Our seventh reader Q&A was a big success as nearly 500 people e-mailed in questions for CC Sabathia. It was hard to cut the list to 10 but we promised CC this would take a few minutes, not a few hours.
The interview took place on Sunday morning in the Yankees clubhouse at CC’s locker.
Thanks to everybody who sent in questions and please take no offense if yours wasn’t selected. Thanks especially to CC for agreeing to do this and taking the time to answer the questions.
Here’s the audio of the interview:
And the transcript:
Me: “Thanks for doing this.”
CC: “Oh, no problem.”
John and many others ask: With the accomplishment of Randy Johnson and all the talk about there never being another 300 game winner, do you see yourself being able to reach that win plateau?”
CC: “That’s something I don’t think about. It’s so far away. He was blessed to be healthy that long, to play that long. That’s going to be a tough accomplishment. I’m more worried about trying to win some championships than win 300 games.”
Pete asks: If you weren’t a pitcher, but a position player, who would you like to play like and why?
CC: “Ryan Howard. Just a big lefty, hit homers. Got a lot of pop. Ryan Howard, definitely.”
Followup question: So you see yourself as a first baseman?
CC: “A first baseman, definitely.”
Clay from Brooklyn asks: Do you have any plans in working with the Yankees to promote baseball among African-Americans kids in the area? To what extent do you think that Major League clubs have that responsibility?
CC: “I think we have. It’s all on us. Me, myself, the Jimmy Rollinses, the Ryan Howards, the Dontrelle Willises in each city that we play in to get that started, and even in our hometowns, too. So, yeah, I’m planning on doing a lot. I’m going be here this whole offseason. I’m going to be living up here the next seven years so I’m going to be very active in the community as far as getting kids in the inner city back playing baseball.”
Shaun asks: My wife’s birthday is next Friday and I was thinking about buying her flowers. What does a guy like you, who has all the money, buy his wife for her birthday?
CC: “What did I buy my wife for her birthday last year? I bought roses. Purses and stuff is what she likes. I buy her a purse and some flowers.”
Follow-up question: “So everybody goes with flowers?
CC: “Oh, yeah. You gotta go with flowers.”
Josh asks: How did you get the number 52 and why have you taken it with all the three teams you’ve played on so far?
CC: “I got No. 52 because it was just the number in my locker. In spring training when I made the club it was there and I kind of liked it because I figured not a lot of people around the league had it and if I did change clubs, it would be easy to get it. It was just the first number in my locker the year that I actually made the big league team.”
Bryan asks: A lot of people have speculated that your workload the last few years will lead to some kind of injury. How would you respond to their concerns?
CC: “I just think the Indians, when I was younger, they did a good job just with my pitch count and keeping my pitch counts down. If you go back and look at my first couple of years, my workload wasn’t big at all. I was throwing 85, 90 pitches probably up until the time I was 24, 25. I’ve been in the big leagues since I was 20, so the first five years I didn’t throw many pitches. The older I get and the better work routine I have, I’m able to handle heavy workloads.”
Follow-up question: “So you’re not concerned too much?
CC: “No, I’m not. I think if I had got overworked as a young guy I’d probably be broke down by now. But the Indians really looked out for me and that’s why I’m here.”
Eric asks: You’re scheduled to make your first ever start in Fenway Park. Do you think that it will feel like just another start to you or will there be something different because it’s Red Sox-Yankees?
CC: “I think a lot of people want me to say that it’s something different. But for me, it’s another start. It’s a good baseball team, a team in our division, a game, a game we need to win. I look to go out and try and help our team win the game.”
Justin asks: Have you ever thrown a no hitter in RBI Baseball for Nintendo?
CC: “I have thrown … nope, a one-hitter is the closest I got. I’ve never thrown a no-no. One-hitter was the closest.
Follow-up question: “Who was the pitcher?
CC: “Clemens. Clemens was the guy. I use Bert Blyleven a lot. I’ve thrown a couple of one-hitter but no no-hitters. I’ll no-hit Bruney before the year is over.”
Brian Bruney demanded the right to respond when he heard this: “No chance. It can’t be done. He’ll have to throw it over the plate at some point and I’ll hit it.”
Many people asked: Do you think you can leverage your relationship with LeBron James to get him to the Knicks in 2010? They need a lot of help.
CC: “They do need a lot of help. I don’t know if I want to get involved in that. I don’t know. My gut tells me that, you know, maybe we’ll see him here.”
Sam asks: Have you ever given Joba or the other guys a hard time about the bugs that attacked them in Cleveland during the ’07 playoffs?
CC: “I’ll give Joba a hard time, definitely. Absolutely That was a crazy night, man. It was right on the field. They only come out once a year and it just happened to be that game.”
Follow-up question: Have you talked to him about it?
CC: “Oh, we talked about it. We talk about it all the time. They were out the last time we were there, too. It was deja vu.”
Thanks again to everybody as these are fun to do. My goal is to do another one during the All-Star break. I’m happy to take suggestions. We’ve already had Derek Jeter, Brian Cashman, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jason Giambi and Mariano Rivera.