Sep
29

The CC Sabathia Appreciation Thread

By

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The word ace gets thrown around quite a bit these days. Every team has one if you consider an ace to be the best pitcher on a given staff, and it’s usually whoever is designated as the Opening Day starter regardless of merit. By that definition, guys like Zach Duke and Scott Feldman are on par with Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez. Of course that’s completely wrong, because not every team has an ace. In fact, there are probably fewer true aces than teams out there.

But the Yankees have an ace. They have a guy they can lean on in big games, that they can count on for dominant performances and scores of innings. A pitcher they can start in Games One, Four, and Seven of a playoff series on almost any amount of rest . A pitcher that when his turn comes every fifth day, a win isn’t just likely, it’s expected. That man is CC Sabathia, who almost singlehandedly pitched he Yankees into the postseason with eight-and-a-third dominant innings against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Since signing that mammoth seven-year, $161M deal in December of 2008, Sabathia has been everything the Yankees expected him to be and then some. He hasn’t missed a single start, throwing a total of 467.2 innings across the last two seasons, earning every one of his MLB leading 40 wins over that time. His playoff performance last season was simply masterful, as he took ALCS MVP honors thanks to a pair of dominant eight inning outings against the Angels (one on three day’s rest) before limiting the Phillies to five runs in 13.2 innings in the World Series. The Yankees went 4-1 in his five postseason starts, and if a Game Seven was needed against the Phillies, he was ready to go yet again on short rest.

Aside from his work on the field, Sabathia has gone above and beyond the call of duty in the clubhouse. He’s helped transform a far too corporate and uptight environment into one filled with more smiles and comradery than anytime in the recent past, and that’s just me speaking based on what I’ve seen as an outsider. He’s arranged outings to basketball games and what not with teammates during Spring Training and even the regular season, something we never ever ever saw happen before he got here. Despite all that talk about his preference to remain close to home on the West Coast, Sabathia has fully embraced New York and his place as a Yankee. For once, it’s a player with a larger than life personality that no one dislikes.

CC turned 30-years-old just over two months ago, so he’s still very much in the prime of his career. He’s proven to be more than capable of handling the workload required of an ace and then some, and he’s become every bit a piece of New York as the Yankees themselves. There isn’t enough that can be said about how tremendous Sabathia has been in his two years as a Yankee, but I want you to try anyway. Give up to the big man, because we all know he’s gone above and beyond for us fans.

Categories : Players

70 Comments»

  1. bexarama says:

    He is so awesome. Not just as a pitcher but – and to be fair, it’s not like I know him personally, but he certainly seems that way – a person. I’m really, really glad he’s a New York Yankee.

    (And one of these years he’s gonna hit a HR in interleague and it’ll be awesome.)

  2. jeff k says:

    couldn’t agree more too bad morons will vote for felix over him for cy young

  3. CBean says:

    CC = 5 ACES

  4. Jose Canseco the Truth says:

    I was at the game in Oakland when he pitched this year. There was a section with CC fans, wearing his 52. It was pretty cool to see Oakland locals cheering on a Yankee pitcher. ( i know he is from Oakland). This guy is truly loved everywhere.

  5. Frank says:

    Let’s not forget his likely influence on others to sign with the Yanks- Cliff Lee for starters (no pun intended).

  6. Awards and what not aside, I love CC a lot. Even though he’s been here just two seasons, I feel like I root harder for him than I did any other pitcher for the Yankees, including Pettitte and Mussina, of whom I am/was a huge fan. He’s the perfect pitcher, really. When he’s on, he’s unstoppable. When he’s off, he’s still decent enough to eat innings and not kill the bullpen. CC, I’ve got nothing but love for you.

  7. tom says:

    I’ve been a Yankee fan longer than many here have been alive, and, truly, not since the early Ron Guidry years have I seen the team have one guy they can count on they way they can on CC. I remember Posada saying, after ’08, “We need a number one”, which I thought at the time was rather an insult to Chien Ming Wang, but subsequent history has shown how right he was.

    It’s very rare, even in this often-great franchise, to know, instinctively, one pitcher will start the first game of every important series. During the great ’98-’01 (or ’03, if you prefer) period, we had different pitchers filling that role year-to-year. To be fair, that might have been because we had so many all-star level pitchers, but I think it was also because no one, on a consistent basis, took the reins the way CC does.

    I know the Yanks are a hugely talented team overall, but I wonder if, without CC (even, say, for as long as Pettitte was out), this year might have more resembled ’08 than ’09.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      2010 – No CC…. No PS.
      2009 – No CC…. No WS.
      He’s the guy who put us over the top.
      (although I still think ARod was the PS MVP).

