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CC Sabathia: “I suck”

Jul 22, 2013, 8:50 AM EDT

CC Sabathia, Jonny Gomes AP

It’s always something, I guess. On a night when the Yankees moribund offense actually goes out and scores some runs, the team’s ace doesn’t show. CC Sabathia gave up seven runs on nine hits in five innings. After the game he minced no words:

“I suck. I wish I had an excuse or something. It sucks. It’s embarrassing. But you have to try to work through it, figure something out and start trying to help this team instead of hurting it.”

And, bafflingly, he has been hurting his team this year. His ERA is now up to 4.37 and he has been giving up a lot more homers than usual.

I don’t think it’s time to really freak yet. His strikeout rate is down a tad from the past couple of years but it’s within normal career parameters for him. He’s striking out 7.7 batters per nine innings now. He did that or a tad worse when he won 19 games in 2009 and 21 games in 2010. He can be effective in that zone. And he’s walking fewer batters than he has in five years.

But he’s certainly not himself. And in a season when an awful lot has gone wrong for the Yankees, he needs to be his old self if they have any shot of hanging with Boston, Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

  1. cocheese000 - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    His weight and age is finally starting to catch up with him.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      He looks skinnier than he ever has. And he’s not that old.

      Other than that, I agree with everything you said.

      • thinkfirstthenspeak - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        He is old enough for one to wonder if he will ever regain his previous form. Plenty of good-great pitchers lost it in their early to mid 30s. He might not be that old, but every player ages differently and he is certainly within the age bracket when players start declining.

      • 1historian - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        well said

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      that’s what your wife said.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        There, there, little Borg.

    • theotherfamousamos - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Maybe, FWIW, his age caught up to him because yesterday was his birthday? Yeah, probably not, but I just noticed that. Happy 33rd, CC!

  2. proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Certainly by his standards recently he has sucked; however, he has a better ERA than Boston’s Lester (4.58), Tampa Bay’s Hellickson (4.62) and Baltimore’s Hammel (5.24). A bit too early to say that he is on the definitely on the downside of his career, but if he is, that contract could be another financial albatross for the Yankees.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      not to mention anyone on the bluejays starting rotation, speaking of sucking is josh Johnson ever going to get win #2? that’s what I want to know

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        That was a good one, harry.

        Sorry to my Canadian buds, but it was a smart troll. Kern’t help but laugh.

      • Old Gator - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        The Borg don’t have a “financial albatross.” They can afford all of the washed up, beat up, gimpy antique players on their roster and still have enough left over to tip the waiter. They just let the aging of the team progress too far and now they’re going to have to scramble like mad to restock the system. Look for the Borg to take two or three more years to climb back into meaningful contention – in terms of late season relevance, they’re going to have to content themselves with playing spoilers for a while. Mind you, I can’t fault the Steinbrenner kids for imposing a regime of (comparative) fiscal sanity on the franchise, especially if it means starving out Scrooge McLoria, Kansas City and the other parasitic owners who do so little for their teams while fattening on the luxury tax. I’d love to see Detroit, LA and Anaheim do the same thing (assuming that neither the league nor the players’ association, obsessed as they are with the Bufogenesis fiasco, won’t act against skinflint owners on their own).

      • bigharold - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        “Look for the Borg to take two or three more years to climb back into meaningful contention ”

        They’re in meaningful contention right now. It wasn’t over when the Yankees were in first, 12 games over .500 and it still ain’t. The leaders of the AL East barely took two of three in Fenway.

        While it’s possible that the Yankees might not get Jeter, A-Rod or Granderson back, .. or that they night not be as effective as hoped for when they do come back, .. anything would be an improvement over the offense they are getting now. So, unless their pitching craters they’re still in contention. Pitching a defense are keys to winning championships.

        Besides, I hear that Cashman working on a deal to trade A-Rod and 100 million buck for Giancarlo Stanton by the trade deadline, ..

        The Borg are never put of it.

      • bigharold - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        The Borg are never out of it.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      I think the issue is that he’s supposedly their “ace” and even if he isn’t worse than others in the division, he’s not comparable to true aces. You’d have to be a total Yankee homer to put him in a class with King Felix or Kershaw or V 1.0 at this point (V 2.0, however, is looking positively Sabbathialike).

