CC Sabathia Gets It Done For the Yankees

He’s tired. You know he is. He’s been pitching out of trouble this entire hypothetical contest. It’s hot and your clothes are sticking to you and your date just from watching him work. She clutches your arm because the situation seems dire and the game is American League East pivotal. In front of a nothing different Bronx crowd, the big fella mows down the last two batters on full count sliders to get out of a bases loaded jam and protect a 2-0 lead. The crowd cheers and tips their beer. He tips his hat. His work is done and that’s why he’s here…

He’s here to do just that. He’s here to get his 50th Yankee win in just his 85th start…tying Chien-Ming Wang as the fastest New York pitcher to do so in the last 30 years. The dominating victory ran his record to 10-4 and CC became the first Major League pitcher to hit double digits before Justin Verlander and Jair Jurrjens joined him just the same later yesterday.

Could it be that Carsten Charles Sabathia is actually unappreciated? When speaking the best in the game, is his name readily mentioned? You know…as Lincecum and Halladay fly off gushing announcer’s lips in late May when baseball gets into full swing and everything seems OK?

Check his wins. Check his innings pitched. Check his strikeouts. Check his walks allowed. It’s not how he starts but how he finishes. His will to win is unemotional at times because he knows it’s his responsibility as the Yankees ace to send the fans home happy but he’s done it before.

I said he was the next great pitcher electric when he was a Brewer carrying the entire franchise on every outing it seemed on short days rest. Yeah, when they needed him the most just to get into the playoffs when he went 11-2 for the Brew Crew after being traded from Cleveland. The fans loved him in Milwaukee despite common knowledge his stay was nothing more than temporary…because he got it done. The Cleveland Indians 20th pick in the 1998 draft has gotten it done many times. He seems to thrive when the ball is handed to him heavy under pressure to pitch a gem…a diamond on the diamond when fans are rocking back and forth, biting finger nails and blood pressure is rising.

It’s expected in New York and while the Yankees are loved by their fans, hatred of the Boogie Down is pronounced. Those seeking to diminish CC’s career will say he gets run support or the Yankees payroll is stratospheric or New York is the league’s darling…but remember…he’s done the same thing for franchises not exactly known for post season baseball. Seems absurd to belabor the point but he took Cleveland to the playoffs and did the same in Milwaukee.

Last season he was 21-7…the only American hurler to win 20 games with a 3.18 earned run average…in 237 innings and allowed just 74 walks and he came in third (David Price 2nd) to Felix Hernandez in Cy Young voting. Felix Hernandez had an incredible season but his record was 13-12 with a 2.27 era and 70 walks. He basically won the Cy Young for doing what CC did in the past…which is show and prove for a team that needs him to keep the entire franchise above water.

This is no knock on King Felix but taking a team with a tattered rotation to the playoffs in Gotham City is a lot more difficult than winning 13 games for a team in the great northwest. No disrespect to Seattle and their fans but a championship legacy is something they just don’t have so there’s a minimal amount of pressure. Yes Felix had to perform so don’t get this misconstrued but that we haven’t seen anything similar before and that it came virtually at CC’s expense is telling. Did CC not win because of his demeanor? Was it because of his race (I hope not)? Was it because he’s 6’7″ 300 pounds and he hit the jackpot so the money is enough? We’ll never know. What we do know is CC didn’t gripe. His personality doesn’t allow it. He’s a bear. His cap is tipped to the right as if he’s Bumpin’ Wes Montgomery in quiet responsible measure. He lets his game do the talking and while he’s not perfect he just gets it done.

Sabathia is the Dave Stewart of his era…where “Smoke” shook lineups with a stare and unmeasured heat…CC does it with his battleship frame launching cruise missiles at some of the game’s most feared batters to the tune of 93 strikeouts against only 30 walks this season. Sabathia is the rock of a Yankees rotation seemingly changing season after season with Sabathia being the one constant.

In 11 seasons he’s 167 and 92. He has an outside chance at winning 300 games and possibly becoming one of the last to achieve the victory landmark in this age of stretched rotations with long and short relief specialists. Will he add a couple of rings to Yankee lore? How about a couple more awards to go along with his 2007 Cy Young and 2009 ALCS MVP? What if he goes 22 and 8 this season and the Yankees don’t win the championship? Does he win his 2nd Cy Young? If he does hit the 300 mark will the accomplishment be diminished because he did so with a payroll the size of 5 boroughs as his wind? I hope that’s not the case. CC is one of the best people in sports and in an era where athletes are slammed for their greed, the only greed in CC’s life is making sure he does everything in his power to give back any way possible.

