Major League Baseball announced this afternoon they’ve hired six-time All-Star CC Sabathia as a special assistant to commissioner Rob Manfred. According to the league, the role was specifically created for Sabathia and will see the 41-year-old work in “player relations, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, social responsibility, youth participation, and broadcasting.”
Since hanging up his spikes, Sabathia has served as a vice president with the Players Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at increasing accessibility within the sport for Black athletes. He has also appeared on the MLB Network and co-hosts a baseball podcast with Ryan Ruocco for The Ringer.
“We are excited to have CC Sabathia join the Commissioner’s Office to work on some of our most important initiatives,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a press release. “We welcome CC’s positive energy, strong character, creative mind, and civic-minded approach in building on our efforts to strengthen the game, diversify the sport, and give back to the community. CC has a powerful voice in Baseball and we value the perspective he will bring to our office.”
Sabathia made a statement of his own in the aforementioned release. “I’m looking forward to sharing my viewpoint as a former Major League player with the Commissioner’s Office,” Sabathia said. “I want to be able to continue to give back to the game that I love so much. This new role gives me the opportunity to continue the work I’m passionate about, be an advocate for players and be able to contribute to the decision-making process of the league office after 19 years on the field. I can’t wait to get started.”
Sabathia, of course, is one of the most accomplished pitchers in recent memory. He spent 19 seasons in the big leagues, suiting up with the Indians, Brewers and Yankees. The southpaw eclipsed 3,500 career innings and fanned more than 3,000 batters. Sabathia finished in the top five of Cy Young balloting on five separate occasions, taking home the award with Cleveland in 2007. He posted an ERA below 3.50 in every season from 2006-12, surpassing 190 frames in all seven years. Sabathia will add a decorated resume and, of greater import, a respected voice to the league office in a variety of roles.
Guess that means Cap’n Crunch stations will be required in all clubhouses
Fever Pitch Guy
LOL. … good one, Milwaukee!
In all seriousness though, this is a great move. Recently we all were talking about how African Americans were losing baseball jobs to a pipeline of PED users from outside the country, hopefully Mr. Sabathia can help put a stop to that.
It’s awful how the percentage of African American players has dropped from 20% in the 1970’s to less than 7% today, hopefully Mr. Sabathia can reverse that trend. We can’t let Mr. Jackie Robinson’s efforts go to waste. Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in baseball is a must.
God Bless all.
On our middle school campus, we have 10 basketball courts and 0 baseball diamonds.
Everybody just wants to play in the NBA nowadays.
Equally as awful is the percentage of white NBA and NFL players that has dropped drastically. Nobody is keeping black players out of MLB. Black athletes find baseball dull compared to other sports. Get off your raindrop soapbox.
Fever Pitch Guy
milt – Why does my support of African American baseball players and my condemnation of PED users bother you so much? It’s not like I talk about the subjects all the time, I challenge you to find examples where I’ve been doing so prior to a couple days ago.
And how can you say players from the PED Pipeline are not preventing others including African Americans from becoming professional baseball players.
Are you saying the PED users would have the same baseball careers if they hadn’t cheated? Sorry but that’s a ridiculous take. Most PED users begin taking PED’s because they think/know they wouldn’t have a career (or as good a career) without them. Your argument lacks logic.
Youth baseball has become a very expensive travel sport in the past 30 years. Very suburban. Very white in America. Thats the demographic prospect pool.
The difference is that basketball is a sport that lends itself more easily to an urban environment and baseball is a sport that lends itself to an agrarian environment. The country has shifted in the last 100 years to where almost everyone is living in cities. Kids today don’t have a giant field to play in after helping Pa on the farm.
That trend is not going to change unless we have a massive catastrophic event that forces the next generation to leave cities and go back to farms. Baseball is a dying sport no matter much we want it not to be. And it has nothing to do with race or pace of play or ghost runners or any of the other hot button issues. It’s all about how kids grow up and they don’t grow up playing baseball in the field anymore.
Fever Pitch Guy
hiflew – That’s an excellent point about accessibility, something I was going to bring up in my prior post. But the thing is, basketball has ALWAYS been a more accessible sport.
Fifty years ago (going back to when MLB was nearly 20% African Americans) all that you needed to practice/play some form of basketball was a ball and a hoop that could be indoors or outdoors. And you could do it yourself, you didn’t need anyone else if all you want to do is shoot hoops or practice dribbling. Because it could be played indoors like in gyms, you could play all year round in any part of the country.
Not the same with baseball 50 years ago. Besides a ball, you also needed more expensive items such as a glove and a bat. You couldn’t practice/play baseball indoors, which means cold weather states prevented you from practicing/playing in the winter. And you couldn’t practice/play by yourself, because it’s impossible to take grounders or catch horizontal throws by yourself. You also need someone to pitch to you, and someone to retrieve balls that are hit. Sure I used to throw the ball straight up in the air and then swing at it, but chasing down the balls after they were hit got very tiresome real fast.
Sooooo …. my question to you, what’s changed over the past 50 years? Your mention of fields 100 years ago is true, but it’s not relevant when looking back to the 1970’s.
Basketball today is much easier to practice/play than baseball, but it was 50 years ago too.
