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CC Sabathia to Angel Hernandez: ‘Don’t talk to me. Call f–king strikes!’

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CC Sabathia doesn’t throw as hard as he once did. While he was the subject of some “Best Shape of His Life” stuff a few years ago, isn’t in any better shape than he’s ever been, and, as most men in their late 30s find, probably has lost a step of three in terms of general conditioning. Nonetheless, he’s been outstanding this year, posting a 1.71 ERA in five starts, striking out 16 and walking only five in 26.1 innings. Last night he twirled a gem against the Angels, allowing only one run in seven innings of work while nabbing his second win of the year.

The thing that’s been fantastic to see from Sabathia is how, unlike a lot of fireballers in the late stages of their careers, he knows he’s not a fireballer anymore. Sabathia has turned himself into a pitcher — I’d even say he’s crafty now — working the corners and working his way into year three of a lovely late career renaissance with the Yankees that could very well put the icing on the cake of a Hall of Fame career.

Not that the fire is completely gone. I missed last night’s Yankees-Angels game and there isn’t video of this going down, but as the New York Daily News reported, Sabathia had some heat for home plate umpire Angel Hernandez:

Angry that a 1-2 pitch to Justin Upton wasn’t called a strike, Sabathia and Hernandez exchanged words following the third inning of the Yankees’ 2-1 victory over the Angels on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium of Anaheim . . . “Don’t talk to me. Call f–king strikes!” Sabathia yelled at Hernandez after getting Upton to ground to third for the final out of the frame, stranding runners at the corners.

CC, my man, people have been begging Hernandez to do that for years and it has never worked, so don’t get too upset. Just keep on doing what you’re doing and you can give Hernandez a shoutout when you’re at your induction ceremony.

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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