitte quotes. I’ll have more from Showalter later.