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

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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.

No lease extension, but O’s and governor tout partnership

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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.