NY Yankees Pitcher C.C. Sabathia Gives First Post-Rehab Interview

By McCarton Ackerman 11/06/15

The Yankees pitcher opened up about his sudden decision to enter rehab for alcohol abuse.

C.C. Sabathia
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New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia is opening up for the first time about his new sober life, acknowledging that he had “no other option” but to go into rehab to address his alcoholism.

Speaking with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, Sabathia admitted that the timing of his decision was less than ideal. He made his announcement last month on the eve of the American League Wild Card elimination game against the Houston Astros, which the Yankees lost to be eliminated from World Series contention.

“It was just the time. I woke up on that Sunday morning in Baltimore and there was no other option for me but to get help,” said Sabathia, whose wife sat with him for the interview. “I understand [why] fans would be upset and people would not understand. If it was my knee or if it was anything else, then people wouldn't have a problem with it. Alcoholism was tough for people to swallow, but it’s the same thing.”

Prior to his announcement, Sabathia had endured a difficult year off the field. Last December, police were called to intervene at Newark Airport after he got into a heated dispute with staff members. Shortly after being ejected from a game in June, Sabathia was then involved in a confrontation outside of a nightclub in Toronto that eventually turned physical, although he was not part of the fighting.

“It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player,” he said in his statement confirming plans to enter an alcohol rehabilitation center. He also said the Yankees organization was fully supportive of his decision, which “has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.”

But Sabathia told Roberts that it was always his intention to return to the Yankees. He plans to be part of the team next season and said he plans to return stronger than ever.

“Just getting back with my teammates, being back in Yankee Stadium, enjoying the fans and pitching ... that’s what I love to do,” he said. “I’ll be back out there 100 percent, ready to go.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.