Exclusive: CC Sabathia talks Opt-Out, Cliff Lee, A-Rod, and Boston

cc-sabathiaYankees ace CC Sabathia stopped by the MLB Fan Cave yesterday as part of promotion for the Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams promotion. As part of promotion for the event they were nice enough to invite me down and gave me time to interview Sabathia.

Not that the Field of Dreams promotion isn’t cool, it’s actually extremely cool, but I didn’t really want to spend a lot of time talking with him on that, especially since I got plenty of chances to hear his opinion on that anyway. Instead I figured I’d ask him some questions I had and get a general State of the Union for The Big Man.

One (kinda) funny story before we get started though. Sabathia is huge, we all know that. But he’s so huge, tall mostly, that they couldn’t find a Pepsi MAX jersey for him to wear because none fit. And then the only Yankees jersey they hand on hand that fit him was an away Billy Martin no. 1 jersey. So that’s what he wore when I interviewed him, a Martin jersey.

Bronx Baseball Daily: First of all, thanks for taking the time to sit down with me. Have you ever read Bronx Baseball Daily before? Or any baseball blogs for that matter?

CC Sabathia: No I don’t. Not here, not while playing for the Yankees. I don’t think guys read blogs. I don’t even read the paper or anything so don’t feel bad. If I want to find out about something I usually just watch the MLB Network.

BBD: A lot was made about you being a West Coast guy before you signed with the Yankees, how are you liking living on the East Coast since signing with the Yankees?

CC: I love it. Me and my family moved here. We live here in the offseason. We definitely enjoy it. We’re here, we are trying to be New Yorkers now. We are New Yorkers now.

BBD: What do you think the biggest things are that free agents need to consider before coming here?

CC: I think that for guys with families, the biggest thing is where you want them to live. Having a chance to win too. That was the biggest thing for me. When it came down to having a chance to win every single  year, that was really big. This was the only place I felt like you can do that and so far it’s been that way.

BBD: What was your reaction when you heard Cliff Lee wasn’t coming to the Bronx?

CC: I was disappointed. That’s one of my best friends. Not just in baseball, but out of baseball too. It was just a decision he made for his family. I felt he had played here before, knew the organization, knew the city, loved it, and obviously we have a great team…but he made the decision based on what was best for his family.

BBD: I want to talk about your opt-out. When you first signed here you said it was just something that your agent put into the contract, but now it seems like it is looming large with the amazing season you are having…

CC cuts in: Is it looming large though? I don’t think it’s looming large. It’s just one of those things. It’s in there. I haven’t thought about it. I don’t really have anything to say except that I love being here, I love being a Yankee. I’ll think about that in the offseason.

BBD: What’s going on with Boston? You have done well against them in the past, but this year they seem to be getting the best of you, what’s going on?

CC: It’s just been one of those things. They have put themselves in good counts against me. I looked at the game the other day and I’m in counts where they were sitting on a pitch. You know, I don’t want to walk guys and I’m trying to be aggressive in the strike zone, but they’ve been able to put their swings on pitches.

BBD: Your innings are starting to pile up. It’s nothing you haven’t been able to handle in the past, but as you get older is it something you become concerned with?

CC: Not at all. I feel great. If was feeling older or if I was breaking down it would be a concern, but I feel pretty good. I feel good, I worked hard this offseason knowing I was going to have a big load. That’s what I’m here for. I pitch to throw 200-250 innings every year.

BBD: How is your knee? You had surgery on it in the offseason, has it been a problem at all?

CC: It feels pretty good. I had the surgery (to repair a torn meniscus) last October, but it’s feeling pretty good and I’m excited about finishing the season strong.

BBD: That’s the same surgery Alex Rodriguez just had. How do you expect he’ll come back from that? Will he come back strong?

CC: I think so because right when you have the surgery you instantly feel better. You have all of this pressure and pain in your knee and you get the surgery, it’s a minor surgery, and you instantly feel better. So I’m excited for him coming back and playing the way he did when he went out.

BBD: Last question, you’ve had the most wins in baseball since coming here, but you haven’t been able to win a Cy Young Award yet. Is that something you strive for or think about often?

CC: It’s a team sport. It’s always great to win individual awards like a Cy Young or something like that, but to have a chance to win the World Series is bigger. I would trade a Cy Young for a World Series Championship every year.

BBD: Thanks again to CC for taking time to sit down and answer some questions for me. I really appreciate it.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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14 Responses to Exclusive: CC Sabathia talks Opt-Out, Cliff Lee, A-Rod, and Boston

  1. Drew says:

    First of all, the reason cliff lee went to the Phillies instead of of Yankees wasn't just a family decision, it also was because he wanted a better chance at winning a World Series before he retires. Go eat some Cap'n Crunch!

  2. thalooch says:

    ROTFLMAO!!! How did that work out in 2009 for Cliff Lee? How about last year??
    I'll remind you, last year he tried to chase a world series title, but this time with the Rangers, and failed because he couldn't shut down the offensive powerhouse of the San Francisco Giants.
    So now this year back with the Phillies to try again. Who will he try to win it with next year?

    At least CC stays on one team for more than a few months.

    • Jonathan says:

      Sabathia was with three different teams in a span of less than twelve months.

    • Colin says:

      Cliff Lee got TRADED to the Rangers, genius. He didn't choose them. Going to Philly in the offseason as a free agent was the first time in his life Cliff Lee had a chance to choose where he wanted to play.

  3. John Wright says:

    Cliff Lee chose PHI because he couldn’t handle the New York scene especially if he failed.

  4. INGY says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA, he owned you on the part about the opt out "looming large". I like how it wasn't brought back up again after that. OWNED.

  5. supster says:

    I like that he said he'll think about the opt out clause in the offseason. Oy vey!

  6. Andrew518 says:

    No suprise he's not worried about the Opt out…it's me that's worried.

    He either doesn't opt out and gets paid a lot of money or he opts out and gets paid more money…not exactly something to lose sleep over if you are C.C..

  7. Ben Walker says:

    who cares about Cliff Lee?

  8. alcan says:

    cliff lee is a cry baby… He wan nothing but complaints after he got traded to the rangers. they had to make up a false ailment to cover up his dismall numbers right after he got there. He went to the phils b/c he was upset at the yanks fro not throwing in the extra player the mariners had asked for after having already agreed to a deal in principle. He took it personally when the yanks told the mariners to stuff a sock in it. Good for Lee, let him enjoy the the ride in Philly… still WS winless Lee

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