Last month, on the off-day between the end of the regular season and the Wild Card game, CC Sabathia left the Yankees to check into an alcohol treatment center. He would not have been available for the postseason if the Yankees had advanced.
"I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers," said Sabathia in a statement, "and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. 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."
Sabathia completed his stay at the treatment center last week, and, on Friday morning, he will appear on "Good Morning America" to discuss his decision to leave the Yankees to get treatment. Here's the trailer:
"I understand where, you know, fans would be upset and people would not understand," said Sabathia when asked about leaving before the postseaosn. "If it was my knee or if it was anything else, then people wouldn't have a problem with it. You know, it being alcoholism, it was tough for people to swallow, but it's the same thing."
The Yankees closed the season with a series against the Orioles. Sabathia reportedly drank heavily that weekend, so much so that it spilled over into the clubhouse at one point.
"It was just the time (to get help)," said Sabathia. "Like I said, I know it was a bad time of the season, but I woke up on that Sunday morning in Baltimore and there was no other option for me but to get help."
Sabathia, 35, went 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA this past season. He's been dealing with a degenerative knee condition for a few years now. Next year is the last guaranteed year on his contract.