ALT HEADLINE: Did proud Yankees ace CC Sabathia have friction with Loud Boston Guy Who Was Technically His Boss? Yes, probably! And, if so, he’s a hero for it!
Sabathia, alongside co-host Ryan Ruocco of ESPN/Only the Craziest Yankees Games fame, have partnered to produce the R2C2 Podcast since 2017, when Ruocco welcomed the left-handed star into the media space prior to the end of his career.
The transition has been easy for the future Hall of Famer, post-retirement; Sabathia has translated his gregarious, yet harsh persona to the airwaves after leaving the game in 2019 (though don’t expect him to ever rock a suit and tie at the YES Network).
Right now, though, the podcast is continuing without a home after the team’s relationship with Bill Simmons and The Ringer reportedly dissolved several months ago.
According to those in the know, that partnership ended both because Simmons and his team decided to pivot away from baseball-specific podcasts (evident in the way they shunted aside Cespedes Family BBQ, too), and because Sabathia bristled at some notes Simmons provided midway through the run.
Knowing Simmons’ persona, it would not be shocking at all to learn that the two butted heads. Knowing Simmons’ affinity for Boston, it would also not be shocking if he begged Sabathia to talk more about the ’86 Celtics and Larry Bird’s feet.
Did Yankees ace CC Sabathia have beef with Boston Guy Bill Simmons?
According to The New York Post’s retelling:
"The Post has learned that the parting of ways happened amid some friction between Sabathia and Ringer founder Bill Simmons, in addition to some shifting strategy at the company.Sources said that the friction with “R2C2” came when Simmons sought to provide some coaching tips for the podcast, and Sabathia was not appreciative of the feedback.With regards to the shifting strategy, a Ringer spokesperson told The Post, “Bill and the whole Ringer team enjoyed working with the ‘R2C2’ team and are appreciative of their time together. This year, the Ringer made a strategic decision to move away from baseball-focused podcasts, instead covering the sport as part of our city-specific sports podcasts.”"
Simmons, per rumors, also made a “strategic decision” to pivot away from baseball in general after the Red Sox’ trade deadline.
Sabathia is a very unique voice, and whatever platform ultimately lands his contributions full-time will be better for it (and he and Ruocco are fantastic together).
Needless to say, though, it wouldn’t be shocking to learn that Simmons channeled some anti-New York resentment into a bit of needling in his notes to Sabathia. The podcast duo is likely better off without a middle-aged host asking them constantly if his son, Ben, could join the show to open some 2021 Bowman Chrome boxes and freestyle.
And this probably closes the book on Sabathia joining Simmons to guest on a Rewatchables episode about “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” huh? Shame.