Sabathia is a jewel in the crown of the Yankees 27th World Championship…where others have questioned his everything from his weight to his cocked hat…he is royalty in the Bronx. Win or lose Sabathia is theirs.

He’s about the game and he’s about charity so instead of falling in hate for players who make mistakes, focus the attention on one of the good guys and watch as his career shines.

 

9 Responses to “CC Sabathia Gets It Done For the Yankees”

  1. michelle says:

    I love Big CC. Hell yeah these writers and talking heads diss him. No one has pitched more innings the past 5 years. No one throws better on short rest. You get the bang for your buck with this guy. His teammates adore him and so do the fans of NY. These writers are stupid. If he’s throwing 230 innings vs. another guy’s 200, that’s hugs. He pitched the end of last season with a tear in his knee. He didn’t go on the DL. It was clear the team needed him so with a brace on his leg beneath his uniform he went to work. First by being moved up and pitching a gem vs the home run hitting Blue Jays to get the Yanks into the playoffs…but later by standing tall in the ALCS…bend don’t break. He did what the boss would have wanted by keeping the Rangers by celebrating their trip to the WS at Yankee Stadium. He beat them by giving up only 2 runs. I know the boss was somewhere smiling…saying good job Big Fella!!! CC finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting last year behind David Price. I guess pitching in the pressure cooker in NY means nothing and throwing a lot more innings doesn’t either…

    The charity work CC and his wife Amber put in is second to none. He’s an all around great guy. Every time I wear his jersey, I do it with much pride. :)

  2. No question that CC has been getting it done for the Yankees and the other teams that he has played for in his career. Tillery sent me a link with following ? – “Still think I was off base on @CC_Sabathia not getting proper respect?” My initial thought after receiving message from MT and reading article was of course I still think you’re off base, but I need to ask a follow up question. How do you define respect? If you read MT’s article, you would think he defines respect based on a pitcher getting awards like the Cy Young. That’s a high standard, given that only one award is given out yearly. CC did win the Cy Young in 2007. Only thing I want to say about the Cy Young to MT is that ERA does matter. We’re not talking about the MVP, we’re talking about the best pitcher in baseball. Lack of run support should not disqualify a pitcher.

    MT clarified respect in a tweet to me before I could ask him how do you define respect. He said “to be more intelligible, it’s more about career respect articulated by journalism. Hence awards.” Earlier, MT had tweeted “That CC Sabathia didn’t make All Star Game says all you need 2 say of baseball. 11-4, 3.05, 3rd most innings? Told you he was unappreciated.” Of course that put a crimp in the argument that I was going to use that CC is definitely respected by his peers, teammates, opponents, opposing managers, etc. I still feel that way . After all, CC is a 6 time all-star and his ERA is 15th among AL starting pitchers: http://bit.ly/j9LsKw However, CC “has thrown the third-most amount of innings in the AL and according to http://Fangraphs.com, he ranks second in the league in FIP, behind only All-Star Jared Weaver. FIP is a metric representing fielding-independent pitching, measuring ERA by removing fielding from the equation and evaluating pitchers for what they can specifically control: strikeouts, walks and homers.”

    How are starting pitchers selected for the all-star game? – http://atmlb.com/iQvoMj – “pitchers and reserve players were named to the All-Star Game rosters by the Player Ballot – a vote of the players, managers and coaches – and by the All-Star Game managers in conjunction with Major League Baseball. In making their selections, the managers have ensured that every Major League Club will be represented in the All-Star Game.” The other thing that fans might not consider is that MLB took into account that CC would not be able to play in the all-star game anyway because he’s starting a game on Sunday & there could have been some behind the scenes conversations that he didn’t really want to play given his workload in the first half of the year. To quote: “Sabathia isn’t too broken up about it, appreciating the time off he will have available. And with him lined up to start the Sunday before the game, he would not have been eligible to pitch. As he said, he booked his trip to the Bahamas a long time ago.”

    Where do I come down on the CC – respect angle that MT is pursuing. C’mon MT – CC is respected by all, including your journalist peers.

