SportsNation Blog Archives CC Sabathia
What's $30 million between friends? Instead of testing free agency, CC Sabathia is staying put after agreeing to a new deal with the Yankees that adds a year and $30 million to what he was set to make from his old deal. It's difficult to doubt Sabathia's value on the mound, but do you doubt his contention that the whole opt-out saga wasn't about money?
What was it all about?
Whether or not there is anything wrong with following the money, do you buy Sabathia's contention that dollars weren't the big factor?
Will Sabathia get to 300 wins?
Given his age and record thus far, Sabathia looks like the best bet among active pitchers to get to 300 wins, but how good a bet is it?
Will this be Sabathia's final payday?
Sabathia said he wants to finish his career with the Yankees, but will he still be good enough at the end of this deal to attract bidders?
The best over-30 arm money can buy?
If you've got $122 million to spend over five years on a pitcher who probably isn't going to get any better, is it Sabathia, Roy Halladay or someone else?
What's the market for C.J. Wilson?
With Sabathia off the market (that he was never on), C.J. Wilson is the biggest pitching prize. Will he get a deal like those given to A.J. Burnett in 2008 and John Lackey in 2009?
The expected pitching duel between Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia never quite developed in Game 3 between the Tigers and Yankees. Verlander was sharp enough, striking out 11 in eight innings and earning the win to put his team within a game of the ALCS, but Sabathia was gone shy of six full innings after allowing six walks and seven hits.
Did the strike zone beat Sabathia?
"I actually thought [Sabathia] made good pitches and I thought the zone was small. No disrespect to anyone, but that's what I thought." -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Is October not Sabathia's month?
It's not as if Sabathia can't pitch October gems -- he was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in the 2009 ALCS. But how do you explain one of baseball's best aces generally struggling?
The incredible shrinking strike zone?
Verlander worked with the same strike zone, so maybe it wasn't a deciding factor. But is an umpire squeezing aces more annoying than a referee sending stars to the bench?
What does baseball do for an encore after a wild finish to the regular season? Justin Verlander battling CC Sabathia is a good start. Michael Wilbon aptly compared the duel to Bob Gibson against Sandy Koufax. Another might be Gibson against another Tigers ace, 30-game winner Denny McLain, in the 1968 World Series. Gibson allowed one earned run in two meetings against McLain. Will either ace live up to that tonight?
Which team has more on the line?
The Yankees were 52-29 at home in the regular season and have question marks in the rotation after Sabathia. So does Sabathia need a win more?
Will this be a pitching duel?
Verlander twice allowed three earned runs against the Yankees this season, but will it take fewer runs than that to win this one?
Who has more staying power?
There isn't much question that Verlander ruled the 2011 regular season, but does Sabathia's consistency (17 or more wins in each of past five seasons) rule?
Is this the ultimate matchup?
With apologies to Ian Kennedy, C.J. Wilson and others, the postseason offers some intriguing matchups with four proven aces.
CC Sabathia scattered 10 hits and two walks in six innings against the Red Sox on Tuesday night, and fans of the Yankees must be thrilled to have "scattered" back in the vocabulary. Sabathia has now allowed 43 hits and 12 walks in 31 innings against the Red Sox this season, but 10 strikeouts helped ensure the runners didn't haunt him this time. So is all right with the world of Sabathia?
Was it a statement win?
Sabathia has a Cy Young, he's carried teams on his back and he's dominated every team except the Red Sox this season. But did he have something to prove Tuesday?
Did Joe Girardi make the right call?
Sabathia had already thrown 109 pitches after five innings, but Girardi sent him back out to protect a 4-2 lead. Was it the right call?
Bigger mountains to climb?
Did the Yankees get the one win they needed by getting Sabathia over the hump, or would A.J. Burnett shining tonight be a bigger deal?
CC Sabathia was as good as he needed to be in Monday night's game against the White Sox, allowing 10 hits but going eight innings in a 3-2 win. He now leads the league with 16 wins, one better than Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who is 10 games above .500 on a first-place team that is just six games above .500 overall. Just how valuable are these aces?
How do you define valuable?
The last AL pitcher to win MVP honors was Dennis Eckersley in 1992. The last starting pitcher to do it was Roger Clemens in 1986.
Is it a matter of qualification?
There are several different schools of thought when it comes to pitchers and their place in the MVP debate, which probably explains why they win so infrequently.
Who is closest to a one-man team?
The Tigers are a losing team in games in which Verlander doesn't register a decision, but given the strength of competition in the AL East, is Sabathia even more important to the Yankees?
How about the other award?
No Yankees pitcher has captured the Cy Young since 2001 (although Sabathia won with the Indians in 2007). It's an even longer wait for the Tigers, who last produced a winner in 1984