  8. First Time Poster says:

    I know the old (not that old, I suppose) adage is “you can’t predict baseball”; however, what contract will look better when it expires/expired, Mussina’s or C.C’s?

    • UncleArgyle says:

      Since the CC has already won a title, I’ll say CC wins regardless of what happens the next 6 years

    • vin says:

      Mussina’s original contract was fantastic. The Yanks essentially chose Moose, while the Sox chose Manny. Imagine if that was reversed? An OF of Manny, Bernie and Sheffield. Or Manny, Damon and Abreu. Of course they wouldn’t be able to pitch themselves out of a wet paper bag. But still…

    • steve s says:

      I think you can predict that the opt out provision of CC’s contract will end up as unused as a Red Sox 2010 Division Series ticket.

      • I am not the droids you're looking for says:

        UnUsed except for the part where he asks for a raise and an extension. But other than that…yeah, unused.

        • steve s says:

          Extension (maybe) but a raise will never happen. That was a one-time event in the case of Arod and Yanks would never let that happen again.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          Nope. Nobody will pay CC as much as his current contract, and nobody has a better chance at the WS then the Yankees. The Opt Out was in case CC hated New York… not to get more money.

          Other then ARod, isn’t CC the highest paid player in the game? (or pretty damn close).

  9. larryf says:

    The guy is a left handed Austin Kearns at the plate!

  10. UncleArgyle says:

    Has anyone noticed that CC’s Strikeout to walk ratio has decreased since his time with the Brewers? Thats proof that CC is in decline and a disappointment to the Yankees Front Office. Its Obvious.

    /Rob Neyer’d

    • Not Tank the Frank says:

      CC Sabathia does not care about defense. – Rob Neyer

    • Shaun says:

      you don’t think it could have been the fact that he played for the brewers in the weaker NL instead of the dominate AL which is full of teams and players that work the count more than anywhere else?

  11. Damian says:

    You’re the man, CC.

    Anyone else think his face looks a bit too goofy in the first picture for an appreciation thread?

  12. vin says:

    I still think he’d rather be pitching on the West Coast.

    /late 2008′d

    The dude is a monster. He handles everything that is thrown his way, stays out of controversy, and peforms on the field. I still think Felix had the better year, but depending on what you consider MVP to mean, he might actually deserve a few top 10 MVP votes.

  13. theyankeewarrior says:

    BUT HE”Z NO SANTANA!!!1!!1!

    SHOULDA GIVEN TEH HUGHES AND KENNEDI TO THE TWINKIES!!!1!!!1!!

    /Francesa’D

  14. Tom Zig says:

    If CC does in fact stay here for the length of his contract, where on the franchise leaderboards for Ks, Wins, and what not, does he end up?

    • I am not the droids you're looking for says:

      Well factoring in the two (three?) year extension he will ask for and receive during next year’s opt out window, and I think 160+ wins is doable provided he stays healthy. He’s just a big giant bear of a dude, and unless he breaks down it sort of seems like he may energizer bunny his way through.

      • DCBX says:

        This. Along with Doc and Felix he is in the VERY small club of possible 300+ game winners still playing. Gotta pitch 300 games to win em, right?

        /Old Hoss’d

  15. Bob Michaels says:

    My choice for Cy Young

  16. Kiersten says:

    I’ve said this before, but I actually wake up on days he’s pitching and think “Oh yay, CC’s pitching today!” cause I know it means we’re going to get a great game. I’ve never been that way with any other Yankee pitcher, even though Moose was my favorite Yankee for a while.

  17. larryf says:

    CC can throw any of his pitches for strikes at any time in the count and he will throw the same unexpected pitch 2 or 3 times in a row.

    /Ace’d

  18. larryf says:

    CC is the only pitcher I have ever seen who catches the ball bare handed (his pitching hand) from the 3rd baseman every time. A strange superstition/ritual…

  19. nsalem says:

    Rest well C.C. I see several three day starts in your immediate future. I hope that HR comes in the late innings at Citizen Bank in a Game 7 about four weeks from now.

  20. Yank the Frank says:

    They’re gonna need a pretty big plaque in Monument Park.

  21. SodaPopinski says:

    Thanks CC!

  22. Jerome S says:

    He may not be the best pitcher in the league, but he’s the beastest.

  23. At Work says:

    I can still see the picture of CC and AJ signing and becoming Yankees on the same day. Only two years later we have an appreciation thread for CC and no appreciation for, you know… Sure glad CC decided to become a Yankee…

  24. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    I love this man. Fin.

  25. yankees1717 says:

    HAHAH THIS IS WHAT I WANTED

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