According to multiple reports, Major League Baseball has issued a five-game suspension to CC Sabathia for his role in Thursday’s fracas with the Rays. The left-hander is appealing the decision, so he remains an active player through season’s end. It is also important to note that any suspension would be served during the 2019 regular season, so he remains eligible during the playoffs.
Sabathia earned the suspension by drilling Jesus Sucre with a pitch, then admitting it was intentional with a profanity-laden explanation to the Rays’ dugout. This served as a receipt for Andrew Kittredge throwing at Austin Romine’s head, which was probably no accident in itself.
In addition to a suspension, the ejection cost Sabathia $500,000 in performance-bonus money that he was closing in on. That didn’t phase the southpaw, however, as protecting his teammates proved paramount. “I don’t make decisions based on money,” he told reporters during the postgame interview. “I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”
The 38-year-old just turned in his best season since 2012, pitching to a 3.65 ERA (4.16 FIP) over 153 innings. He figures to play a role in the postseason rotation should the Yankees advance to the ALDS. Sabathia also has indicated that he would like to pitch again in 2019. It would be cool if that was in pinstripes, because as Thursday illustrated, this is his team.