Historic Hinchliffe Stadium breaks ground on new renovations

Downtrodden for years, renovations have officially begun on Hinchliffe Stadium, a Negro Leagues artifact in Paterson, NJ.

After years of false starts and broken promises, a New Jersey landmark to American perseverance and strength will finally see its story told and legacy preserved.

Baseball legends and community officials descended upon Hinchliffe Stadium on Wednesday to officially break ground on renovations for the Paterson staple. The landmark on Liberty and Maple Streets in Paterson played host to local events like high school football and baseball but is perhaps best known for hosting Negro League baseball games. Hinchliffe is one of two former Negro League stadiums still standing, the other being Rickwood Field in Birmingham.

Ceremonies were hosted by Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh with numerous local baseball celebrities in attendance. Larry Doby Jr., the son of the late Baseball Hall of Famer, was among the speakers, as was MLB All-Star Harold Reynolds. Renowned names from MLB’s New York Mets and Yankees sat in the audience, including Omar Minaya, Willie Randolph, and CC Sabathia.

“There have been so many different false starts, but even coming off a pandemic, being able to get this project off the ground, seeing everybody out here, it’s real now. I’m so happy for the city of Paterson” Sabathia, a former Yankees pitcher (2009-19), told ESM. “The legacy of the Negro Leagues and Larry Doby lives on.”

A hopeful theme amongst the speakers and attendees was hope that the stadium could be used by the youth of the future. One of the most popular events held at Hinchliffe was the annual “Turkey Bowl” gridiron showdown on Thanksgiving Day between Eastside and Kennedy High Schools.

Larry Doby Jr. speaks during Wednesday’s ceremony

“Being involved in refurbishing a facility where kids can come out and play baseball and be proud of their neighborhood, that just hit him for me,” Randolph, a former Yankees second baseman (1976-88) and Mets manager (2005-08), told ESM. “History is so important, and a lot of kids don’t know the history. There can be exhibits and things of that nature to teach the kids. The coaches will be informed on how to converse with the kids on what it is. When these kids understand what it is, that’s when they’ll get involved in it.”

Hinchliffe Stadium originally opened in 1932 and became well-regarded for hosting Negro League baseball games during the Jim Crow era. Though it built a legacy as a hallowed baseball ground, particularly for disenfranchised athletes, the stadium has sat in a state of drastic disrepair and neglect under the ownership of the Paterson Public Schools. The stadium has sat in relative squalor since 1997, with many prior renovations falling by the wayside through unfulfilled promises.

An additional $20 million in tax credits approved by the state government led to shovels in the dirt on Wednesday. The event was also allowed to commence through awareness and grant writing efforts created by groups like the Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium. 

Its most renowned contribution to the history of the national pastime was perhaps hosting the professional tryout of Baseball Hall of Famer and Paterson resident Larry Doby, who later broke the American League’s color barrier with the Cleveland Indians in 1947. The date was of the ceremony was chosen to coincide with 14, the number Doby wore during a majority of his 13-year MLB career, which also ran through Chicago and Detroit. It has since been retired by the Indians. Doby was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998, five years before his passing.

The plans for the stadium also call for the construction of a new visitor’s center as well as a parking facility and housing.

A mural paying tribute to Larry Doby stands just outside of the stadium, as seen here in 2020 (Photo: Geoff Magliocchetti)

Other illustrious names whose cleats touched Hinchliffe’s field include Doby’s fellow Hall of Famers Monte Irvin, Josh Gibson, and “Cool Papa” Bell. In December, MLB announced that Negro League statistics would now be considered major league numbers moving forward.

Between the statistical development and real, verifiable promises and commitments being bestowed to the Paterson landmark, the baseball stars in attendance hope the stories of the Negro League’s heroes can finally gain a wider scale.

“We know the Jackie Robinson story and obviously, it’s a huge impactful story, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. But more stories need to be told,” Sabathia said to ESM. “The New York Black Yankees, the New York Cubans, the Newark Eagles. Let’s tell all those stories and take about some of the greats that maybe didn’t make it (to MLB). I think there are so many different avenues to express what the Negro Leagues was. This is a great start.”

