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Yanks' Pettitte thought about retiring after title

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andy Pettitte gave some serious thought to going out as a champion last year.

It turns out the 37-year-old left-hander wasn't quite ready to retire, even after the New York Yankees won the World Series.

"If I was ever going to go, why not go right now? Right on top," Pettitte said.

But he opted to return this season after talking with his family, and signed an $11.75 million, one-year contract in December.

"I want to make sure. I don't want to go home and miss it," Pettitte said. "When I do it, I want to be done with it. I don't think it would be fair to my family to say I'm done and then just pull the rug right out from underneath them. That's the biggest thing: I just want make sure I fully have exhausted myself of this."

Pettitte went 14-8 with a 4.16 ERA last season, throwing 194 2-3 innings and helping the Yankees win their first World Series championship since 2000.

"Just couldn't have dreamed that last year would end like it did," Pettitte said. "I felt so fortunate and so blessed. Just the way the club played, and the guys pulling for me. A good feeling."

Pettitte is part of a strong 2010 rotation that includes CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez.

"Everything feels good coming into the spring, so I feel real good about that," Pettitte said. "I'm committed to this. You go for it. We've got a long journey here, and will it fly by. It goes by quicker and quicker each year."

Pettitte has 192 wins with the Yankees, third on the franchise list. He is scheduled for his first spring training bullpen session on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Burnett had his initial mound session Monday, throwing 33 pitches to Jorge Posada, who will be his regular catcher this season. Burnett was often paired last year with Jose Molina.

Posada caught Burnett last Sept. 1 at Baltimore, when the right-hander allowed six runs and 11 hits over 5 1-3 innings in New York's 9-6 victory. Burnett went 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA in his last six regular-season starts last season with Molina behind the plate.

"I never questioned Jorgie. Never would, never did," Burnett said. "I questioned myself."

Manager Joe Girardi said a relationship between two passionate players such as Burnett and Posada can be a different one.

"I think sometimes when people talk about the relationship, they make the relationship bigger than it is," Girardi said. "To me, it's about understanding when the pitcher is on the mound and that's the relationship that you continue to learn."

Posada is looking forward to catching Burnett this season and said everything is fine between them.

Molina signed as a free agent with Toronto this month.

NOTES: Yankees minor league C Jesus Montero had an impressive batting practice session, hitting a homer near the top of the scoreboard in left-center. ... Position players are scheduled to report Tuesday, with the first full-squad workout one day later.