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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/16/17

CC Sabathia saddened by the lack of African-Americans playing baseball; Yankees might not want Sabathia to leave if he continues pitching this well; the Yankees are stealing bases; Girardi still believes in Greg Bird

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees
He loves it when you call him Big Poppa and when you throw your hands in the air like you are a true player
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Around the Empire

Newsday | Brian Heyman: Yesterday was Jackie Robinson day all across major league baseball. All players wore #42 in honor of him, as has been done every year since 2009. CC Sabathia use to listen to the stories his grandfather would tell him about Robinson. Nowadays, he is saddened by the lack of African-Americans currently playing baseball. He believes that a lack of baseball scholarships is one of the reasons. He’s probably right.

New York Daily News | John Harper: CC Sabathia pitched a gem against the Cardinals yesterday afternoon. All of his outings this season have thus far been great. It seems like he’s the same pitcher that he was last year, which is just what the Yankees need. The question will be whether or not they think they need him next year. Sabathia’s contract is up at the end of this season. He says he wants to continue pitching. It’s hard to make the argument that the Yankees shouldn’t be considering it.

New York Daily News | Daniel Popper: Quick question for everyone here. What team wears pinstripes and now leads the majors in stolen bases? This team, that’s who. The Yankees are showing more aggressiveness on the base paths lately. Brett Gardner currently leads the team with five steals. Ellsbury has four. Chase Headley, who hasn’t really been that great of a stolen base threat while here, also have three stolen bases. Keep running, Yankees.

Newsday | Brian Heyman: Greg Bird had an incredible spring training. It was so incredible that Girardi told him to save some for the regular season. Bird has not followed that advice yet. His time at the plate this season has been less than optimal. Girardi has no current plans to play anyone else at first base. Bird is still young and everyone believes the talent is still there. Or perhaps he’s just not good in April. He wouldn’t be the first Yankee play to do poorly in this month. He won’t be the last either.