As I prefaced toward the end of the morning news yesterday, frankiecamp and I traveled to the MLB Fan Cave down on 4th and Broadway in Manhattan to meet up with the ace of the New York Yankees, CC Sabathia.
This opportunity was completely made possible by Pepsi Max. They have a program called the "Pepsi Max Field of Dreams" and it's endorsed by the big man himself. I'm sure you've seen their commercial during Yankee games or on ESPN (the abbreviated version, most likely). If not, here it is.
This program gives fans a chance to vote for their "dream team" of baseball players that will come to their town next year and play against a winning fan and 10 of his/her closest friends. If anyone is interested in voting or taking a look at who the players on the ballot are, this link will take you there. Four finalists, essentially voters that are drawn at random, will compete for votes to be the lucky winner that will get to play the legendary baseball players.
Travis was contacted by Pepsi Max and they extended an invitation for a writer or two from Pinstripe Alley to go out and conduct a brief interview with CC Sabathia. Thanks to proximity, Frank and I jumped on the opportunity and were fortunate enough to ask him a few questions and even take a picture.
Follow past the jump for the full question and answer.
Chris - Alright, first question for CC Sabathia. I noticed going through the list of candidates for the Pepsi Max Field of Dreams that you've faced four of them in your career: Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza. Out of those four guys, who would you say was the most difficult to get out?
CC Sabathia - I think Frank Thomas. You know, he was a tough out. He always knew the strike zone and he didn't really swing at balls, didn't chase many pitches out of the zone, so he made you throw the ball over the plate and when you made a mistake he would hurt you.
For the record, we had to ask one question that was related to the Pepsi Max program. Obviously, question number one was our creative attempt.
Chris - How about your thoughts and reflections on your two and a half, almost three, years in pinstripes with the Yankees?
CC Sabathia - It's been a great time. You know, you always have a chance to win, and the teams are always great. The past three years, the fans are awesome... you know, I get a chance to show up in the Bronx and pitch in front of those fans... I've definitely enjoyed my time. Got a chance to play in and win a world series in 2009 and that's what you play for as a ballplayer.
Chris - Is this the team you envision spending the rest of your career with?
CC Sabathia - Sure, I mean definitely. After you play in pinstripes, you don't really want to play anywhere else. And so, I've had the opportunity to do that and hopefully I can stay around long enough and finish here.
Frank - Let's jump to the current season. How do you feel about the six man rotation?
CC Sabathia - (Laughs). Um, you know it's a good problem to have. Coming into the season nobody thought our pitching staff was going to be able to hold up. And to be able to have six guys in the rotation that really deserve to be there is pretty cool. If it was up to me, I would make a choice and just have five guys, you know, just so we can pitch on a normal routine and know what to expect. But I mean it's a good problem to have so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Chris - Well if it was up to me, you'd be pitching every five days considering how well you've pitched this season.
CC Sabathia - (Laughs again). Well that's not fair to the other guys. You know, we have off days and some guys can possibly go eight or nine days without pitching. So, it's up to them to make a decision but, like I said, it's a great problem to have.
Chris - Do you think it'll be beneficial to go with the six man rotation in hopes that innings will be saved come playoff time?
CC Sabathia - Well yeah, but you've got to get to the playoffs. We have to get in. You know, nothing's for certain and it's not a shoe-in. In 2009, we got in pretty early and we got some rest in-between the end of the regular season and the playoffs. But, we've still got to get in, we've still got a lot of work to do. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Frank - Speaking of the playoffs, how do you feel about throwing on three days rest? Is that any different from four or five days off?
CC Sabathia - I love it. I like throwing three days rest because I feel that my delivery is a lot better, I can't overthrow and it keeps my mechanics in check. You know, if I try to overthrow I know I don't have that extra juice that I would with the extra days rest. So, it helps me out a lot.
Frank - Well, it certainly didn't harm you in 2009.
CC Sabathia - (Chuckles yet again)
Chris - Alright, last question for you CC. This is a little bit random and the topic's not you: What do you think about A.J. Burnett and his new hairstyle?
CC Sabathia - (Laughs pretty hard). I think it's pretty cool. You know what? His son has the same hairstyle and he's been begging him to cut it like that forever, so that's what fathers do for their sons.
Frank - What do you think about the blonde color? (As all three of us laugh)
CC Sabathia - I mean, like I said, that's his kid's exact style so... I'm all for it.
Frank - (After the end of the interview). Hope you're back next year.
CC Sabathia - (Another chuckle).
Our thoughts on the MLB Fan Cave and the whole experience will be up at 11 AM. And, appropriately, Sabathia takes the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.
Follow me on twitter @csm5206 and Frank @frankiecamp48