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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Sabathia: “It’s just something that’s up to me to maintain”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 19, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

CC Sabathia’s new contract includes no incentive clause for him to stay under a certain weight, but after signing him to a five-year extension, the Yankees did meet with Sabathia to discuss his size.

“CC is one of our hardest workers, he really is,” Brian Cashman said. “He’s obviously a big man, and he’s pitched with weight his whole career, and some people do that. But obviously, over time, you have to be careful and watch your diet. That was the focal point of our conversation, just being educated on what’s good and what isn’t good.”

Sabathia showed up having obvoiusly lost weight this winter, and he estimated that he dropped 10 to 15 pounds, but Sabathia also showed up noticeably slimmer last spring only to put on much of that weight during the season. He said his weight had nothing to do with his second-half struggles, but he’d like to do a better job keeping the weight off this season.

“Our schedule’s so crazy,” Sabathia said. “Wake up at all kinds of crazy hours. Go to bed at crazy hours. So it’s up to me to make sure I get a good routine, keep it, and maintain it through the whole season… It’s just something that’s up to me to maintain, and I’ve got a lot of help around here, so it shouldn’t be hard.”

Cashman said weight issues were not “whatsoever” a part of the Yankees contract negotations with Sabathia. As Cashman put it, “We wanted CC. We needed CC. We love CC.” Cashman also isn’t sure whether weight had an impact on Sabathia’s subpar finish last season, but just in case, he wanted to have the conversation after the contract was signed.

“CC’s never let us down,” Cashman said. “He’s the type of person that’s fully committed, so I think the only hard part is to have those conversations. The easy part is watching him follow through. CC is the kind of person who will make the change.”

Here’s Cashman’s lengthy explanation of why he doesn’t believe weight-related incentive clauses work:

“I don’t believe in that,” Cashman said. “Personally, I’ve lived through it in the past. We’ve had weight clauses with Bob Wickman and Jim Leyritz and other guys. In Wickman’s case, my recollection would be on the first and 15th of every month, he would have to be a certain weight. So he’d be in our bullpen drinking water, sitting in saunas, dieting, doing everything he can to lose weight, maybe even sticking his finger down his throat to make the weight. And then, all of a sudden, our manager might be asking him to pitch the seventh inning, and you’re not getting a real player at that point. You’re getting a drawn-out guy trying to make a $30,000 bonus or whatever it was at the time. So I think those things are counterproductive.

“When you make a decision to go forward with somebody those things have to be separate and distinct. You have to recognize that everybody’s built differently. I remember we got Jonathan albaladjo from the Pirates. He threw really hard, and we made a weight issue, he took a lot of weight off and he lost his fastball. So the next year, we weren’t as determined to crush the weight on him, he put the weight back on, and his fastball came back. So it’s one of those things. People are really different, mechanics are different, but you just try to manage it. I felt those weight clauses were well-intended, but the byproduct of what happened wasn’t best for the team or that individual by trying to force something. Guys would starve themselves two days before to make the weight, and then cost us a game because he shouldn’t have even been out there competing.”

Associated Press photo





30 Responses to “Sabathia: “It’s just something that’s up to me to maintain””

  1. m February 19th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    It’s all up to CC. But why an all-star athlete would eat a diet that includes “Captain Crunch” is beyond me. I know that he didn’t pack on 30 lbs by eating his favorite cereal. But you would think he’s smarter than that. The knees can’t take such abuse.

  2. Jerkface February 19th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I’m so tired of hearing Johnny Damon’s name, without any mention of his reverse splits the last two seasons. Nor about his defense issues. What’s up with that?

    Damon didn’t have a reverse split in 2010, he was equally as good vs lefties & righties. His defense is bad, but not worst in the league awful like Ibanez. If you want someone who can hit & play in the field in emergencies, just sign Damon.

    But its pretty clear they want to save some money on this DH signing, so they are going to sign the guy most likely to be cut by june.

  3. Tar February 19th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    CC looks great. Great job by him and his trainers.

  4. tomingeorgia February 19th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Favorite fight song:

  5. blake February 19th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    MarcCarig RT @JonHeymanCBS: Burnett passed the physical and mlb approved the trade. Done deal.
    about 1 minute ago · reply · retweet · favorite

  6. UnKnown February 19th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I prefer that jingle instead.

  7. ron February 19th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    “Meanwhile, Sherman reports that the Yankees can’t afford both Eric Chavez and a left-handed DH even after the A.J. Burnett trade. It’s one or the other, though the brain trust is going to reevaluate things once the trade is made official. Great moments in posturing, right here”.

