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Opt-out redux

CC Sabathia becomes the second Yankee to have an opt-out clause. He isn't certain how he'll take to living in New York, so he wants the option to play elsewhere if the team and the city can't convince him to stay within three years.

This is a win-win for the player: if he has a great 2011 season, he'll opt-out and probably get a longer, more lucrative contract (just as Arod did); if he sucks or gets injured, he'll still have four more years guaranteed.

This also begs the question: will he even hold up for seven years? Rob Neyer took a look at that question. There have been plenty of fat, effective players in baseball history: Babe Ruth, David Wells, Tony Gwynn and Livan Hernandez to name a few. Hopefully Sabathia is just one more.

But the question I'm trying to get to is: will he enjoy living and playing in New York?

[Aside: my cousin's ex-girlfriend is good friends with Miguel Cairo - they went to high school in Venezuela together - so my cousin met him a few times. The last time, in the summer of 2006, he had some drinks with him and Miguel opened up. He told my cousin how playing for the Yankees is better than any other team because they treat every player like royalty: limousines, gorgeous clubhouse spreads, the works. And it's not like that with any other team. He knows because he's played for eight and talks to other players. And it's not just Arod and Jeter, it's everyone up to and including the utility infielder, backup catcher and mop-up guy.]

Then there's the draw of the new Stadium. Did that that a positive effect on him? I would expect so.

But there's also the media scrutiny, at a level he has never experienced pitching in Cleveland and Milwaukee. How will he handle it? Is the media going to lambaste him if he doesn't pitch a complete game shutout every time? What if he has another poor start to the season? I can understand not wanting to be under that microscope, but if the team wins, he'll avoid much of the pressure. As David Cone (iirc) said, "When you're winning, New York is the best place to be; when you're losing, it's the worst."

Hopefully Sabathia appreciates the Yankee experience and learns to love New York. I don't know how anyone couldn't. He'll be in a brand new stadium, pitching for the most storied franchise in history with $160 million in his pocket. What's not to like?