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Sabathia vows to be better in 2014

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Sep 25, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

CC Sabathia

Mid-season is an awkward time for any starting pitcher to make significant adjustments. There are four days of work — two of which he can’t doing any real throwing — followed by a start in which he’s supposed to be at his very best. Hard to be reinvented on such a schedule, and CC Sabathia surely ran into that problem during this season of transition.

“Yeah, it is (difficult),” Sabathia said. “It’s me being stubborn, too, and not wanting to change and thinking that I’ve got stuff figured out. It was a lot of different things. Of course, you want to have more time to work on things, especially when you’re trying to change things in your delivery. I’ll have the whole offseason to work on my throwing and my mechanics and be back right.”

That was the mantra yesterday. While Sabathia sat down to talk about the abrupt end to his season — turns out he strained his hamstring against San Francisco — he wound up talking about moving forward after his worst Major League season. Sabathia might not rediscover the fastball of his youth, but he vowed to recover that old success.

CC Sabathia“I don’t think I’m ever going to be that same guy again,” he said. “I’m 33 this year, but pitching against San Francisco the other night, I felt like back to myself more so than any other start. It wasn’t velocity — I was 90 to 93 — but just pitching inside, being aggressive, throwing fastballs in hitters’ counts. Just going out there and being a bully. That’s something I feel like I was before and kind of lost that this year.”

Friday was one of Sabathia’s best starts of the year — seven innings, one run — but it wasn’t the only thing Sabathia pointed to as cause for optimism. He said the real work started in the weeks leading into that start, when he started working on new things in the bullpen and actually watching video of opponents.

He’s no longer the kind of pitcher who can enter games with little more than a scouting report and a live arm.

“I feel like at certain times, I kind of fell in the same pattern, pitching the same way,” Sabathia said. “Hitters watch video and they know what to expect out of me, so it’s only right for me to do the same thing. … I’ve always been a guy that never watched video and that’s something that I need to change. My preparation for games probably needs to get a little better in that way. That’s something me and Larry talked about, and going forward will be better.”

If it’s not about recovering velocity — and if he dismissed concerns about his weight, health and workload — then what is Sabathia expecting to be better next season? What’s going to change aside from a few video sessions to make sure he doesn’t repeat the most losses, the highest ERA and the worst WHIP of his career?

“I’m just talking about going out and pitching like I did the other day (against the Giants),” Sabathia said. “Grinding games out. That’s something I feel like I didn’t do a good job of this year. Getting runners on base and being able to get a double play. Giving up a run or two, and being able to shut the inning off. I feel like I gave up too many big innings and big situations. We come out and score a couple of runs off a tough pitcher, and I come back and give the lead right back. That’s stuff that I didn’t do, or I don’t do, and it happened this year. I think that’s what I say when I talk about coming back and being right.

“… I think I’ll be back to myself. I know a lot of people have written me off and said I’ve thrown too many innings and whatever, whatever, but I’ll still be here and still be accountable and still be the guy that signed up in 2009.”

Associated Press photos





27 Responses to “Sabathia vows to be better in 2014”

  1. 4 NYY September 25th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I’m a big fan of Sabathia and I think he means what he says. But, words are cheap, we’ll have to wait and see. He’ll do all he can, I’m sure, to get better next year. I sure hope he is.

  2. Tackelberry September 25th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    austinmac September 25th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I swear I didn’t plagiarize you. Great minds is my story.


    LOL! Austin. Sad thing is, if you and I know it, why don’t Yanks?

  3. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    austin – good question. I will do some research to see when Biogenesis first hit. Since it was outed in some obscure Miami newspaper first, I would think that nobody of note was informed of it prior to that time.

    “So I don’t think it is fair or accurate to imply that my criticism of the Yankee FO over not signing him is hypocritical.”

    Wave, I wasn’t talking about you. I’m talking about any kind of generalized chatter now about how Martin should have been brought back. If you were all for it, you certainly aren’t hypocritical to be mentioning it. Same thing with Ibanez. I don’t remember anybody here saying he should come back, in fact quite the opposite.

