Pitcher CC Sabathia is checking into rehab before the American League wild-card game, which if the Yankees win, would lead to a five-game ALDS. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
The pain must have been unbearable, or perhaps it was an ugly incident that frightens him and his family, for CC Sabathia to abandon his New York Yankees teammates.
You don’t walk away, not on the eve of the postseason, unless there’s something terribly wrong.
All we know now is that Sabathia won’t throw a single pitch, let alone set foot in Yankee Stadium.
Let’s turn our focus solely to Sabathia.
Sabathia issued the stunning announcement Monday that he would be immediately entering an alcohol rehab program, and will be gone the rest of the postseason.
Perhaps the Yankees’ postseason lasts only a day, anyways, and they lose Tuesday night in the wild card game to the Houston Astros. Maybe it lasts just a week, and they’re eliminated by the Kansas City Royals in the Division Series. Maybe they have a miraculous run, and are in the World Series for the first time since Sabathia helped them win it all in 2009.
This postseason, Sabathia won’t throw a single pitch, let alone set foot in Yankee Stadium.
Anyone who knows Sabathia – and he perhaps has more friends than anyone in the game – realizes that something has gone dreadfully wrong for him to step away now.
“What CC is dealing with is a life issue,’’ Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. “It’s bigger than the game (Tuesday).’’
Let’s forget about the Yankees for now and what it may mean to their World Series hopes.
Let’s turn our focus solely on Sabathia.
This is a man with an impeccable image, and the reputation as one of baseball’s ultimate teammates. He treats the clubhouse attendants with the same respect at Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner. He’ll invite rookies to dinner on the road, paying for their meals, and buying them new suits now that they’re in the big leagues.
The media adores him. He’s always available, forever taking responsibility, and never offering excuses or ducking questions.
Why, even on the days he’s pitching, he will show up five hours early just to hang out in the clubhouse, watch games on TV, and engage in conversations as if he’s a talk-show host.
He was from the old school, an ultimate competitor, who also happened to be a fun-loving guy, enjoying dinner out on the town, listening to music, and having a few drinks at a nightclub.
He had no enemies. When he struggled on the mound, you felt his pain, too as if you were out there with him.