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CC Sabathia exits ALCS Game 4 due to injury

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The likely final pitch of CC Sabathia‘s outstanding major league career was a sad one: he threw a practice pitch to catcher Gary Sánchez before walking off the field with the Yankees team trainer. The injury appeared to be located on his left arm, perhaps his shoulder.

After Adam Ottavino allowed both runners he faced to reach base on an Alex Bregman double and a DJ LeMahieu fielding error on a Yuli Gurriel grounder, manager Aaron Boone called on Sabathia to put out the fire. Yordan Álvarez hit a grounder to Gleyber Torres at second base which was also mishandled, allowing a run to score and everyone else to advance safely. Sabathia was able to get Carlos Correa to line out to right field, but followed up by hitting Robinson Chirinos on the elbow with a pitch to load the bases. Sabathia got pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz to fly out for the second out of the inning to bring up George Springer.

After Sabathia’s third pitch of the at-bat against Springer, the lefty appeared to be in some discomfort which prompted the trainer to come out for a visit. Sabathia threw one practice pitch to Sánchez before exiting to a standing ovation from the crowd at Yankee Stadium. Jonathan Loaisiga entered and struck out Springer to end the inning.

In February, Sabathia announced he would retire after the 2019 season. This is not the ending to his career he or anyone else envisioned, but a plaque in Cooperstown, New York nevertheless awaits him.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).