For more on Hinchliffe Stadium, check out Geoff Magliocchetti’s Four Part Series on the facility below…

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

‘I was too drunk to do my job’ for Yankees: CC Sabathia opens up about the issue in documentary

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia

Former Yankees‘ great CC Sabathia had a problem with alcoholism during his tenure in the bigs. In “Under the Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story,” which is set to premiere Dec. 22 on HBO, the now 40-year-old ex hurler talks about how the issue nearly destroyed his MLB career.

In the documentary, Sabathia, who led the Yankees to a World Series title in 2009, in his first season after signing a record free agent deal, says that he was at one point “too drunk to do my job” while pitching for the Bombers, per the New York Post’s Dan Martin.

That exact moment came during the 2015 regular season’s final series in Baltimore, when he couldn’t throw a bullpen on the final day of the year.

“(A) secret I was hiding really could have destroyed all of this,” Sabathia said. His problem with alcohol got to the point that he needed to check into a rehab facility in 2015, not before he was involved in two separate incidents: one smoking marijuana in Atlanta (photographed in public) and a fight on a Toronto nightclub.

A toxic routine between starts affected the Yankees’ hurler

After making a start, the former Yankees star would drink to the point of being “hammered” for two full days. After that, he would take a couple of days to recover in time to take his next turn in the rotation, per Martin.

Alcoholism and Sabathia’s relationship with his father are two of the main themes of the upcoming production.

“The weekend in Baltimore, the effect my dad’s passing had on me,” Sabathia said. “I wanted to give him his tribute. He’s a big reason why I made it as far as I did.”

Corky Sabathia passed away 17 years ago, after suffering from cancer.

After completing his rehab, Sabathia returned to the Yankees in 2016 and decided to retire in 2019 after an excellent career. He says he hasn’t had a drink in five years.

New York Yankees History: The best Yankee acquisitions during the Winter Meetings (video)

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

The New York Yankees, in their illustrious 107-year history, have made quite a few big-time purchases and trades. The biggest was the worst for the Boston Red Sox when their owner being money short for his other endeavors sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, and we all know how that turned out. But in recent years, the Yankees have made some pretty impressive deals in the Winter Meetings. The first one was technically not during the meetings but a few days before at Dallas, Texas.

Mike Mussina (2000):

Just a few days before the Winter Meetings, The New York Yankees signed the Baltimore Orioles Mike Mussina. It turned out to be one of the best acquisitions of recent times. Mussina ended up spending eight highly successful years with the Yankees at the top of their pitching rotation. He had a 123-72 record with a 3.82 ERA.

From 1992 to 2008, Mussina never had a losing season. In fact, he is one of the only pitchers to ever have 17 consectutive seasons of winning 11 or more games a year. Mussina was a smart pitcher who pitched with amazing intensity. He also saved his greatest achievement for the very last game of his career. In his very last year, he became the oldest pitcher in baseball to achieve 20 wins in his last season.

I could insert a video here of his many strikeouts, but I would rather show you a video of his intensive pitching style. On May 31, 2006, Mussina held the Tigers in check for most of the night at Comerica Park, taking a shutout attempt into the ninth. After allowing a run, manager Joe Torre made motions toward emerging from the dugout to remove Mussina from the game. But “Moose” was not having it: Bellowing “No, stay there!” at your manager in the heat of the moment is a power move, for sure.
Mussina then buckled down, striking out Carlos Guillen to nail down the complete-game win on just 101 pitches.

CC Sabathia (2008)

The new Yankee Stadium was nearing completion, and the Yankees needed an ace to stabilize their rotation. Cashman and Sabathia met twice in Las Vegas, making some progress but unable to tune out distractions. With the rest of the baseball world preoccupied with slot machines and table games, Cashman slipped out of the Bellagio hotel and boarded a commercial jet to the San Francisco Bay Area, in hot pursuit of the game’s most prized free-agent pitcher.

