Are the Yankees Looking at Number 28?
The analysts are analyzing…the newscasters are preaching…and the name on everyone’s lips – yet again – is the indescribable and still highly popular New York Yankees. Yes, there are those who will breathe a deep sigh after reading that line, or roll their eyes, BUT no matter how you look at it – the name of the ‘Yankees’ always resonates with the World Series somewhere along the line.
27 World Series wins and 40 American League pennants are in the Yankees’ back pocket, and some of the most outstanding players ever to play the game were wearing the Yankees’ uniform – so it wouldn’t be the biggest of all shocks to see that uniform once again being waved at by crowds lining the New York City streets as their team once again gets the Commissioner’s Trophy.
When it comes to the Yankees – 44 players and eleven managers have found themselves inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. You’re speaking about a list that includes the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle – if you know the name and you’ve seen their signed items sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars to collectors, then you know they’re Yankees.
This time around there is a Yankees name that is being widely talked about; and that is the name, C.C. Sabathia. In fact, just yesterday Sabathia and his ‘gang’ turned a would-be celebration into an Irish funeral for Baltimore.
CC Sabathia has been in the baseball biz for a while, and not all his years were spent in the famous Yankee uniform. In fact, before signing with the Yankees and becoming the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history, CC played his first seven and a half seasons with the Indians. It was with Cleveland where CC took home the Cy Young Award in 2007. He then had a ‘glove’ in helping the Brewers in Milwaukee see their very first playoff appearance in over twenty-five years in 2008. It was in the off-season when CC left the Brewers using the free agency route and signed with the Yankees, offering New York one of the most amazing pitchers in the league (a man who had amassed an average of over 200 innings pitched per season during his entire career.)
Walking back through time, it was in 2000 when CC was picked to be part of the United States Olympic Team, where he appeared in one pre-Olympic tournament game in Australia. He missed winning that gold medal, but only because he was called up by the Indians before the Olympics had come to an end. However, he didn’t remain completely empty-handed because he was named the Indians’ 2000 Minor League Player of the Year receiving the Lou Boudreau Award. And the accolades continued…
Some of those accolades included being the youngest player in the Majors in 2000 to leading the league in hits per 9 innings pitched. CC was the third in the league in win–loss percentage; fourth in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched; sixth in wins; and, seventh in strikeouts. He ‘just missed’ the Rookie of the Year Award, but instead was awarded with a four-year $9.5 million contract – which most likely helped ‘ease’ the pain.
The Indians picked up their $7 million club option for 2006 and CC signed a two-year, $17.75 million deal. He truly earned his money with even more accolades being built up behind his name. The Indians went 20–11 with CC’s starts, and he also led the American League in shutouts.
It was CC’s outstanding pitching performance that led the Cleveland Indians to their first AL Central Division Championship since 2001, which was his rookie season. Along with the Cy Young Award, he was also bestowed with the Warren Spahn Award that is given to the best left-handed pitcher in the Major League.
Although his showing with the Brewers was both good and a bit confused all at the same time, CC would then sign a seven-year, $161 million contract with the highly favored Yankees – which was (and still is) the largest contract for a pitcher in MLB history. Apparently he most assuredly deserved it, seeing as that CC won his first championship ring with the Yankees and also won the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player in the 2009 season.
Now even though CC began the 2012 season on a ‘bad foot,’ so to speak, he has most certainly recovered as the year has gone on. It was only last night that CC and the Yankees walked into Baltimore and beat the Orioles 7-2 to win their AL divisional series opener.
What was the celebration that the Yankees and CC screwed up? Well this was the very first home playoff game for the Orioles since 1997…and it ended with that Yankee uniform claiming victory. This particular ending wasn’t expected by many, seeing as that this left hander went 0-2 in three starts against Baltimore during the regular season. But in this one, CC walked in and threw a fastball that simply was unable to be overcome, bringing his postseason numbers with the Yankees to 6-1 and 4-0 in the division series.
Game 2 is tonight, people, and I would assume we will be looking at yet another sell-out crowd (and an extremely loyal sell-out crowd, considering that they’ve already proven they can sit in the rain for as long as it takes to see their Orioles get the win…even though they didn’t.) Everyone should know, however, that even though the Yankees won the game on Sunday doesn’t mean it was easy. In fact, the Yankees did have a chance to take the lead – in a HUGE way a number of times, which didn’t happen. But when it came to relying on CC’s arm – THAT didn’t fail.
Will CC one day be ‘up there’ with the DiMaggio and Mantle names? Who knows. But, for now, CC could very well be the catalyst that offers the slew of Yankees’ fans World Series number 28!
This moment in Sports is sponsored by Be First Media Group
Until Next Time, Everybody,