CC Sabathia: Unsure Who He Once Played With

Please stop talking.

"You look back on Cleveland and the only one that's left is Jake [Westbrook]. It's kind of sad to me."

-CC Sabathia, 7/12/2010

"I only know three people on that team," he said. "It's not like I've got a lot of friends over there. Jake [Westbrook], [Travis] Hafner and [Shin-Soo] Choo. Grady [Sizemore] is not even here right now. It just feels like coming to another place to play."

-CC Sabathia, 7/27/2010

I don't like to examine athletes' statements too closely. I generally think it's unfair-these are men who were vaulted to incredible fame for reasons that have nothing to do with being lucid thinkers or speakers. It's no fault of theirs that fans want to take their statements as purposeful or revealing when, in fact, they're mostly just saying something so that Paul Hoynes will go bother someone else. 

That said, Sabathia's behavior, already revealed by Castrovince as the self-serving tactics of a blowhard, is reaching new levels of absurdity that have to be acknowledged. I don't need to reiterate the points regarding the financial realities that Cleveland faced because of Sabathia's choices; Castro has made those ably. I just want to point out that, even if we leave behind the larger discussion and its foundation in rational thought, Sabathia isn't even close to getting the details of his own career right. 

You can view every player that appeared for the  2007 Cleveland Indians here. Let's quickly sort these players: 

Still With Cleveland (12): Jhonny Peralta, Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Asdrubal Cabrera, Andy Marte, Shin-Soo Choo, Fausto Carmona, Jake Westbrook, Aaron Laffey, Rafael Perez, Jeremy Sowers, Jensen Lewis

With Other Major League Teams (11): Casey Blake, Victor Martinez, Jason Michaels, Franklin Gutierrez, Kelly Shoppach, Ben Francisco, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Rafael Betancourt, Edward Mujica, Fernando Cabrera

Floatsam & Jetsam (18): Ryan Garko, Josh Barfield, Trot Nixon, David Dellucci, Kenny Lofton, Mike Rouse, Chris Gomez, Luis Rivas, Paul Byrd, Joe Borowski, Tom Mastny, Aaron Fultz, Jason Stanford, Roberto Hernandez, Jason Davis, Mike Koplove, Juan Lara, Matt Miller

And, just for fun, let's consider which of the Major League players would even still be under Indians' control considering their 2007 contract status. I charitably count 19: the twelve still in Cleveland plus Gutierrez, Martinez, Shoppach, Francisco, Lee, Mujica and Cabrera. Any simple analysis shows that the Indians tried to keep that 2007 team together and, in fact, the key elements of the roster were largely intact entering 2008 when, of course, Sabathia did everything he could to ruin the season over his first seven starts, continuing his string of ruining things that stretched back to the 2007 ALCS. By the time Sabathia had righted himself he had to be traded because, well, you know, because Mark Shapiro is a mean old man who didn't like the team he had meticulously assembled and watched come within a game of the World Series and that, suddenly, was lined up to have three potential aces to begin 2009 in Sabathia, Lee and Carmona.  Yeah, Sabathia was traded because Shapiro hated that team. Or maybe Shapiro just hates Cleveland-I can't tell. 

To get back on track: there are 12 players still in Cleveland that CC Sabathia played with in 2007, including the men who played directly behind Sabathia in the 2007 playoffs at 2BSS and CF. Also remaining are the starting DH, the obvious number two and three playoff starters and a reliever that CC watched become, briefly, the best in the world. So when Sabathia looks back and thinks there are only three players left from his era and one of the three he remembers fondly is a player that wasn't even on the playoff roster in 2007, that CC played with for, at absolute most, a couple months in his career, it pisses me off. At least acknowledge your middle infielders. 

It's interesting that Sabathia thinks of Choo as one of his old dyed-in-the-wool teammates. Also, how he and Cliff Lee reminisce about all those months when they were a formidable one-two punch for the Indians. That makes sense: superstars always play and peak together, right? In New York, I suppose that's true.

I wrote the book on being enamored of Sabathia and I'm closing it. At least he's finally getting to play with a team that values the same things he seems to: continuity and tradition. 

Still With New York (9): Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Kei Igawa, Joba Chamberlain, Mariano Rivera

With Other Major League Teams (18): Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Shelley Duncan, Wilson Betemit, Miguel Cairo, Jose Molina, Wil Nieves, Alberto Gonzalez, Kyle Farnsworth, Tyler Clippard, Brian Bruney, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, Ian Kennedy, Carl Pavano


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