Passing through Sabathia’s Vallejo, Calif., doorway, entering a sunken living room that he had previously seen on MTV Cribs, Cashman resolved to perform what he called his “best John Calipari impression,” intending to land the recruit. There, the GM and Sabathia hashed out the terms of a deal that would help produce the franchise’s 27th World Series title, agreeing to a seven-year, $161 million contract. Sabathia went 97-56 with a 3.73 ERA over the life of that original contract, then remained in New York for another four years.

Willie Randolph (1975)

In December of 1975, the Winter Meeting was held in Hollywood, Florida. The Yankees president Gabe Paul stepped to the plate with a pair of blockbuster moves, shipping outfielder Bobby Bonds to the Angels and right-hander Doc Medich to the Pirates. In return, the Yankees received five players. These three players would play key roles in helping the franchise reach the next three World Series.

The biggest pick up was Willie Randolph from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Randolph was surely one of the best second basemen in the baseball Minor Leagues at the time. They also picked up pitchers Ken Brett and Dock Ellis. California sent pitcher Ed Figueroa and outfielder Mickey Rivers to New York. The Brooklyn-born Randolph became a mainstay in the Yankees’ infield for 13 seasons, making five All-Star teams and winning an American League Silver Slugger Award in 1980. Ed Figueroa and speedy Mickey Rivers would also be big contributors to the New York Yankees.

Rickey Henderson (1984)

The 1984 Winter meetings were held at the Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas. The New York Yankees, general manager Clyde King did no less than obtaining the services of Ricky Henderson, a four-time All-Star and the games’ number one leadoff hitter. The Oakland Athletics, just a few years away from being the Kansas City Athletics, felt that they would not be able to hold on to  Henderson long term, so the delt him the New York Yankees. The future Hall of Fame player was a Yankee.

The Yankees sent Jay Howell, plus four Minor Leaguers, and cash to get the Henderson deal done. Ricky Henderson was an All-Star in each of his four full seasons as a Yankee, and his 326 stolen bases were a franchise record until 2011. Henderson ended with the Yankees getting 78 home runs while batting .288 and with an OPS of .1048.

Curtis Granderson (2009)

The 2009 Winter Meetings were one of the coldest in recent memory, with temperatures in the single digits that week in snowy Indianapolis. The defending World Series champions added sizzle to the Hot Stove by participating with the Tigers and D-backs in a three-team trade, installing Granderson into the outfield as the Yankees prepared to move on from the Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui eras.

Left-hander Phil Coke, outfielder Austin Jackson and right-hander Ian Kennedy departed New York in the old-school swap, big names filling needs across the board. Coke, Jackson, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth went to Detroit, while Kennedy and Edwin Jackson went to Arizona. Granderson made two All-Star teams and won an AL Silver Slugger Award during his four years in pinstripes.

Giancarlo Stanton (2017)

The Marlins arrived at the Winter Meetings intending to rebuild, gauging trade interest in the reigning National League MVP Award winner. The Yankees already had Aaron Judge, a hulking slugger in right field, and the prospect of obtaining Stanton the 2017 National League MVP with 59 home runs was more than the Yankees could possibly resist.  The New York Yankees sent Starlin Castro, pitcher Jorge Guzman and Jose Dever to the Miami Marlins along with cash to make the deal happen, and Giancarlo Stanton was a New York Yankee.

Stanton’s blockbuster deal shook up the 2015 Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. Later the Yankees announced officially at Yankee Stadium that they acquired Stanton standing next to owner Hal Steinbrenner. It was the joyest occasion. In 2018 Stanton would hit 38 homers for the Yankees with 100 RBIs. But that would signal the end of the Joy. Stanton has had only 41 homers in the last two years and has been off the field with constant injuries as much as on the field. Only history will tell if this is one of the worst trades the Yankees have made, right next to Jacoby Ellsbury.

