Monday, May 5, 2014

We have the man who was once CC Sabathia through 2017 at a cost of nearly $100 million

See here the last four years of ERA for Mr. CC Sabathia: 3.00, 3.38, 4.78 and - now, over one month - 5.11. It's like the trajectory of a Reggie Jackson home run. Yesterday, the home town fans booed CC, as if he had signed with Seattle, while he botched a rubber match against a team we need to beat, and which seems to own a voodoo doll pin/cushion of us.

Since CC's knees began barking two years ago, forcing him to eat salads and skip lunch, Sabathia has been a pitcher in search of cheese. Big wedges of it. His fastball is somewhere in the veggie bin. He remains a crafty veteran, a good teammate and a physical hulk capable of dissuading Dustin Pedroia from charging the mound. But his fastball? Ah, t'is a memory, like his waistline. He's 33, and this was supposed to be his comeback season, the year he becomes a finesse pitcher. Thus far, it isn't happening.

The Yankees have him under contract through 2017, a year they will pay him $25 million. They can buy him out of it for $5 million, if he can't pitch due to shoulder issues. But over the next four years, they're on the hook for about $95 million - this for a guy who yesterday was outdone by Eric Bedard.

Listen: It's Hal Steinbrenner's money, not ours, and I never cry when billionaires lose $20 million, because that's what they spend on clam dip. But Boston has kept its long term deals ridiculously short, and next year, if necessary, they will be poised to buy talent, while we keep paying off CC and A-Rod. We watch one management group consistently do things right, while another does nearly everything wrong. Guess which side of that glass we are on...

OK, it was a low blow to compare CC to Eric Bedard. It's not CC's fault that the Yankees yesterday felt compelled to swing at every first pitch Bedard threw, spoiling Suzyn Waldman's carefully crafted game plan. Through the first five, she bitterly wondered why the Yankees weren't taking pitches. When John mentioned how slowly Bedard was working, she grumbled, "You could read Moby Dick." Yesterday's loss belonged to the team, not CC. And we squandered a great outing by Alfredo Aceves. I'm not sure how many of them we will see.

Lately, I've been trying to figure out how we can win this in 2014. By default, maybe. The East might be the weakest division in the AL. (Maybe in baseball.) Mark Teixeira must make a comeback; it might be happening. Brian Roberts has to become a solid 2B; he's hit well lately. Jeter has to play credible SS; I'm not ready to count him out. But finally, CC Sabathia must regain his old stuff. That's where my hope falls off the rails. His ERA is heading out of the stadium, still rising. And we have him for at least three more years.


John M said...

Hey, Duque, sorry for the incredibly obvious and somewhat bitter post the other day. And also, as Anonymous commented, boring.

When I wrote last month that this could be another 1966, it seemed like a good joke with an outside chance of becoming true. Now it doesn't seem all that funny, even if '66 may be stretching it a bit. These guys aren't that bad.

Are they?

One silver lining besides Aceves yesterday...Girardi actually took CC out of a game before the fifth inning. Not before he gave up too many runs for our 1/3 to half of a lineup to overcome, but still, that's something.

el duque said...

Hey, I loved your piece and it was not boring. And with a couple injuries here and there, we might be facing another 1966. There is trouble in Paradise. With a capital T and rhymes with P and that stands for Pineda.

Suzyn's Bitch said...

He needs to start passing up the salad bar, and go back to pizza, donuts, or whatever made him the lovably, successful Pillsbury doughboy of the past!

Diabeetus said...

Captain Crunch.

Simon said...

Sabathia's girth was not the key to his fastball--it body fat equaled velocity, Chris Christie would have an unhittable heater. CC's cheese has molded because of age and the gazillions of innings he's thrown.

Unless he learns how to become Jimmy Key--and that seems a stretch--he's done.

The Yankees might be facint another 1966 WITOUT injuries. There is no rational foundation for believing that Jeter will be anything but an abysmal shortstop and subpar hitter. Tex will be a shadow of his peak years at the plate, as will Soriano. Beltran is not likely to wear well at his advanced age. How well do most catchers fare into their thirties?So don't bet the house on McCann either. The Yankees have exactly one regular everyday player under 30--Solarte. In fact, a youth movement for the Yankees would be a starting lineup with guys mostly below 35.

The NYY Hindenburg is descending slowly and about to blow up. Only from the ashes will a decent franchise arise--one hopes, after Cashman and the Steinbrenners are long gone.