Despite my esteemed colleague Andrew Marchand's optimism about the imminent return of Andy Pettitte, the truth is there's no more reason today to believe he'll pitch in 2011 then there was last week, or on Oct. 22 for that matter, when he sounded very much like a guy who was going home for good after the Yankees were eliminated from the ALCS by the Texas Rangers.
I texted Brian Cashman today, "Anything new with Pettitte?'' The GM replied in one word: "Nothing.''
Of course, that also means there's no less reason to believe he's coming back, which puts us right back at square one. Maybe Pettitte is planning to make a diva-like surprise entrance at The George on Valentine's Day, which would be most un-Pettitte-like. Or maybe things will heat up this week or next.
Or maybe Pettitte really meant it when he said he was seriously leaning toward retirement this time.
My point is, no one really knows, not even the Yankees and perhaps not even Pettitte. We're all going on wishful thinking, gut feelings, amateur psychology and guesswork.
The fact that Pettitte is working out, and maybe even throwing, seems to indicate there is a possibility he might play. Then again, there are some of us who work out just for the fun of it, or the health benefits, or simply out of personal vanity. It may not mean a thing.
My gut feeling, which is no more informed or accurate than yours -- or Marchand's, for that matter -- is that Pettitte wants to play but something is holding him back from committing.
Whether it is family concerns or worries about his role as a witness in the upcoming Roger Clemens trial, currently scheduled for July, only he knows.
But I'm not making any predictions one way or the other for the simple reason that like everyone else specualting on this, I don't know. And maybe neither does Pettitte.