      • gigab0t - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        thumbs up for V1.0 / V.20 designations

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        You’d have to be a total Yankee homer to put him in a class with King Felix or Kershaw or V 1.0 at this point

        Since Kershaw was a full time starter in ’09, we have this (’09 to ’12)

        fWAR
        1. Verlander – 28.4
        4. Felix – 22.4
        4. Greinke – 22.4
        6. CC – 21.9
        7. Kershaw – 20.6

        You were saying? He’s pitched very much like an ace, this year notwithstanding.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        V 2.0 is Zoolander – he lost his Motown Mojo in a freak gasoline fight accident.

      • thinkfirstthenspeak - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        @church
        Usually when people say “at this point,” they don’t mean at this point plus the previous 4 years.

    • lazlosother - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      Proudly, I don’t think NY should worry too much about CC at this point. His velocity and pitch movement are on par with or better than they were last year. What is killing CC is a lack of command. He’s missing his spots. He’s missing them up in the zone and the mistakes are getting crushed. His mechanics are solid and he doesn’t seem to be battling any injuries. I’m not sure why his control is so off but it would seem easier to correct than injury or loss of velocity. Given the state of the rest of the team NY will probably not be able to seriously contend, if he has to have an off year this isn’t necessarily a bad year to do it.

      I think NY should be much more concerned with the Tex and A-Rod contracts at this point.

      • jwbiii - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Huhn? His velocity is down from last year on every pitch he throws and his fastball velocity is the lowest of his career.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=404&position=P#pitchtype

      • lazlosother - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        My bad, it is down. I was relying on an alysis done earlier this year that showed him picking it up. He has increased from the high 80’s at the beginning of the year to 92-93.

      • jwbiii - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Fair enough. So still down overall, trending in the right direction.

      • cackalackyank - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        I can’t help but wonder if CC would be doing better pitching to a first string catcher.

    • denverwally - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      if you are using Jon Lester as a measuring stick, you’re way off. Lester has essentially sucked for almost two full seasons now, save for a good April this season. We keep waiting for the old Lester to return to form, but I fear that that pitcher is gone with the wind. It happens to them all eventually except for the all time greats (Nolan Ryan, Clemens), and this could be C.C.’s descent into “suck-iness”.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      PC- the contract is what makes his declining performance more concerning. If he were making little moola and the Yanks could part ways without worrying, it really wouldn’t be any big deal.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      I hope that historiophiliac enjoys her Canada Goose.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        Did you just goose me??!?

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        Only you know for sure.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        Oh, my.

  3. dvizinat - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    I notice he keeps his hat tilted ever so slightly to the left in an act of ghetto defiance. It looks even more ridiculous when he’s getting rocked.

    • RickyB - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Hardly “ghetto defiance,” whatever the hell that is. The man is left-handed. Hat tilted to side is a prerequisite for LHPs. The problem is when he makes mistakes, hitters aren’t missing those pitches. Terrible 1-2 pitch to Ortiz, up and over the plate, rocketed for a single. 1-2 pitch up and in but over the plate to Napoli, sent to the moon. With his FB velocity down even just a tick or two from a few years ago, those mistake pitches are getting hit more often than not.

      • ctony1216 - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        Exactly. He gave up another line-drive single to Ellsbury on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Seemed like the pitch was supposed to be on the outside corner but missed over the plate. Too often, CC is missing his spots. Other pitchers go through it too — Cliff Lee was doing the same thing earlier in the day vs. the Mets. You just wonder how long it will take for him to get his mojo back, but hopefully he does.

      • thebadguyswon - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        Steve Avery did the same thing. That was “country defiance”.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      you are such a nerd, that’s how Jay Z rocks his fitted so that’s how CC wears it too.

      • bigmeechy74 - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        You lead the league in CTD’s. “Comments Thumbed Down”

    • gigab0t - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      who cares how he wears his hat

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        Maybe it’s because I’m OCD- but I do. First off, it makes you look like a clown. Secondly- just straighten your motherf##$%$g hats already, you assclowns!!!