What moves the New York Yankees will make during these virtual Winter Meeting has yet to be seen.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: No that’s not CC Sabathia, is it a tease from RHP Archie Bradley?

So far, things have been pretty quiet for the New York Yankees during the virtual Winter Meetings. The Yankees primarily wants during the meetings is pitching help. General manager Brian Cashman frequently goes into these meetings pessimistic but seldom leaves empty-handed. With their main priority re-signing DJ LeMahieu, it is somewhat unlikely you will see much action before that deal has competed if a deal can be done.

The New York Yankees lost three pitchers to free-agency and need starting pitching, at least one number two or three starter. But in the background, they also need bullpen help. The Yankees are in the worst shape for relief hands than they have been for years, with the exit of Tommy Kahnle to Tommy John surgery and the unsure play of Adam Ottavino. Recently I said that Archie Bradley would be a great addition to the bullpen who could eat up middle innings.

Interesting and intriguing is that Bradley, a free agent relief pitcher, posted this photo of himself wearing a CC Sabathia Yankees jersey that accompanies this article. That might make New York Yankee fan thinks that there may be some talks going on.

Archie Bradley, 28, RHP

The release of Archie Bradley, a right-hand pitcher, is probably the most interesting to the New York Yankees. The Yankees need to patch up a bullpen that will be missing Tommy Kahnle, who will be out with Tommy John surgery and the recent failings of Adam Ottavino.

Bradley is no ace, but he is a middle inning reliever that can eat up a few innings when in need. Bradley has lost some of the velocity from his fastball but has developed a very puzzling changeup to make up for it. Bradley is the kind of pitcher who can eat up to 100 innings a season. He is not a Liam Hendriks or a Brad Hand, but at a salary around $5 million, he might be of interest to the Yankees.

Bradley is a 28-year-old 6′ 4″ 215-pound right-hand pitcher that has been primarily with the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2015. He pitched for both Arizona and Cincinnati Reds in the 2020 season. He went 2-0 with an ERA of just 2.95 in 18.1 innings between the two teams.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Sanchez, Florial, Schwarber, and more news in one place

New York Yankees, Estevan Florial

Gary Sanchez

Yesterday before the 8 pm deadline, the New York Yankees tendered an offer to Gary Sanchez so that he will remain in Yankee pinstripes, at least for a while. However, that still does not mean that he could be part of a trade package to get the Yankees a pitcher they so sorely need. Sanchez had a horrible year hitting only .147. Nonetheless, both general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone have praised Sanchez and his potential. That seems odd considering the lost faith in Sanchez late in the season and postseason when he found himself replaced by backup catcher Kyle Higashioka. This could indicate that Sanchez may still be a trade piece.

Estevan Florial

Estevan Florial, once a number one prospect for the New York Yankees, has faded in the last couple of years. That being said, he may still have value to the Yankees as part of a trade package that could bring Texas Ranger pitcher Lance Lynn to the Yankees. There is scuttlebutt out there that says the Yankees could be interested in Lynn being a mid-rotation pitcher to replace one of the Yankees’ exiting pitchers.

One trade proposal that has been suggested for the Ranger pitcher that is being shopped by the team looking to cut costs would send Lynn to the Yankees for prospects Miguel Yajure and Trevor Stephan, both right-hand pitchers, then add to that Estevan Florial that could make the trade work for both teams. The Yankees hate giving up prospects. The only piece of this trade suggestion that would hurt would be the loss off Miguel Yajure, who showed a lot of promise this past season.

Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber is now a free agent after being non-tenured yesterday. This development is almost laughable. The New York Yankees have been interested in Schwarber for several years to strengthen the Yankee outfield. But they were never able to make that happen. Now the Yankee outfield has many options, especially considering the break-out season of Clint Frazier. If anything, the Yankees are outfield heavy. So as life would have it now, Schwarber is easily obtainable off the free-agent market, but the Yankees now have no use for him.

