Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said Monday he plans to check into a rehabilitation center for treatment of alcohol addiction and will miss the postseason, the New York Times reported Monday. The announcement came just one day before the team’s first playoff game since 2012.
“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series,” Sabathia said in a statement released by the team. “It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.”
The New York Yankees were scheduled to play Houston in the AL wild card game Tuesday. The Yankees’ pitching staff hit a rocky patch in September with Masahiro Tanaka’s hamstring injury and ineffective outings by Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova, CBS News reported. However, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Monday that the team was supportive of Sabathia's decision.
“CC demonstrated a great deal of courage to try and tackle this problem,’’ Cashman said, the New York Times reported. “Time and place have no bearing. There is something here that needs to be taken care of and I applaud him for stepping up and doing everything necessary for himself as he moves forward.’’
Sabathia joined the Yankees in 2009 with a seven-year, $160 million contract and went on to help New York win the World Series in his first season. He is signed through next season, and his deal includes a 2017 club option that would be guaranteed if his left shoulder doesn’t get hurt. Sabathia was 6-10 for the regular season, with a 4.73 ERA.
"As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don't want to run and hide," Sabathia said in the statement. "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. 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."
Everyone from sports fans to athletes took to Twitter Monday, expressing their opinions and feelings on Sabathia’s surprising announcement.
Stunning news on CC Sabathia. Far more significant than baseball. Always enjoyed being around him, hope he's alright. #Yankees
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) October 5, 2015
CC Sabathia will NOT be invited to the open bar @SaloonNYC
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) October 5, 2015
Your honest admission to your disease was the best pitch you ever made and already inspired millions. RL,alcoholic. pic.twitter.com/L80uJ2pLrR
— Richard Lewis (@TheRichardLewis) October 5, 2015
— Kristine Johnson (@KJohnsonTV) October 5, 2015
In clubhouse, ARod reminded that he wouldn't have a ring without CC Sabathia. The collective message from #Yankees: win this for CC.
— John Chandler (@JohnChandlerNBC) October 5, 2015
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 5, 2015
Life is infinitely larger than any sport. All good wishes to CC Sabathia - and his family. He's acknowledged a problem and begun a fight.
— Guy Gavriel Kay (@guygavrielkay) October 5, 2015
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 5, 2015
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) October 6, 2015