Yankees 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.