Despite being the best pitcher on the most successful franchise in sports, CC Sabathia is underrated.
The New York Yankees ace has won an American League—leading 40 games the last two years while helping his team win the 2009 World Series. But each time, he got snubbed by voters for the Cy Young Award, which goes to the best pitcher in each major league. Cy Young voters seem to prefer pitchers who excel on lesser teams, as Sabathia did in 2007 when he won the award as a Cleveland Indian. The Yankees, with their major league, and high $221 million payroll, are hardly underdogs.
But Carsten Charles Sabathia—who prefers to be known as CC without the periods—seems determined to be more dominant in 2011 and beyond, whether he wins awards or not. During the winter break, the 6-foot-7 left-hander shed 25 pounds, from 315 to 290, he said, “by not eating Cap’n Crunch every day. I could eat a box at a time.” Dropping that bad habit was smart. According to the product’s nutritional information, one box of the cereal contains 1,400 calories. Eating a boxful is equivalent to 10 tablespoons of sugar. Sabathia, 30, has also begun working with a personal trainer and a nutritionist. “This was just something to try to extend my career,” he said.
Sabathia, a four-time all-star, said he intends to lose more weight, which is fine with the Yankees because he has shown in two starts this season that he’s lost nothing off a fastball that consistently tops 90 miles per hour.
Cecil Harris is the author of three books, including Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters.
(Photo: Thomas A. Ferrara/MCT /Landov)