CC Sabathia

USA Today

CC Don't Play

Best moment of CC’s Yankee career. And maybe his last.

September 28, 2018 - 11:01 am
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CC Sabathia is 18 years into his big league career. He's won a World Series. And a CY Young. He's a 6-time All-Star, and a dude who has taken the ball in big game after big game in his career, the kind of rock solid veteran that teammates can't help but respect. 

And that was BEFORE what he did last night. 

Because there are good teammates. And then there's CC Sabathia. 

And yesterday afternoon, with Sabathia just 2 innings away from cashing a $500,000 bonus check for hitting 155 innings, Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge went way too up and way too in on Yankees catcher Austin Romine. And the Big Man wasn't having that. 

So even though he was cruising at just 54 pitches through 5 innings, and the Yanks had already buried the Rays 11-nothing, and he had HALF A MIL on the line to get six more outs, Rays catcher Jesus Sucre came to the dish to lead off the very next inning and Sabathia went and did what any legendary teammate would do: 

He BURIED A FIRST PITCH FASTBALL into Sucre's quad. 

"CC DON'T PLAY." You can bet your ass he don't. 

Because CC just lit HALF A MIL on fire to have his catcher's back. CC just took five-hundred Grr out of his checking account because he wasn't about to let the Rays get away with running four seams under his back-stops chin. And as he walked off the bump to take the most expensive early shower in the history of plumbing, the TV cameras caught CC pointing and yelling at the Rays bench. And while I'm not a lip-reader, I’ll go ahead and give it a shot:  "THAT'S FOR YOU, BITCH." 

Look, you know where I stand on the unwritten rules of baseball. They're unwritten for a reason. Because if you wrote them down, you'd realize just how stupid they are. But what CC Sabathia did was awesome. What CC IS, IS AWESOME. Because that is a dude who leads from the front. Don't believe me? Ask his accountant. 

Sure, some haters will come in and say, "big deal Rome, these guys make millions of dollars." You're damn right they do. But that is still a CRAZY amount of money. 

Warren Buffet's not going out there and defending one of his i-bankers by throwing 500grr in the fryer. Bill Gates isn't sticking up for the dudes on the Excel Team by slashing 6-digits from his net worth. You don't see Mark Zuckerberg throwing his wallet in the pile and rolling up his sleeves after Tom from Myspace pokes one of his guys. 

But when some anonymous reliever goes mid-90s over his catcher's grill, CC isn't asking questions about tax write-offs. He's humping up and bringing everything he's got to defend his man. And as CC said postgame in the clubhouse: "IT IS WHAT IT IS." 

What it is, is a MAN'S GAME move, CC. It's a reason why his teammates love him. And after coming home 500 Grr lighter in the wallet, it also better be a free dinner from his catcher the next time the Big Man's out on the town.  

Best moment of CC’s Yankee career. And maybe his last. Which makes the whole thing even more unbelievable. Because at age 38 next year—he’s a free agent. And even though he still wants to play—it’s hard to see the Yanks bringing him back. And unless they get him into a game this weekend as a reliever—or the Yanks add him to postseason rotation—that bean ball could have been his last pitch in pinstripes. 

And if it was—it’s the most brass way to go ever. And the most expensive.

If the Yankees don’t sign this guy—maybe the Astros do. Because Alex Bregman tweeted last night to CC, “Mad respect. I would play with you any day.”

You and everyone else, Bregs. 

You and everyone else.