NEW YORK — Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is checking into an alcohol rehabilitation centre and will miss the post-season.
The team issued a statement from the pitcher Monday, a day before New York plays Houston in the AL wild-card game. Sabathia, the 2007 AL Young Award winner, said he took the step to receive the care he needs and become the kind of person "I can be proud of."
"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," he said. "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."
Sabathia was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA this year, slowed by his surgically repaired right knee. After returning from the disabled list and using a tighter brace, the portly 35-year-old left-hander was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts and got the win against Boston that week that clinched the Yankees' return to the post-season following a rare two-year absence,
"As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don't want to run and hide," Sabathia said. "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."
His move is another blow to the Yankees' pitching staff, slowed in September by Masahiro Tanaka's hamstring injury and ineffective outings by Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova.
Sabathia, who helped New York win the 2009 World Series during his first season in the Bronx, is signed through next season. His deal includes a 2017 club option that would become guaranteed if his left shoulder doesn't get hurt.
"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 said.
Howie Rumberg, The Associated Press
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