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Steve Sarkisian was inspired by CC Sabathia to seek treatment for alcoholism


Yankees starter CC Sabathia surprised the Yankees, who were preparing to face the Astros in the AL Wild Card game, two seasons ago when he abruptly left the team to seek treatment for alcoholism. In the time since, the lefty has been very open about his battle with addiction. He memorably did an interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt. He also penned a column for The Players’ Tribune and did a ride-along video with VICE Sports.

New Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian says Sabathia’s interview with Van Pelt inspired him to seek help for his own battle with alcohol around the same time, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reports. Sarkisian, then with USC, took an indefinite leave of absence in October 2015. He was fired from USC shortly thereafter, for which he filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Here’s what Sarkisian said about Sabathia’s interview:

I was actually at home on a Sunday night and I was watching SportsCenter, and Scott Van Pelt was doing his editorial. That night was when CC Sabathia had decided to go to treatment before the Major League Baseball playoffs. I thought to myself, ‘Whoa, here’s somebody who is like me, who is in a very high-profile position in sports – ace pitcher of the New York Yankees — and was being relatively commended or almost celebrated for going to do what he did.’

I knew I needed to [go]. I didn’t know how to go about it. But that thing gave me a feeling of, ‘There’s a like person that is going to do this. I know I need to do it. Now how, what, when.’ So I made the decision to go do it. It’s been the best decision of my life.

Sarkisian is now in a treatment program and he says “it’s going great.”

Kudos to Sarkisian for seeking help, which must have been very difficult to do, and kudos to Sabathia for helping others by sharing the battles he faced with addiction.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.