  4. Warning Track Power September 25th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Tackelberry September 25th, 2013 at 12:15 pm
    Interesting article in the Daily News today on the success the Rays have in developing pitchers and the Yanks failure in that area. One thing we;ve heard alot and is in the article is the Rays coaches stress the importance of all their pitchers learning the Change up, as opposed to sliders and splitters. A good change up is very difficult to hit, and obviously has less stress on the pitchers elbow and shoulder than these other breaking pitches. Thats one thing Yanks might want to copy the Rays on. The other is a shoulder strengthening exercise program that has been very successful. David Price was quoted as saying that ‘wherever I pitch, I’m taking it with me. Its the best!’ We all know the Yanks have had way too many injuries to their young pitchers over the years and that too has hurt their development

    The only shoulder strengthening exercise I know of that is very successful is by Tom House and his staff.
    Tom & his staff have worked with MLB pitchers, football players and so on.
    Just this month HBO Real Sports aired a segment on Steve DeLabar. The former HS coach who became an all-star with the Jays this year.

    I have not read the article you referenced, but I hope there is dialogue in the article that informs the readers the Rays were picking very high in the draft, so great talent was available to them, while the Yankees were in a much different position when drafting.

  5. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    austin, it certainly looks like the Yankees couldn’t have known about Cervelli’s participation until well after the season began:

    In January 2013, The Miami New Times obtained documents from former Biogenesis employee Porter Fisher which it said linked three players – Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colón and Yasmani Grandal – who had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2012 to the clinic. Additionally, the paper said several star players including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Nelson Cruz could be tied to the clinic. The paper, however, refused to hand the documents over to Major League Baseball (MLB) authorities.[8]

    In March, MLB sued the clinic’s owner, Anthony Bosch, and his business partners, Carlos Acevedo, Ricardo Martinez, Marcelo Albir, and Paulo da Silveira in an attempt to obtain information. The suit alleged that the six had “actively participated in a scheme … to solicit or induce Major League players to purchase or obtain PES (performing-enhancing substances)”.[8] Subsequently, the MLB claimed to have found evidence that a representative of Rodriguez had purchased his medical records. It then paid a former Biogenesis employee for documents.[8]

    In April, Bosch received a complaint from the Florida Department of Health for practicing medicine without a license. The complaint urged him to sign a cease and desist agreement. In May, Bosch agreed to work with MLB investigators in exchange for his name being removed from the lawsuit.[8]

    In June, the MLB conducted a large number of interviews with players it believed may be connected with Biogenesis. Every player interviewed was supplied legal counsel by the Major League Baseball Players Association.[8]

  6. Wave Your Hat September 25th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    “Wave, I wasn’t talking about you. I’m talking about any kind of generalized chatter now about how Martin should have been brought back. ”

    OK, no problem. I agree that last off-season bringing back Martin was a minority position around here. But I feel strongly that the Yanks failure to do so is hard evidence of a poor Yankee decision making process which needs to be fixed. Since these decisions are made behind closed doors it is hard to say how it should be fixed. But with all the mistakes that were made, there should be some organizational consequences for whoever made them.

  7. Warning Track Power September 25th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    The comments by C.C. remind me of the comments ARod made when the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs last year in Detroit.
    I hope C.C. can turn things around. To use a former Yankee as an example, if Mike Mussina can win 20 games with a heater that barely touches 90, then C.C. should be able to do similar with a FB that ranges from 90-93
    Of course the secret is about location. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!!!

    Good luck C.C. I hope you back up your words when you take the mound again in 2014.

  8. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Sorry, that was from Wikipedia

  9. Wave Your Hat September 25th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I believe Cervelli was linked to Biogenesis as early as February.

  10. blake September 25th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    “Thats true to a certain extent, but they also went conservative drafting guys like Culver and Bichette in round 1 when those guys clearly were not first round talents. Their amateur scouting Dept. needs some revamping. I have a feeling that Mark Newman and Damon Oppenheimer could be in trouble after this season.”

    oh I can’t argue there…..terrible decisions and not because they haven’t panned out so far……because they went of the radar trying to be smart and drafting guys nobody else saw as 1st round talent…..turned out everyone else was right and the Yanks looked silly.