Agrarian? Our players are from Texas, Florida, and California….suburb kids who play “summer family” travel ball.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Manfraud’s new massive bodyguard in negotiations with the big guy Tony Clark.
He’ll serve as liaison officer with Hometown Buffet.
Nah, great guy, smart guy, excellent communication skills. He’ll help.
Love CC’s comments about Clint Frazier earlier this off-season… Definitely a “positive energy” what a joke
Wow, did not know that about CC. I had to look it up. That’s definitely not an example of a “civic leader”
Exactly! Hopefully for MLB’s sake it was just a slip up for him but for sure not a good look for him :/
CC is a token.
Yeah, I don’t fault him for saying what he wanted to about Clint as a former major-leaguer & current podcast host. I don’t fault those who criticize his remarks as inappropriate or unprofessional either. But, it’s funny how some people can say something like that and they’re a leader with great communication, while someone else under the same circumstances is the devil.
All in all, CC has done some very good things in the community & with his position in the Player’s Alliance, which is what this job is about, so that’s what they’re referring to.
Thank GOD we now have a person as impartial and morally upstanding as CC to ensure that a sports league has enough diversity or something.
I know, right! That’s what I’m talking about Fletch…I mean, who more impartial than retired Yankees icons to take over the MLB FO, right? Thank goodness you’re with me, my friend. Some people think this is a bad thing… they just don’t understand, poor fellas.
And I’ll bet you thought MLB (and all sports) was a meritocracy. Ha!
Congratulations CC. You are a good man. Many fans are proud of you, looking forward to this next chapter…
Not a clever name
Played against him in HS, well kinda, I had the honor of him sitting my backside back down on the pine for two at bats.
John Rocker Fan Club
Nothing like hiring a giant ahole for player relations.
You Can Put It In The Books
Takes one to know one.
yeah why can’t they bring in a former player with a more level head like John Rocker?
so major league baseball is hiring an ex alcoholic who was in rehab after binge drinking in 2015 with his team mates he had also been drinking in the clubhouse after a game that had been cancelled due to rain. And hes going to now talk to the ‘ youth’ of the game?
um……. good going? literally the LAST guy that should get this opportunity.
He should be more like David Ortiz who showed children everywhere that it’s possible to take PEDs and get into Cooperstown (as long as you’re a super nice person).
Please show ONE piece of evidence that Ortiz used PED’s, just one. His name was included on a report that he sued to get access to and was denied. He was tested continuously and frequently after that unreleased report and he passed and performed.
Who better to tell young people about the dangers of addictive substances than someone who had the sense to get into rehab?
I’m not too fond of his ready-fire-aim communication style, but why should he be the last guy to get this opportunity, Amanda?
Amanda might not be able to hear you all the way up there on her high horse.
Seriously though, I’m not advocating for or against CC in this job as I don’t know him personally and don’t know enough about his history to feel competent to say one way or the other. But if anyone could send a positive message about the dangers of alcohol and/or drug abuse, it would be a recovering addict. Not every recovering addict is stable or self-aware enough to help others. But to dismiss and even belittle the idea of someone trying to prevent others from making the same mistakes they did, just because they made mistakes… that just seems wrong to me.
Pretty ignorant take from @Amanda.
“Had been drinking in the clubhouse after a game that had been cancelled” as if that’s a problem.
I’d hate for Amanda to see what happens after post season games or clinching games.
it’s recovering alcoholic….
Dumpster Divin Theo
Is this Amanda Huginkiss?
They got the right man!!!!!
maybe the mets will hire darryl strawberry to tell kids not to take drugs
You Can Put It In The Books
Why not? They welcomed back Robinson Cano like he was on vacation, and not a two-time cheating loser using PEDs.
Or the Red Sox could hire Josh Beckett to speak on the dangers of eating chicken, drinking beer and playing cards in the clubhouse while his team is getting eliminated from playoff contention on the final day of the season. Now that’s a speech I would love to attend!
The Mets literally DO have Strawberry working with their young players on moral solutions. He’s actually a noted public speaker and pastor now.
I’ve never listened to his podcast, but the top sports radio station in Boston (98.5) regularly uses a clip from it where he’s talking about problems within the game, specifically regarding pace of play. It’s really worth a listen if you can find it.
He sounds likes one of the most well-grounded athletes I’ve ever heard, especially impressive coming from a pitcher!
Stuff about his substance use (only alcohol, so far as I’ve seen) shouldn’t detract. Something tells me a lot of people would have listened to what Mickey Mantle had to say about the state of the game back in the day.
I used to attend his fan events when MLB had their newly-opened “fan experience” studio in Noho, Manhattan. (A friend of mine worked for MLB video-editing.) The dude is definitely solid and he was one of the few players that was always there meeting fans.
Dumpster Divin Theo
And calling out those weird ass Minnesota Twins over being butt hurt over Yermin Mercedes HR in a blowout. More plz.
“player relations, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, social responsibility, youth participation, and broadcasting.”
MLB being MLB.
Basically they handed him an empty sheet of paper and let him jot down whatever random vague things he wanted to do off the top of his head as his job description.
If only we could all be so lucky.
tough crowd, sheesh
I know, right?
Pass me the bottle and the meth.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Cc’s first order of business: unilaterally contract those weird ass Minnesota Twins