The Yankees‘ postseason hopes were dealt a blow Monday when pitcher CC Sabathia announced that he is checking into an alcohol rehabilitation center and will not participate in the playoffs.
“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease,” Sabathia said in a statement released through the Yankees. “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.
“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.
“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.”
The Yankees host the Astros on Tuesday in the American League wild card game. Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to start that game. Should New York win, Luis Severino and Michael Pineda are expected to pitch in the American League Division Series, with perhaps Adam Warren inserted into the rotation in place of Sabathia.
Sabathia, who was just 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 starts this season, said he plans to return to the team next season.
“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide,” Sabathia said in the statement. “But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.
“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.
“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”