  11. Tackelberry September 25th, 2013 at 12:36 pm


    Rays have historically picked higher, however, Alex Cobb was a 4th round pick. Matt Moore was an 8th round pick. Chris Archer was a 5th round pick who they obviously scouted well in getting him in the Garza trade. So you really can’t attribute their success over the Yanks because they draft higher

  12. blake September 25th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    here is an project for everyone. List your top 25 players in baseball and then give me a number of those players that the Yankees could have drafted.

  13. blake September 25th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    “Rays have historically picked higher, however, Alex Cobb was a 4th round pick. Matt Moore was an 8th round pick. Chris Archer was a 5th round pick who they obviously scouted well in getting him in the Garza trade. So you really can’t attribute their success over the Yanks because they draft higher”

    the Rays are obviously well ran and have had a streak of finding good players later in the draft……but lets not forget that their 2 best players (Price and Longoria) were very high picks….

  14. Hankflorida September 25th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Trisha, I agree with you about not dwelling in the past as what was, was and is no more. My concern is where do we go from here, and should we use the past as a map of getting to the destination that we want to go to? You defined the new Yankee goal as a hybrid where pitching, speed and defense and the ability to manufacture runs would supplant the more expensive power oriented team that was the trademark of the Bronx Bombers. Do you still feel that way, or is the future, a team that is similar to the past?

  15. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I guess this is as good a time as any to bring out the full prediction chart. If I had to vote on how many wins I hope the Yanks get this season, it would be 84. Can anyone figure out why?


    SoS – 117* :(
    Igotid88 – 104* :(
    Trisha – 97 :(
    Jacksquat – 96 :(
    Poetkiosk – 96 :(
    Newyorkfanforever – 95 :(
    Jmills – 95 :(
    Doc Iac – 95* :(
    Yankeehotelfoxtrot - 95 :(
    rm – 94 :(
    Tomingeorgia – 94 :(
    Nilsson – 94 :(
    r115 – 94 :(
    BBfan - 94 :(
    Munson – 93 :(
    Ghostwriter – 93 :(
    Big Al – 93 :(
    The Straw – 93 :(
    Warning Track Power - 93 :(
    Carly – 93 :(
    Tabbert – 93 :(
    CountryClub – 93 :(
    Shame Spencer - 92 :(
    Mike_Boston - 92 :(
    Utility Man – 92 :(
    Chip – 92 :(
    Jmv – 92 :(
    Nick in SF – 92 :(
    Mike Ri – 92 :(
    joecembrale – 92 :(
    pyankfan – 92 :(
    Tackleberry – 91 :(
    RMS – 91 :(
    RadioKev – 91 :(
    ac1 – 91 :(
    massjake – 91 :(
    Yankeefeminista – 91 :(
    Noreaster – 91 :(
    GregD – 90 :(
    Bronx Jeers – 90 :(
    Tar – 89 :(
    4 NYY – 89 :(
    Blake – 89 :(
    Yankee21 – 89 :(
    Luis – 89 :(
    Astrocityfan – 89 :(
    Austinmac – 88 :(
    David in Cal – 88 :(
    Yankee Trader – 88 :(
    Cashmoney – 87
    Charlestonchew – 87
    Jackson – 87
    PacoDooley – 87
    Bruceb – 86
    Vineyard Yankee – 86
    Bobby Murcer – 86
    Don – 86
    Mike in Harrisburg – 86
    Baby Ruth – 85
    Joeman 85
    Sammiejohnson – 85
    Felix Unger – 84
    bardos – 83
    Your Worst Nightmare – 83
    Deal With It – 82
    Oscar Madison – 82
    Niblick – 81 :(
    MaineYankee – 80 :(
    Cujo – 80 :(
    Comet – 79 :(
    Blutarsky – 78 :(

    *late prediction

  16. bruceb September 25th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Interesting listening to the MLB Network the other night and one of the experts saying you never give up on left-handed pitchers. Case in point Francisco Liriano.

    I love the big guy and when he speaks, he speaks with sincerity. My main concern is the number of miles on the clock. It also strikes me that CC is such a stand-up guy that he’s probably pitched a lot of times when he shouldn’t have done (i.e. with minor injuries).

    Either way, the Yanks shouldn’t plan on him being the ace of their staff in 2014. If he is, that would be a real bonus.

  17. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    “I believe Cervelli was linked to Biogenesis as early as February.”