Adam Ottavino

Adam Ottavino certainly had a sub-par season for the Yankees, and he ran out of steam again like he did at the end of 2019. The Yankees didn’t even use him in the postseason. To be completely fair, a large part of his poor stats were because of one game against the Toronto Blue Jays when he gave up six runs without getting an out.

Ottavino has made it clear to fans and the Yankee front office that he wants to remain a New York Yankee even though he is afraid that the Yankees in their cost-saving efforts may try to remove his $9 million salary. This past season he posted a 5.89 ERA in 24 games. In the one game he pitched in the postseason, he gave up a run in Game 2 of the Rays ALDS.

Ottavino addressed the situation while at a Player’s Alliance benefit on Coney Island.

“For me, it wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t consistent enough,” Ottavino said. “It was short. I would’ve liked to have more time. I think I finished OK — had 10 strikeouts and one walk at the end there [in his final seven outings]. Playoffs, it sucks not to get a chance. But I’m not the manager. My job is to make it undeniable [for the manager to go to him].” I’ve been in touch with Aaron Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake, and told them I have a good plan looking forward,” he said. “I like where I’m at.”

CC Sabathia

The Yankees retired pitcher CC Sabathia is going to star in an HBO documentary. CC Sabathia revealed on Tuesday that HBO, along with MLB, will be airing a documentary on the life of the lefty, called “Under the Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story.” Sabathia will narrate the documentary, which will look at his early life, playing career, and battles with alcoholism. It will include behind-the-scenes footage from his final season and will air on December 22.

 

 

New York Yankees: CC Sabathia says Gary Sanchez has the talent to rebound

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia is a well-respected figure in the New York Yankees‘ universe. Upon arriving as a free agent, he delivered the first championship for the city in nine years, in 2009 (and the last to this day.) He was an active member of the team until hanging up his cleats in 2019.

And, having played major league ball for 19 years (11 of them with the New York Yankees) he’s an authorized voice when it comes to offering his insight about the issues and situations taking place in the Bronx.

One of the conundrums of the Yankees’ offseason is what to do with struggling catcher Gary Sanchez. The Kraken slumped all the way to a .147 batting average, a 36 percent strikeout rate, and a 69 wRC+ in the condensed 2020 season. He even lost his place in the starting lineup to career backup Kyle Higashioka in the playoffs.

The former Yankees pitcher defends his batterymate

Sabathia spent more than four seasons with Sanchez as his batterymate, and he said he is confident that the Yankees’ catcher can get back on track and resurrect his stagnant career. He believes in his vast potential for 2021 and beyond.

“For sure,” Sabathia told the New York Post’s George A. King III when asked about Sanchez’s rebound prospects. “There are tough times in your career and you have to make an adjustment. He wants to be a good catcher in the big leagues and we obviously know he has the talent to do it. Now it is time for him to get back to work and to the level of the player that we know he can be.”

Sanchez’s line in the 2020 campaign was .147/.253/.365 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI in 49 games.
He was much better back in 2019, when he slashed .232/.316/.525 with 34 home runs and 77 RBI. At this point, given his fly ball tendencies and his slow sprint speed, Sanchez’s batting average upside is limited, but the Yankees are expecting a much higher wRC+ than 69 for the future.

Sanchez could be a non-tender candidate for the Yankees if they decide to move on from his projected $5.5 million 2021 salary.

New York Yankees: HBO to air CC Sabathia Documentary

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia

HBO has partnered with Major League Baseball to produce documentary on New York Yankees legend CC Sabathia, titled Under The Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story.

According to a press release, the documentary takes a look at Sabathia’s life and career, including behind-the-scenes footage of his final season.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the chance to give viewers an inside look into my career and to share my unfiltered story,” Sabathia said. “I struggled for a long time with alcohol addiction and anxiety, which I pretty much hid from everyone I knew. It’s my hope we can inspire athletes and non-athletes alike to open up and let their friends, family and teammates know that there is a path through this. You are not alone.”

