It seems there's a reason CC Sabathia doesn't have a job with the New York Yankees just yet ... and it's because he might be too "real" for this obdurate front office that has lost its way because of short-sightedness.
Sabathia is one to speak his mind -- typically with no filter -- just the way New Yorkers like it. He was one of the most beloved players of the modern era, helping deliver the team's last World Series back in 2009. He nearly helped them back to the mountaintop in 2017, too.
Yankees fans haven't seen a player with his tenacity, accountability and self-awareness in a very long time, which is exactly what many believe is wrong with whatever's plagued the team from 2018 until now. There aren't enough personalities willing to say the quiet part out loud.
There perhaps aren't enough personalities backing their teammates, either. We don't know that for sure, but sometimes it feels that way. For example, remember Jordan Montgomery was traded for Harrison Bader at least year's deadline? And countless notable players talked about how it blindsided them and adversely affected the locker room? Where were those influential voices prior to the deadline, attempting to get in Brian Cashman's ear about who to trade and who to trade for?
If CC was on the 2022 roster, you can bet he would've publicly blown a gasket after what he told the New York Daily News about his feeling on the situation. Either that, or he would've kicked down Cashman's door to give him a piece of his mind before the GM made any decisions.
CC Sabathia's response to Jordan Montgomery trade shows how wrong Yankees were
"I was just more or less worried about him being comfortable. The first thing I did was text Waino. I was like, ‘Man, my little brother’s coming over there. Need you to take care of him.’- CC Sabathia, NYDN
When he first came up, he was super coachable and just wanted to learn as much as he could. And obviously, him being left-handed, we kind of have the relationship that me and Andy [Pettitte] had where I would just follow him around the whole time and kind of learn from him. Monty did the same thing, and now we have this relationship where we talk and break down the game or break down different things and sometimes not even talk about the game. It’s a good relationship.
I mean, I guess they got it wrong. You gotta be in October to have him pitch in October. That’s not a slight. It just didn’t seem like the roster was set up for him to be pitching in October. So he’s in a spot where he’s impacting the playoffs and he’s in playoffs."
Montgomery's and Sabathia's Yankees careers overlapped three seasons, from 2017-2019. Unfortunately, two of those years Monty was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which undoubtedly affected the Yankees' playoff runs, while Sabathia was on the way out. Either way, the two forged a bond despite those obstacles, further providing insight into how intrinsic Montgomery was to the Yankees' culture.
Cashman, who publicly trashed Montgomery on the way out, saying the left-hander wouldn't have been part of the team's postseason pitching plans, for some reason thought acquiring an outfielder in a walking boot was the right decision.
What's happened since? Bader was placed on waivers and barely lasted a year in New York after seemingly becoming disillusioned with the team's losing and embarrassing narratives. His 2022 playoff heroics couldn't be more distant of a memory.
Meanwhile, Monty has revamped his approach and has pitched the best he ever has. He's led the Rangers to the ALCS and has set himself up for a massive payday in free agency. Maybe one of Hal's "changes" should be getting Sabathia in the room when the front office is discussing roster changes so he can provide a reality check to those who have no knowledge of what's going on in the dugout and clubhouse.