Pettitte's influence goes beyond his starts

Pettitte's influence goes beyond his starts

Pettitte's influence goes beyond his starts
NEW YORK -- It wouldn't be surprising to see the Yankees stealing a few glances toward Andy Pettitte's spot on the bench during his start on Sunday, and perhaps stifling a few chuckles.

One way or another, it seems the Yankees are always paying attention to what No. 46 is up to.

"Andy has his little quirks during his start," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He yells sometimes, he talks to himself sometimes. It's just Andy being Andy, it's probably the best way to describe it."

As Pettitte prepared for his sixth start of the season, the Yankees had already felt an impact from the left-hander's return. He has helped them win games on the field, but pitchers such as Phil Hughes have also credited Pettitte's wisdom.

"I want to be positive," Pettitte said. "I want to be a positive impact on this team. I felt like I could be, and that's why I came back. I think the guys enjoy when I pitch. I think sometimes I'm an amusement for them also."

After Hughes' complete-game victory in Detroit last week, the right-hander revealed that Pettitte had talked to him about controlling the pace of the game, focusing and being able to relax.

"Andy is huge for our pitching staff," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. He's just a great guy. You want to be around Andy and learn from him. When he came back, everyone was just happy to see him, first of all. Then, what he does on the field and in the clubhouse is great."

Girardi said that he believes Pettitte's presence has helped to stabilize the Yankees' rotation in more ways than one.

"I think he has helped," Girardi said. "I think he has really helped our young guys understand the meaning of managing expectations. Andy has that work ethic, and preparation that's really, really good. I think guys can learn a lot from him."