Sabathia, 40, made his MLB debut in 2001 with the Cleveland Indians, where he’d finish second in Rookie of the Year voting. He made all-star game appearances in 2003, 2004, and 2007 with the Indians, and would win his only Cy Young award in 2007.

With 2008 being a contract year, Sabathia got off to a rocky 6-8 start. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers before the trade deadline, and would go on to have one of the best stretches of his career. In his 17 Brewer starts, Sabathia went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, leading the team to their first Postseason appearance in 26 years.

That off-season, Sabathia inked a seven-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees, the largest for a pitcher at the time. His first four seasons in New York were stellar, leading the league in wins his first two years and helping the Yankees to a 2009 World Series ring. He’d place in the top-four of Cy Young voting and be nominated to the All-Star Game three times in his first four seasons.

Following the 2011 season, the Yankees inked him to an extension through the 2016 season with a vesting option for the 2017 season. He struggled with both his health and his performance during that span, but showed effectiveness at times with solid control as he aged.

Sabathia’s 9-12 record and 3.91 ERA in 2016 led to the Yankees picking up his 2017 vesting option. He’d go on to a 14-5 record with a 3.69 ERA that season, getting his career fully back on track. The Yankees would then sign him to one-year deals for both 2018 and 2019 to finish his career a Yankee.

The documentary premiers Tuesday, December 22nd, at 9pm ET on HBO and streaming platform HBO Max.

CC Sabathia torches Yankees decisions in ALDS

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

The New York Yankees are still wondering what went wrong in the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. They dropped the best-of-five affair 3-2, including a heart-breaking 2-1 loss in the fifth game, one that featured a masterful performance by Gerrit Cole on three days’ rest.

The Yankees made some questionable decisions and calls throughout the series, most notably benching Gary Sanchez for Kyle Higashioka and opting to use Deivi Garcia as an opener in Game 2 and J.A. Happ as the “bulk” reliever that same night. Unfamiliar and unhappy with the role, the latter was hammered and allowed four runs in 2.2 frames.

Also, the Yankees chose to throw closer Aroldis Chapman for a big workload in Game 4, handicapping him for Game 5. The closer’s pitch selection to Mike Brosseau, the guy that homered in the 1-1 game to give the victory to the Rays, was also questioned.

CC Sabathia, a recently retired New York Yankees’ great, was among the voices who torched the organization for its curious decisions.

Sabathia said on his most recent “R2C2” podcast with Ryan Ruocco that the Yankees should have used a traditional starter on Game 2, citing Garcia, Happ and Masahiro Tanaka as options.

“We tried to play their game and they beat us at it and it ended up costing us the series, is how I feel about it,” Sabathia said.

Did the Yankees lose while playing the Rays’ game?

Tampa Bay is known as one of the most analytical-driven organizations in the major leagues, constantly deploying openers, carefully selecting pitching matchups, and more.

“All we talk about is this kid’s [Garcia’s] character and how mature he is and I feel it was a perfect time to let him rock, let Masa rock, let J.A. Happ rock,” Sabathia said. “Any one of those guys start the game and we score five runs, we win Game 2.”

Sabathia was also puzzled for Boone’s usage of Chapman, asking him to get multiple outs on Game 5. “I mean like, he’s gonna get seven outs?” Sabathia said. “What the f—k? I’m sorry, but come on man. What are you doing?”

The Yankees were short on reliable relievers, so they ended up asking more from Zack Britton and Chapman. Having them throw multiple innings and doing so on consecutive days simply didn’t happen in the regular season.

“The way we use our relievers all year because we have so many of them lined up, I hate them to sit down and get up,” Sabathia said. “They never end the inning and get back up. So you want [Chapman] to do that s—t two times and he [doesn’t] ever do that.”

Sabathia didn’t understand Chapman’s pitch selection in the Brosseau at-bat.

“He had him set up for the strikeout if he threw him the slider,” Sabathia said of the final pitch of the at-bat. “If [Chapman] backs up with another slider right there, it’s strike three and he’s on to the next hitter… Gary [Sanchez] put down a slider and [Chapman] shook and threw a fastball. He could have thrown a split up there and struck that guy out.”

