Ortiz questions Pettitte's return

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Ortiz questions Pettitte's return

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- News that veteran lefty Andy Pettitte had ended his retirement and agreed to return to pitch for the New York Yankees Friday was met some degree of scepticism by the Red Sox.

"I don't think he's coming back to where he was -- call it a hunch,'' said manager Bobby Valentine when asked about the news. "But he's a good pitcher. I always respected Andy; always thought he was a borderline Hall of Famer. Add someone like that to your staff, you're doing good.''

Earlier, Valentine joked about Pettitte's comeback, playfully asking: "Is he going to be a starter? Or just come in to pick people off?''
That was a joking reference to Pettitte's notorious pickoff move to first base, which for years was one of the most effective in the game.

Said David Ortiz: "It doesn't make any sense -- stop and then come back? You're going to be behind, from what I see. I don't know. Everybody's got their reasons.''

Asked if pitchers might fare better than position players following a year off, Ortiz said: "It's not easy for anybody. This ain't an easy game to play . . . What are we, robots or something? We have the ability to play the game but that doesn't mean that we're always going to be on top of our game, forever. You know what I'm saying?

"The Yankees are giving him the chance to come back and perform because they think he can come back and perform. But he's not 25 anymore. So the Yankees also know they're running the risk of him coming back and not performing well. He took a year off and he's what . . . almost 40 now? (NOTE: Pettitte will turn 40 in June.) All of that is going against him.''

Asked if more players might adapt the same strategy of retiring briefly only to return, Ortiz said: "I won't. I'm going to play and when I stop, I stop.''

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”