  3. Mizzo says:

    How do you blindly speak for them and do offer some stated examples he’s “respected” by my journalist peers…please?

    As I said, name him to the team and then replace CC after he turns down invite. It’s about the honor and since players are competitive I understand their non-penchant to vote for CC. If you play the Yankees, most likely you’ll have to deal with CC.

    They might as well name the mound after him.

    All Star appearances and Cy Young awards factor greatly when determining Hall of Fame status.

    I don’t understand why I have to continue to overstate my perspective in that regard. Look at where he finishes in Cy Young voting besides ’07 of course and compare his stats to winner.

    Felix pitched in Seattle. He had a great year but no pressure to perform. CC has earned every penny of his contract and pitched on one leg the second half of the season.

    He pitched a gem in an elimination game vs. the Rangers. Not in his house would Texas celebrate.

    Like I also stated, because of his innings, he might become the last 300 game winner. If he does so and isn’t properly “respected” what would you say then?

    The same tired argument his win total is so high because of run support? What about Cleveland and Milwaukee?

    Watch what CC does the rest of the season and get back to me in October.

  4. “All Star appearances and Cy Young awards factor greatly when determining Hall of Fame status.” They do? I’ll use basketball as an example to refute this.

    13 NBA Seasons
    4 All-Star Games
    1 Rookie of the Year Award
    1 NBA Championship
    1 All-NBA First Team

    This player is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Is it the resume of a HOF & somebody who was also voted to NBA 50th anniversary all-star team? Career awards while you’re playing are nice, but a player’s body of work and their impact on the game will normally be recognized by those in the know. Can you guess the player I’m talking about by their resume. I’m sure I can find examples in most major sports like this one.

    The player is Earl Monroe. One of Philly’s finest – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Monroe

  5. Mizzo says:

    Clarence. We are talking now. Right now with the present media and the box they encapsulate everything in. Why do you seem to take baby steps when issues arise as if what I speak out against really isn’t an issue and everything is grand?

    Do I have to explain every word I write to folks who should have the mental capacity to understand my points?

    To continue, I asked you many questions in my previous comment…please answer those if you will.

  6. Temple3 says:

    Interesting conversation.

    CG makes some solid points about CC. Hard to call it. I would say that while his statistical profile is similar to Monroe’s, his relative standing within the FRANCHISE, let alone the game of basketball, is not comparable. Monroe was an icon before coming to the NBA and before coming to New York and before winning a title. Winning an NBA title in New York made him a legend.

    Winning a World Series has not accomplished that for CC Sabathia, nor could it given the historical and recent fortunes of the Yankees. Gooden, Cone, Clemens, Key, Wells, Hernandez, and Pettitte occupy much of the front-of-mind space in New York before 2009…and many of them won multiple rings.

    With that said, I think CC has the respect of his peers. I’m not sure that the love for him extends to broadcast booths and media rooms around the nation. The pitchers casting the largest shadows seem to be Halladay, Lee, Beckett, Hamels, Verlander and guys like that. Each of these players has been formidable at one time or another. I’m not sure that CC is viewed in the same light.

    I wouldn’t use “awards” to measure that necessarily, but I don’t another measure other than listening to national broadcasts and reading national papers. He’s not “the young hot thing.” He’s not a lot of things…but he is effective and he is the ace of a perennial contender — the top franchise in sports history…so that probably counts for more than accolades from the people that Eddie Murray rightly deemed unworthy of comment.

    I never felt Gooden got his props — until after the fact.

  7. michelle says:

    CC is having an awesome year!!!! I’m proud everytime he takes the mound. He’s a throwback player in so many ways and great for the game on and off the field… Watching him throw a 1-0 complete game shutout last week was drama filled.. As 50,000 Yankee fans chanted CC CC CC CC….He struck out the last batter swinging with a 98 mph fastball right across the plate……CC SAYING HIT IT IF YOU DARE TO CAUSE I AINT NEVER SCARED…….Dude couldn’t catch up if his mama’s life depended on it…..Now that’s movie material…

  8. michelle says:

    He now leads the majors with 14 wins.. He followed that victory with a 3 hit 1run 8 inning gem to beat the B

  9. michelle says:

    Blue Jays…..and big slugger Bautista isn’t a factor. He’s like 0-18 vs CC lifetime :)

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