    He may have been. So if you can show that to be a fact, please do. Because if it was public and the Yankees didn’t do anything about it in February, shame on them.

  18. blake September 25th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I think CC will figure out how to be good again……

  19. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Hank, I absolutely still believe in the hybrid. I am in the process of getting stats to show where those who have already clinched spots in the postseason stack up. Then I’ll add in the remaining contenders. I believe that those stats will show how teams who want to contend should design their teams. Figures don’t lie, and lies don’t figure!


  20. Wave Your Hat September 25th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    He may have been. So if you can show that to be a fact, please do. Because if it was public and the Yankees didn’t do anything about it in February, shame on them.

    Here’s a link to cbs sports dated February 13:

  21. Doreen September 25th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Numbers don’t lie, but they can be subject to the biases of the people who are citing them, and they can be manipulated to fit a pre-determined scenario.

    Just sayin’. ;)

    Balance is what is needed.

    Good pitching, good defense, and good hitting (which includes a power component). It is always likely that all three will not be clicking at the same time all the time, so it’s important that one factor can “pick up” for another if necessary.

    Good defense will make your good pitching better. Bad defense will kill even good pitching.

    And if a team never feels like it has to overcompensate for a particularly weak area (less than average hitting/less than average pitching), overall they will do very well.

    I think you have to figure in the quirks of your home ballpark – the offense in YS needs to be able to take advantage of the short porch as much as possible, but they need pitchers who can contain the opposition as much as possible. Strike outs and ground balls, please. Well-rounded hitters who can hit to all fields, please apply.

    Now, find those players and and build your team! (Oh, and stay under 189 – ;) )

    And Always Remember YCPB. YOU CAN’T PREDICT BASEBALL. So sometimes, you will have a team that goes off the grid and wins anyway. Or on paper appears to be well-constructed and loses anyway, natch.

    Injuries are always around the corner and not always confessed to by players, leaving managers and coaches to sleuth out the truth. And, the worst of all, players get old fast. And development is not linear.

    And baseball is a frustrating game.

  22. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Post Season Teams – Pitching Ratings average placement = 5.6

    Boston – 12
    Detroit – 10
    Oakland – 7
    Atlanta – 1
    St. Louis – 6
    Pittsburgh – 3
    Cincinnati – 4
    LA Dodgers – 2

    Post Season Teams – Offense Ratings average placement = 8.9

    Boston – 1
    Detroit – 2
    Oakland – 4
    Atlanta – 14
    St. Louis – 3
    Pittsburgh – 20
    Cincinnati – 10
    LA Dodgers – 17

  23. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 25th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Doreen sorry but you’re wrong. There’s no way to manipulate these. They are what they are. And regression analyses have shown that pitching outweighs hitting in terms of both season and WS wins.

  24. 4 NYY September 25th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    What some don’t think about is that pitching is the biggest part of your defense !

    Kind of like line play in football. It all stems from good linemen on both sides of the ball.

    Now if you add some at least average hitting w/power, or a good quarterback in football, you’ve got something !

  25. PRDENTIST September 25th, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I believe that CC’s problem was the massive loss of weight which threw off his balance. Everyone has a center of mass/center of gravity, which we all get use to whether you are pitching, running or batting. When this changes, then it is very difficult to find where the new center of mass is. When you pitch, you push off the rubber and your mass (weight) moves forward, then your arm angle to the plate is at a certain place when you release the ball. If your center of mass changes and you don’t adjust, you will be way off balance and so your release point will either ahead or behind of where it was before.

  26. PRDENTIST September 25th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Nick Cafardo cites a “talent evaluator”, who thinks CC Sabathia‘s weight loss is to blame for his lack of success in 2013.

    “Some players just perform better carrying more weight. Sabathia seems to be one of them. Some think such a theory is silly, that Sabathia is merely showing wear and tear after being a workhorse for so many years. But doesn’t it make some sense?”

    “The weight loss has created a balance problem for him,“ said one talent evaluator. “He’s all over the place. He’s learning how to pitch in that body, a body he’s really never had. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him other than that. Sometimes you pitch at a certain weight all your life and then someone has the brilliant idea that you should lose weight because it’s putting stress on your knees, you do it, and then you’re dealing with something else.”

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