CC Sabathia
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Sabathia, Kittredge receive suspensions for throwing at batters


Yankees southpaw CC Sabathia and Rays right-hander Andrew Kittredge have received official penalties from MLB for intentionally throwing at batters during Thursday’s game. Sabathia was issued a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine, while Kittredge was handed a three-game suspension. Both pitchers are expected to begin serving their suspensions at the start of the 2019 season.

The incidents in question were triggered by a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Sabathia struck Jake Bauers on the hand with a first-pitch 87.6-MPH sinker. In the next inning, Kittredge retaliated by aiming at Austin Romine‘s head, and while the rookie catcher managed to dodge the pitch, it was enough to provoke a heated reaction from Sabathia.

With warnings in place, the veteran lefty waited until Rays’ catcher Jesus Sucre stepped up to bat, then promptly delivered a 95.2-MPH that ricocheted off of Sucre’s leg. Both Sabathia and Yankees manager Aaron Boone were tossed in the aftermath of the exchange, which came with hefty consequences for the starter: In addition to the fine that was later imposed, he forfeited his right to another $500,000 after leaving his final start with 153 innings under his belt, just two shy of the 155-inning threshold he needed to receive another half-million salary bump.

Per Saturday’s press release, Sabathia has decided to appeal the suspension, while Kittredge has not yet announced his decision to appeal.

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

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The Yankees and the Dodgers have a storied World Series history, having met in the Fall Classic 11 times. Part of what made those falls so classic was the livery worn by each club.

The Yankees’ uniforms have gone unchanged since 1936. The Dodgers, though changing cities in 1958, have had the same basic, classic look with only minor derivations for almost as long. You can’t even say the names of these teams without picturing pinstripes, those red Dodgers numbers, both teams’ clean road grays, the Yankees navy and the Dodgers’ Dodger blue.

They looked like a couple of expansion teams last night however, at least sartorially speaking.

As you probably know it’s Players’ Weekend this weekend, and teams all over the league wore either all black or all white with player-chosen nicknames on the back. We’ve had the nicknames for a couple of years now and that’s fine, but the black and white combo is new. It doesn’t look great, frankly. I riffed on that on Twitter yesterday a good bit. But beyond my mere distaste for the ensembles, they present a pretty problematic palette, too.

For one thing the guys in black blend in with the umpires. Quick, look at these infields and tell me who’s playing and who’s officiating:

The white batting helmets look especially bad:

But some guys — like Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, realized that pine tar makes the white helmets look super special:

There was also a general issue with the white-on-white uniforms in that it’s rather hard to read the names and the numbers on the backs of the jerseys. This was especially true during the Cubs-Nationals game in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll note this as a much bigger problem on Sunday. It’s all rather ironic, of course, that the players have been given the right to put fun, quirky nicknames on the backs of their jerseys but no one can really see them.

The SNY booth was reading many people’s minds last night, noting how much Mad Magazine “Spy vs. Spy” energy this is throwing off:

I’ll also note that if you’re flipping between games or looking at highlights on social media it’s super hard to even tell which team is which — and even what game’s highlights you’re seeing — just by looking which, you know, is sort of the point of having uniforms in the first place.

I’m glad the players have a weekend in which they’re allowed to wear what they want. I just wish they’d wear something better.