By: Paul DiSclafani
Yankees former Ace CC Sabathia checked himself into an alcohol rehab center on Monday afternoon, ending his season.
Sabathia, the 2007 CY Young award winner, was just 6-10 this season for the Yankees with a 4.73 ERA and 137 strikeouts. The six-time All Star gave up a career worst-tying 28 home runs. Although his overall season statistics were dismal, Sabathia had a 3.80 ERA in August and 2.17 in September.
“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help,” said the 35 year-old Sabathia. “I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.”
The surprise announcement came as the Yankees were preparing for their Wild-Card game against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night in Yankee Stadium. Although Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he saw no real warning signs of Sabathia’s addiction, many others pointed to an incident in August caught on video involving Sabathia in Toronto.
Sabathia was involved in a shouting altercation outside a Toronto night spot and was pushed into a car by his friends before a brawl erupted outside of the nightclub. Sabathia said he, “flipped out”. Cashman said, at the time, that he did not think alcohol was involved.
If the Yankees were to advance past the Astros on Tuesday, Sabathia was scheduled to start one of the games in the ALDS against Kansas City. Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to start the Wild-Card game. Ivan Nova is now the only remaining Yankee starter with playoff experience.
“What CC is dealing with is a life issue,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday. “It’s bigger than the game tomorrow. (Getting help) is the most important thing right now.”
Sabathia, the MVP of the 2009 ALCS, is scheduled to return to the Yankees in 2016, the final year of his original contract 7-year, $161 million contract, for $25 million. As long as he does not have a shoulder injury, and option will kick in for 2017 also at $25 million.