Pettitte's opening statement

Pettitte's opening statement

TAMPA, Fla. -- Text of the opening statement read Monday by New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, as transcribed by The Associated Press:

I just wanted to say, well, I'm happy to be back here and again looking forward to giving the Yankees every ounce of energy I have this season. I want to thank the New York Yankees for giving me a few extra days with my family. I think they realize this has taken a toll on my family, and other than my relationship with God, my family is the No. 1 priority in my life.

I want to apologize to the New York Yankees and to the Houston Astros organizations and to their fans and to all my teammates and to all of baseball fans for the embarrassment I have caused them. I also want to tell anyone that is an Andy Pettitte fan I am sorry, especially any kids that might look up to me. Since graduating from high school, I have spent my life working with young kids at my church and in my community. I never want a young person to do what I did.

Anyone that has followed my career knows that I have battled elbow problems the entire time. Again, like I said before, I never took this to get an edge on anyone. I did this to try to get off the DL and to do my job. And again, for that, I am sorry for the mistakes I've made.

I have been put in a situation that I think no one should ever be put. Being put in the middle of a situation between two men I have known for a long time has been a very difficult time for me over the last couple of months. I have never tried to take sides in Roger [Clemens] and [Brian McNamee's] situation, but I've only been honest.

Roger has been one my closest friends in baseball over the last nine years. He has taught me more about pitching than I ever could have imagined. Mac has pushed me in my workouts harder than anyone I've ever worked with. I have been friends with Roger and Mac for a long time and, hopefully, will continue to be friends after this.

As far as the situation with my dad, I am sorry for not telling the whole truth in my original statement after the Mitchell Report was released. I am human, just like anyone else, and people make mistakes. I never wanted to bring my dad into a situation like this. This was between me and him, and no one else. I testified about my dad in part because I felt in my heart I had to, but mainly because he urged me to tell the truth, even if it hurt him. Most of you know that my dad has had numerous health problems, especially with his heart, and he was just trying to do anything to help himself feel better. He is a private individual, not a professional athlete like myself, and his privacy should be respected.

I hope with the help from y'all that I can put all this behind me and continue to do what I've always tried to do -- that is to help bring the New York Yankees another world championship.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.