‘He’s a clown’: Former Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia slams Astros star

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia

Former New York Yankees‘ left-handed starting pitcher CC Sabathia made the news again this today. The big fella is known as a Yankees’ ambassador ever since he retired after last season, and given the recent history between the Bombers and the Houston Astros, he heavily criticized shortstop Carlos Correa for calling out Astros’ critics this week.

Correa, a member of the Astros team that was caught using a sign-stealing scheme back in 2017, the year in which they won the World Series, said that to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle: “I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people don’t want to see us here. But what are they going to say now?”

Those comments from Correa came immediately after the Astros eliminated the Minnesota Twins 2-0 to advance to the Division Series. To that, the former Yankees’ great had a wide array of F-bombs and other insults.

“They cheated and then they’re mad at us. Like get the f— out of here,” Sabathia said on the R2C2 podcast. “It’s a f—–g joke. And then you finish under .500 this year. Like, shut the f— up. … The kid’s a clown, I’m sorry.”

The former Yankees’ star had some words for the Astros

The Astros did finish below the .500 threshold, at 29-31 in a highly competitive American League West division. Sabathia, of course, was a member of the New York Yankees back in 2017, when the sign-stealing scandal, which involved trash can banging as a way to relay stolen signs through video cameras, took place.

“F— them dudes, man,” Sabathia said. The former Yankees’ hurler then criticized that the Astros beat a Twins team that has been highly unsuccessful in recent postseason ventures: “Y’all beat a team that’s lost 18 straight f—— playoff games.”

The Houston Astros will face the Oakland Athletics in the division series, while the Yankees will play against the Tampa Bay Rays. The winners of those brackets will meet at the Championship Series.

New York Yankees: What’s up with the slimmed down, ripped CC Sabathia? (video)

On tv, New York Yankees fans got to see their old friend CC Sabathia in a new slimmed down and ripped body.  He sat masked six feet from New York Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman. He was there to watch Gerrit Cole pitch in his first outing of summer camp.

CC retired from ten years with the Yankees after the last season, one of the worst of his Hall of Fame-like career.  He had reoccurring knee problems all season that may have been exacerbated by his 6’6″ 300-pound frame. As seen at the New York Yankee Stadium, CC looks as if he may have lost as much as 50 pounds.  It would make one wonder if he had gone through this body transformation earlier if he would still be pitching.

C.C. Sabathia made his major league debut with the Indians in 2001 and placed second in the 2001 AL Rookie of the Year voting, behind 2001 AL MVP Ichiro Suzuki. Sabathia played the first seven-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Indians, with whom he won the 2007 Cy Young Award. I didn’t become aware of Sabathia until he was traded to the Brewers late in 2008.

It was a big story at the time, and one I will never forget. C.C. in an effort to help the Brewers win the World Series, he pitched three consecutive games on just three days rest. I remember saying to myself, “the Yankees need this guy”. To my delight just days before Christmas 2208, the Yankees signed Sabathia to a seven-year $161 million contract.

In the offseason, Sabathia was signed by the New York Yankees where he led the
Yankees to their last world series win in 2009 when he went 19-8 he
followed that with a 21 win season in 2010 and another 19-8 season in 2011.

His total record with the Yankees is 140-91. In the 2009 world series, he
was winless but recorded a 3.29. His impact was getting the Yankees to the
series. He won his first game in the 2009 ALDS giving up just two runs.
In the ALCS, he in two starts against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim,
he went 2–0 with a 1.13 ERA in 16 innings.

C.C. has always been a dependable pitcher for the Yankees and always gave it his best. Over the years he changed from a hard-throwing power pitcher to reinventing himself as a finesse pitcher.  The New York Yankee fans were sorry to see him retire.  He was a leader in the clubhouse and one of the Yankee fans most favorite players. We wish him the best with his new fitness program and for his retirement.