The 44-year-old Pettitte threw to the 24-year-old Bird on a back field in Tampa to give the first baseman more practice hitting left-handed pitching. Pettitte, after all, is one of the greatest lefties of all-time as he won 256 games in 18 seasons.
“He wanted to work on two-seamers, running balls in, cutters, so I actually was throwing him all my pitches,” Pettitte told the Daily News. “He said he hasn’t seen a whole lot of lefties in the spring so far. He looks really good.”
Here’s some video of Pettitte throwing BP, courtesy of Jack Curry of the YES Network:
Here’s 14 seconds of Pettitte throwing BP. So far, no cutters. pic.twitter.com/C5jtczZJnB
And no, Pettitte has no intentions of coming out of retirement, despite doing so after showing up to Tampa as a guest instructor in 2012.
“I think anytime you get around it, you miss getting off the plane when you get down here to spring training. You’re like, man, this is what you do. You go do it. You just know it’s over,” Pettitte said. “You’re too old, so it’s not even really any interest in doing this anymore. It feels like a lifetime ago, to tell you the truth. Now it’s just crazy. Baseball is what I’ve done and that’s all I really know. I love it and I enjoy it. I’m kind of down in Texas now trying to do it with my kids and seeing them do their deal and trying to help them live life.”
Pettitte serves as the pitching coach at Second Baptist High School in Houston, but will stay with the Yankees for the next two days. He’ll appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2019.