Mother Nature got in the way of CC Sabathia‘s simulated game which was scheduled for this morning, so instead he’ll go tomorrow according to Pete Caldera. His first start of the spring is scheduled for March 6th, and this isn’t going to threaten that date at all. Caldera also notes that Jorge Posada‘s shoulder feels better and he could DH tomorrow if the team lets him, which they won’t. Aaaaaaand exhale.
The first pic is from Milwaukee’s final game of the regular season, when CC clinched the Crew’s first playoff berth in a quarter century with a complete game four hitter (but you know, he’s never pitched well in a big game). The second pic is from Saturday’s John Harper column. So I guess we know what CC this winter, besides losing what looks like a ton of weight.
Last night, CC Sabathia walked home with the Warren Spahn Award for the second straight year. The prize is given out by the Oklahoma Sports Museum to the best lefty pitcher in the game, and it’s no stretch to award it to Sabathia.
By itself, the award is hardly newsworthy but how the AP covered the presentation and Sabathia’s acceptance is. The AP sent Jeff Latzke of their Oklahoma City bureau to the event, and here is how he covered it. On the surface, that seems fine and dandy, but take a look at these seemingly innocuous two paragraphs:
“To have that bullpen and have just the support of that team, that team is unbelievable,” Sabathia said. “To add me and A.J and put Tex in that lineup, I think it’s going to be an unbelievable team. Hopefully we have a special year.”
That’s right; Jeff Latzke just put Joba Chamberlain back in the bullpen. At no point did Sabathia actually say that he’s looking forward to Mo and Joba closing out games. He simply said that he’s looking forward to the support of the Yanks’ bullpen.
Meanwhile, if we compare Latzke’s reporting to that of Yankees.com beat writer Bryan Hoch, a different tale emerges. Writes Hoch:
Before Saturday night’s ceremony, Sabathia said in a press session that he is looking forward to having Mariano Rivera close out games for him.
“To have that bullpen and have just the support of that team, that team is unbelievable,” Sabathia said. “To add me and A.J. and put Tex in that lineup, I think it’s going to be an unbelievable team. Hopefully we have a special year.”
Now, I wasn’t at the press session, but do I trust the guy who covers the Yanks all season or some AP writer based out of Oklahoma City? The choice is clear to me.
This isn’t, of course, a new rant. We’ve had problems with the AP’s creating news where there isn’t any before. We’ve seen them misquote Yankee officials and, as they do here, put words into the mouths of players. It doesn’t help their credibility, however, to talk about Joba’s role in the bullpen because, simply put, he doesn’t have one. AP or not, Joba is starting this year. He may reach an innings cap, but baring a disaster, he will spend the season in the rotation. The Yankees are better off for it.
Here’s a fun little story that trickled into my Inbox via Google News last night: T-shirt sales for CC Sabathia are far exceeding the usual demand for player t-shirts. According to Crain’s New York, local stores including Modell’s and the Yankee Clubhouse stores have sold out Sabathia shirts three times over. I don’t have a CC shirt yet. I think I’m going to wait for the Teixeira 25 ones to hit.
- Sabathia’s contract includes a $9M signing bonus paid in three equal installments over the next 8 months: one on December 31st, one on March 1st, and the last on July 31st.
- His salary breakdown is simple:
2010-2015: $23M each
- Sabathia will be paid semimonthly over all twelve months of year; most players are paid semimonthly during the six-month regular season only. He’ll earn $583,333 every two weeks in 2009.
- He gets a suite on road trips, not uncommon for big name free agents. And, of course, he can opt out of the deal after the 2011 season.
- Burnett’s deal isn’t front or backloaded, and apparently doesn’t include a signing bonus. He’ll get $16.5M per year for the next five years.
- Both contracts include full no-trade clauses.
So Sabathia will have already been paid $9,499,998 before he throws a pitch in the 2009 season. Livin’ the dream baby, livin’ the dream.