      • 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        Your shower shoes hat have fungus on them is crooked. You’ll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes a crooked hat. Think classy, you’ll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back wear a crooked hat and the press’ll think you’re colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        Damn. The strikethrough html code didn’t work for me. I was ripping on Bull Durham, and it was hilarious.

  4. luz56 - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    And his contract sucks too… Should be a sucking clause in that contract.

  5. virusgvr - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    It’s nice to know that he admits that he sucks, but the part that really bothers me about sports…. C.C will continue to make million of dollars per week/month and very little of that money will be justified based his stats.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      I’m sure you’re one of the few noble people that willingly gives back your weekly salary when you aren’t performing to your normal abilities, right?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM

        Shhhh, people * hate * that narrative.

      • forsch31 - Jul 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        No, but then again, companies usually fire someone not performing to his or her abilities, and said salary goes away.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Hmmm, someone who has not heard of the Peter Principle. Verrrrry interrestin-g.

      • pjmarn6 - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged is in la-la land. Salespeople, plumbers, chefs and lawyers, if they don’t produce or do a lousy job, they get fired. Even CEO’s get the heave ho if they don’t produce.
        Screwed up baseball should play players after the season is over based on their performance not on the promises they make before the season begins. Put them under the gun to produce and see the difference.
        It is so easy to ride it out when your $200,000 pay check comes in every week regardless of how well you perform.

      • pjmarn6 - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        play=pay

      • historiophiliac - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        Have people here seriously never had a job where they had terrible bosses & co-workers who got away with all kinds of crap? I’ve worked with a bunch of people who were screw ups and didn’t get fired. Or, maybe these commenters are bitter about being fired from customer service jobs, for obvious reasons.

    • gigab0t - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      haha did you forget about A-rod

    • 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      The guy who paid him all that money has been terrible at owning a winning baseball team this year, and no one’s asking him to give it back.

  6. bmoreravens1012013 - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    That last sentence is music to my ears.

  7. yahmule - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    CC has pitched a bazillion innings over the last several years. Ask Roy Halladay if that has a way of catching up to you after a while.

    • flamethrower101 - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Bad example, as Halladay will tell you that’s not the case and then we’ll learn later on he has to have elbow surgery.

  8. thebadguyswon - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    You don’t suck, CC. But you’ve pitched a TON over the last 8 years and its time to pay the piper. Meaning, an elbow or shoulder injury (preferably elbow) , surgery, recovery and then get on with your career. Verlander is going the exact same route.

  9. sandrafluke2012 - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I could see the Yankees losing 100 games in 2015. American league is great. Baltimore, Tampa, Boston will be great. Yankees age is funny. Prospects bad

    • uyf1950 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      sandrafluke2012, with your powers of prophecy. I can think of a lot better things for you to “see” then the Yankees 2015 season. How about which company on the NYSE will have the greatest increase in it’s stock price over the next 2 years. Or is your gift of prophecy limited to the American League East teams only?

      • pisano - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        uyf1950… good shot my friend, hell with that kind of insight, he or she can help Obama in the White House.

  10. barrywhererufrom - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    CC great to hear that you admit to something all Yankee fans know this year..I almost wish some stupid team would trade the Yankees some good prospects for your sucking..doubt if anyone is that stupid and take that contract..and that sucks!!!

  11. uyf1950 - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Looks like CC and I like to tell it like we see it.

  12. inthearex - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Sometimes it takes a year or two to re-learn how to pitch. He doesn’t have the 95-97 mph fastball in his back pocket like he once had. But 93 isn’t bad either. He’s too good to not turn it around.

  13. bigmeechy74 - Jul 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    After watching quite a few yankees games this year, I find it astonishing that they can score 6 or 7 runs without ever hitting the ball 100 feet in the air. They score by hitting bloops, slow rollers, and walking. They scored 7 runs last night. 7! without hitting the ball hard once! It’s honestly the worst lineup in all of baseball besides maybe the marlins. How the hell is this team in the playoff race?

  14. landobuc - Jul 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Proudlycanadian- Jeremy Hellickson isn’t Tampa’s ace. Okay.

  15. jimeejohnson - Jul 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    You and New Yawk.

  16. pisano - Jul 22, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    No one can argue the point that you suck CC, now for the problem, what the hell do the Yankees do with your sorry ass.

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