We can all stop waiting for Andy Pettitte to make up his mind about playing the 2011 season for the Yankees.
We can fill the time by increasing the worry about how the Yankees will be good enough on the mound to make it back to the playoffs. Yankees announcer Michael Kay broke the bad news on Thursday afternoon via Twitter.
I have learned that Andy Pettitte will officially retire tomorrow. Mote details to come.
Kay's report is finding a lot of agreement from around the baseball landscape, which merely backs up what a lot of us had probably assumed. Sure there was still hope that Pettitte would strap the number 46 across his back for one more year, but once we moved less than two weeks from the start of spring training it became very difficult to believe that was the case.
The Yankees, of course, claimed that they've been conducting business all offseason as if Pettitte was going to remain in Texas. That claim has been a bit hard to believe given the lack of talent brought into the organzation -- the mediocre Freddy Garcia represents the only significant addition to the rotation options -- and Pettitte's decision puts a fitting capper on what's been a very lackluster Yankees offseason.
Feeling blue about the news or about Pettitte's decision should not get in the way of offering a warm farewell for a guy that's been an integral part of the team for most of the last two decades. Pettitte's arrival in 1995 was one of the first signs of the great days to come and his work over so many postseasons is a big reason why the team won five World Series between 1996 and 2009.
His retirement also forces us to look forward to a time when his partners in glory -- Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera -- will also shuffle away from the Bronx. We've been spoiled by all of them during this run and it will be hard to look at the first Yankee team that doesn't have any of them in uniform.
That's where our minds are going to be for the rest of the day as there's still plenty of time to discuss what this means for the Yankees on the field. For now, we'll just wish Pettitte the best in his future endeavors and thank him for all the good times.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.