This morning’s New York Times article starts out as if this was something everyone knew about, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it:
What first raised suspicion among the 2001 A’s was an early May series in Toronto. Tejada and Blue Jays third baseman Tony Batista,
friends from the Dominican Republic, each put up terrific numbers. In
the three-game series, Batista went 6 for 13 with a home run and 5 runs
batted in, and Tejada was 4 for 10 with 9 R.B.I., including a home run in each game.
More significant in the eyes of some of the players was an incident in
the second game of the series. Tejada did not get to an easy ground
ball Batista hit off reliever Mark Guthrie with the Athletics leading,
8-2. When the inning was over, A’s players fumed on the bench.
Tejada, now 35, said his teammates were skeptical because Batista dropped a foul pop-up he hit in the previous game.
“I would never do that,” Tejada said. “I want to win. If my brother was on the other team, I would never help him.”
These incidents, and others, led to a supremely contentious closed-door meeting in the A’s clubhouse, and some of the guys from that team tell the tale. Contrast this to the anonymous accusations against A-Rod this past spring, and you have some great reading.
CC Sabathia‘s contract is set to expire this offseason, but for the long-tenured left-hander, nowhere feels more like home than New York. “I want to see this through,” Sabathia told reporters after a devastating Game 7 loss in the ALCS. “This is where I want to play.” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman spoke warmly of the veteran starter, but would make no public guarantees that he’d return to the team next spring.
Sabathia, 37, just topped off his 17th season in the big leagues and his eighth career postseason run. He went 14-5 in 27 starts and put up a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 148 2/3 innings, good for 1.9 fWAR. He looked solid in the playoffs, too, propelling the team to a much-needed win in Game 5 of the ALDS and returning in the Championship Series with six scoreless innings in Game 3. His season ended on a sour note during Game 7, however. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings against a dynamic Astros’ offense, allowing one run on five hits and three walks and failing to record a single strikeout for the first time in 23 career postseason appearances.
Heading into the 2017 offseason, Sabathia finally arrived at the end of his seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees. While he’s repeatedly expressed a desire to keep pitching, despite rumors that his career might be on the rocks following the diagnosis of a troublesome degenerative knee condition, the decision isn’t his alone to make. Brian Cashman will also be seeking an extension with the Yankees this winter, so it’s difficult to say which impending free agents the club will try to retain — and Sabathia’s name isn’t the only one on that list. If it were up to skipper Joe Girardi, who is awaiting a decision on his own future with the organization, the decision would be a no-brainer. From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for and the great player that he is, the great man that he is,” Girardi said. “The wonderful teammate that he is. How he pulls a team together. He’s as good as I’ve ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you’re on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time.