On the eve before the New York Yankees face the Houston Astros at home in a one-game wildcard playoff, pitcher CC Sabathia announces he is entering alcohol rehab and will not be available for the postseason.
Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to pitch against the Astros, but if the Yankees advance to the ALDS, Sabathia was sure to be in the rotation in hopes he could deliver a performance like he gave in the final game against the Boston Red Sox last Thursday. Sabathia gave up only one run in the Yankees 4-1 victory over the Red Sox, which is incidentally the game that allowed them to clinch the wildcard spot.
This development comes as a shock to the organization and fans, and though the Yankees decline to comment for the time being, they released this statement given by the pitcher:
“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.
“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. 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.
“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.
“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.
“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.
“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”
Despite a 6-10 record with a 4.73 ERA this season, Sabathia’s effective pitching as of late will be missed in the postseason if the Yankees come away with a victory Tuesday evening. However, in their chase for their 28th World Series title, the Yankees will have to endure without him and wish Sabathia a healthy return.