CC Sabathia won’t pitch for the New York Yankees this postseason. The 35-year-old lefty checked himself into a rehabilitation facility.
Signs of Sabathia’s struggles with strong drink became public in August when a video showed him restrained in an attempt to confront a heckler outside a Toronto nightclub. The former Cy Young Award winner called the incident, which did not result in an arrest, a “bad decision.” He stands at six-foot-seven and weighs 300 pounds, so the same might be said about his tormentor.
Sabathia released a statement Monday via the Yankees:
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.
Sabathia struggled with a 6-10 record in 2015. He showed improvement toward the end of the season.
The Yankees host the Houston Astros in a wild-card game on Tuesday. The winner takes on the Kansas City Royals.