Monday, May 5, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:20 AM
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.