He’s usually pictured wearing that glare/stare/face-behind-the-glove. I wanted to show him laughing – something he did with his teammates often when he wasn’t focused on winning a game. Yes, we all knew this day was coming. We were told to expect it, prepare for it, move on without our Andy. But when the official word came down today that he was, indeed, retiring, I was more emotional about it than I thought I’d be. And then when I read all the quotes from the Yankees, I got really weepy.
I can only imagine the waterworks that will go on here tomorrow when I watch his press conference. It’ll be on at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time, and I’ll try to weep silently so I don’t wake Michael up. (I did ask him if he’d rather watch with me or sleep. He picked sleep.)
In the meantime, I’ve been thinking back over the Andy Years and remembering. He wasn’t as flashy as Coney. He didn’t improvise like El Duque. He didn’t intimidate like Clemens or Johnson. And he didn’t have the giddyap of Guidry. But was he ever a grinder and (this will be his legacy) was he ever a big-game pitcher.
I never worried when Andy was on the mound. I never said before a game, “I wonder if he’ll be The Good Andy or The Bad Andy today.” I never doubted that he would find a way to win, even when he didn’t have his best stuff. He was our rock. How do you replace your rock?
You don’t. You just tip your cap and say, “Thanks for the memories.”