x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Andy Pettitte’s high road to retirement

The left-hander did his Hall of Fame credentials no damage by admitting his guilt again on retiring.

Andy Pettitte announced his retirement before the game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.   Elsa / Getty Images
Andy Pettitte announced his retirement before the game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday. Elsa / Getty Images

Andy Pettitte is retiring from baseball after this season, leaving behind a career that many in the sport would love to emulate.

The left-hander, 41, has won 255 games, and most impressively, was part of five World Series titles with the New York Yankees. There is something else just as admirable about Pettitte, but apparently less appreciated by his peers.

When Pettitte’s name turned up in the infamous Mitchell Report, in 2007, identifying numerous players as performance-enhancing-drug users, the Texas native stood up and admitted it.

He named the drug — human growth hormone – that he had taken. He explained the circumstances — hurrying the recovery from arm injuries in 2002 and 2004. As recently as last week, when announcing his retirement, he reiterated his regret.

Pettitte’s candidness is rare. Far too many of those caught deny their guilt, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Most suspended players issue bland, written apologies for vague “mistakes”, without details, expecting no one to ask questions.

Pettitte’s drug use, no doubt, will keep him from Hall of Fame consideration in the future, and rightfully so.

But there also is no doubt that his honesty has separated him from the vast majority of the sport’s cheaters, most of whom do not understand there is a high road that can be taken out of disgrace.

Pettitte leaves the game on it.

sports@thenational.ae