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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

CC Sabathia admits he was ‘probably still drunk’ during final games of season

CC Sabathia

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of CC Sabathia’s decision to enter an alcohol rehabilitation program was the timing, being that he left the Yankees just before their Wild Card playoff game against the Astros. But after what took place during New York’s final series of the regular season, Sabathia knew it couldn’t wait.

There have been reports that Sabathia decided to check into rehab after a bender in Baltimore. In a lengthy interview with Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Sabathia admitted his drinking behavior during that last series of the season was the final straw.

“I woke up on that Sunday and was like, ‘I can’t do this no more,'” the lefthander said. “I came in on Sunday and felt like I needed to get some help. I know it was bad timing, but I felt like if I didn’t tell somebody then, I would have been in real trouble.”

While Sabathia insists he never drank at the ballpark or in the clubhouse (some rumors have indicated otherwise), he admitted that he was feeling the effects of his alcohol use during the Yankees’ day-night doubleheader on Saturday, Oct. 3, as well as the following day.

“I probably was still drunk from the night before or hung over,” Sabathia said. “It happened quick.”

Sabathia maintains that his alcoholism never affected his ability to pitch or prepare for his starts, though it is hard to imagine that someone could go on benders and not experience any negative effects. Sabathia says he was always alone — typically at a team hotel — when he went on a bender and usually showed up to work the next day and tried to sweat it out.

“I could always come to the field, sweat everything out, do my running and do everything I had to do,” he explained. “I pretty much just hid it, would be walking around hung over and sick all the time and still going through the motions.”

The entire interview is worth reading. Sabathia also addressed the incident that took place outside a bar in Toronto, insisting that he wasn’t “obliterated or blasted” but admitting he would have reacted differently if he were sober.

Sabathia turned 35 in July, so returning to pitch at a high level after what he has gone through will not be easy. But if he continues along the path he recently started down, he certainly has a fighting chance.

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