  8. spidanyc February 19th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    The AJ deal is official!! Thanks for nothing, pal!

  9. blake February 19th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Jon Heyman @JonHeymanCBS Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    #yankees targeting ibanez and chavez. good chance to sign pair once aj deal is approved. @CBSSports.

  10. tomingeorgia February 19th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Somebody just offered me a free puppy: a Chihuahua – jack russell cross. No thanks, unless you want raw ankles and paw prints on the ceiling.

  11. muwarriorsfan February 19th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    So, Ibanez is worse than Damon on offense and defense. He’s worse vs righties and worse vs lefties. He takes worse routes to balls, but has a slightly stronger arm.

    Is there any rational reason for choosing him?

  12. Tar February 19th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    “Meanwhile, Sherman reports that the Yankees can’t afford both Eric Chavez and a left-handed DH even after the A.J. Burnett trade.”

    “The Yankees can’t afford” not a good way to start a believable sentence.

    They may not want to spend the money, but they can definitely afford any available DH and Chavez.
    Sherman may want to re-think the wording on that statement.

  13. stuckey February 19th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    The Ibanez thing fascinates me for no other reason than the sudden spike in rhetorical questions he’s catalyzed.

  14. blake February 19th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    “Is there any rational reason for choosing him?”

    Cheaper and easier to cut loose if it doesn’t work out…..

  15. Ys Guy February 19th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    damon wants more money and apparently wants to be the only one they are negotiating with. sorry, he’s not good enough for that.

    hey johnny, look at the calendar, hitters report next week and nobody’s lining up for the honor of having you in the lineup. he should take what they offer when they offer it if he wants to be on this team otherwise he can try to get his 3000 hits with a loser.

  16. Ys Guy February 19th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    the ‘what happens if johnny sucks’ issue is important. getting rid of favored players is hard, and johnny’s not far from only being a benchwarmer at this point of his career. if he isn’t hitting and the yankees are giving his ab’s away to others, and johnny’s seeing his shot at 3000 hits drifting away from him, it could get ugly. throw in the extra money, the no-glove and his negotating stance and there’s no reason to go chasing after the guy.

    good luck johnny, enjoy baltimore or wherever.

  17. Jerkface February 19th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Pay the extra money for Damon. Cashman says he wants a LHB that can fill in the OF incase of injuries. If an OFer gets injured, Damon is the better choice. He can hit lefties and righties, so he is less likely to be a problem if forced into a bigger role. In that situation your DH spot will be open and will probably be filled in by Jones. Jones+Damon > Ibanez+Jones.

    The only reason Ibanez played in the OF the past 2 seasons is because the phillies had no other choice. They owed him a lot of money and they didnt have a DH spot. Had Ibanez signed in the AL he would have been DHed the past 3 years.

  18. Ys Guy February 19th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    in the end i don’t think it matters much at all who they bring in. i think jones, arod, jeter and tex will end up being the dh’s. i think nunez is going to have a great season and they won’t hesitate to put him in the lineup and i think johnny, or raul or hideki or whoever is just going to be a bat on the bench in the end.

  19. GreenBeret7 February 19th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    From MLBTR

    •As many as seven teams are seriously interested in Jorge Soler at this point, with the Phillies and Yankees said to be showing the highest levels of interest.

  20. Tar February 19th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    When has Damon ever been a clubhouse problem? ( fascination stucky ? ) I always thought he was a great club-house guy. He’s not coming into this situation with blinders on. There is no reason to think he would be a problem.

    Plus maybe Erica will come back if he signs. :D

  21. Crawdaddy February 19th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I wouldn’t pay Damon 5-6M.

  22. blake February 19th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I would pay Damon the extra money if they have an exit strategy in case he doesn’t play well……he’s the best player available for the role…..however he’s also probably going to be the toughest to part with if it doesn’t work out or something better comes among via trade.

  23. Tar February 19th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    “however he’s also probably going to be the toughest to part with if it doesn’t work out or something better comes among via trade.”

    I’ve read this a few times and I’m not sure I get it. If Damon wasn’t performing, Why would he be hard to part with? Is it because he’s a good guy or he would cause trouble or…?

    I would also pay Damon the money.

  24. MTU February 19th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Swisher and Martin both playing for meal money.

    Could get interesting.


  25. austinmac February 19th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    If Damon is really looking for $5M Cashman better pass him the objective pipe. Market value is what someone will pay. I don’t see it.

    Walk years provide plenty of incentive. It can cause pressure as well. Swisher and Martin are vets and hopefully will earn themselves a lot of money this uear.

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