Meet CC Sabathia. Major League Baseball’s 11th highest paid player and 14 year veteran. Sabathia pitches for the New York Yankees, the team associated with names like Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Reggie Jackson, and more. CC Sabathia is on his path to greatness; in fact, he helped the Yankees win their 27th World Series title in 2009. He has a beautiful wife and four children that often accompany him to games. On the outside looking in, we would all say CC’s life is perfect.
Only on the surface. Just one day before the New York Yankees are scheduled to make their first playoff appearance since 2012, CC Sabathia has made the decision to enter an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Terrible timing, some might say – especially die-hard New York Yankee fans. Why couldn’t his rehab stint wait another month? CC Sabathia is expected to complete a 30-day treatment program, which means that if the Yankees do indeed make it to the World Series to compete for a title, he won’t be a part of it.
The truth is that there is nothing convenient about addiction.
It knows no income level, race, gender, geographic location, or time. It’s everywhere, all the time. And there is no better time than now for Sabathia to address the demons he has been battling. As recently as last month, he was involved in an altercation outside of a night club in Toronto, Ontario, during a Yankees road trip. One week later, photos surfaced of CC smoking what appeared to be marijuana on a hotel balcony in Atlanta, GA.
Though alcohol addiction has strong ties to family genes, there are other factors that could contribute to alcohol addiction or abuse.
It’s important to note that Sabathia earns a salary of $23 million dollars annually in the largest sports market on the planet. It’s also known that there is no fan base more demanding and more critical than the New York Yankee fan base when games aren’t won and expectations aren’t met. Not to mention the 150+ days a year CC spends away from his family dealing with the pressures and demands of public appearances, crazed fans, interviews, and endorsement deals all on his own. With the playoffs fast approaching come high expectations and public scrutiny. This combination of factors could easily have become too much to bear, even for a professional athlete who is already used to the big stage.
With the proper treatment, we all hope that CC Sabathia will be able to do what former Yankee great Mickey Mantle wasn’t able to do: overcome alcohol addiction.