The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Indians Indians Archive Technically, Tribe Never Gave CC Sabathia a Chance
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

cc2On a day where one of baseball’s biggest icons passed away, one of his highest-paid hired guns ever decided to kick Cleveland while it’s down.

While his comments may not exactly be equated to a kick, and some may even rush to the big left-hander’s defense, it certainly hurts someone who used to support him until the day he was traded. Now, I can’t help but scoff at CC Sabathia’s new found arrogance. 

With the wounds opened up by LeBron James still fresh and the image of him donning a Heat uniform burning in the heads of diehard Cleveland fans, you can not help be reminded about the old image that branded scars of disappointment on fans of the Indians just a few years ago. The disappointment of course, was seeing someone Tribe fans loved, put on the same hat James did at a playoff game a year before. 

Not being a Cavaliers fan, I don’t share the sorrow that many do with LeBron James leaving Cleveland. I believe that James had every right to sign with whomever he wanted to, yet I share the disappointment many non-Cavaliers fans do in the way he did it. And I definitely understand the resentment that the Cavaliers fans and Cleveland natives have in terms of what he said and how he went about leaving. 

It is there where I can take CC Sabathia’s words and deduce that he is no better than LeBron James, yet he has two big factors working for him. Well, two big factors, and he didn’t dump the Indians on national television without any prior warning.

The first is fairly obvious, and it deals with the fact that he wasn’t born anywhere near the city of Cleveland, despite the fact he was pretty much accepted into the city. For years Sabathia made the city his home and in addition to that, matured into the man that he is today under the organization that drafted him straight out of high school.

That last part sounds a little familiar.

Sabathia also has the fact that in all technical aspects of what went down in his departure from the Tribe; he didn’t actually willingly leave…technically. 

Yes, the big lefty was traded from Cleveland to Milwaukee way before the deadline in 2008, which ultimately gave him the cover he needed to make peace with the Cleveland fans that adored him since his introduction in 2001.

“Hey Cleveland, I still love you guys! Let me take out an ad in your local paper with roughly .008 percent of the salary I’ll be making in New York to show you just how much I cared.” 

That isn’t an actual quote (the calculated percentage is more accurate) but rather my own paraphrasing of what CC Sabathia is now saying in that full-page ad he took out in the Cleveland Plain Dealer not three weeks after he was dealt in 2008. 

Far be it from me to diminish Sabathia’s extension of gratitude toward the city and the fans, that isn’t what he deserves. I believe his actions were sincere and at the time, thoughtful. 

However his ad is now nothing of the kind. It is doing nothing but adding to that shield Sabathia has created in defending himself against the criticism he was never handed down for what he said prior to everything else. 

That shield is starting to crumble though and Sabathia has no one to blame but himself.

Technically he didn’t leave Cleveland. Technically Cleveland traded him to Milwaukee. That’s his excuse and he’s sticking with it.

That’s the funniest thing coming from the fact that the biggest stars of Cleveland Indians baseball from the past 10 years are all teammates once again, as American League All-Stars. While none of them represented the Cleveland Indians, Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez were all in Anaheim for the 2010 MLB All-Star game. 

The only thing CC can say in regards to what was in 2007 and what could have been? 

Not my fault, I was traded and so was everyone else. 

Sure Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez were dealt and perhaps if they had said the same thing you did, I might not blink twice. The difference with someone like Victor Martinez saying something like this and CC Sabathia saying it is simple. The Cleveland Indians actually traded Martinez before he had a chance to tell him he’d be willing to come back. 

Actually, Victor Martinez even told the world he’d be willing to come back. 

CC Sabathia told Cleveland, thanks but no thanks to a contract offer prior to the 2008 season. A contract offer that Mark Shapiro today may look back upon and scoff at, just as I did when I read Sabathia’s latest quotes from Anaheim. 

And while on the subject of scoffing. I take back what I said about Sabathia being just as bad as James. CC did say thanks but no thanks, which at least made his intentions clear in time for the Indians to do what they had to do. James did none of the kind. 

I guess he does have that working for him. 

What Sabathia doesn’t have working for him right now is me buying anything he’s trying to say. I see him for what he’s turned into and not what he actually was when he was the humble son of Margie and taking out full-page ads to sincerely thank a city. 

He’s officially New York, a city that can blind you with its bright lights and brighter stars. He’s officially a Yankee, a team that, as their now late-owner would categorize them, is in a league of their own. 

Now Cleveland is nothing but a “sad” place to Sabathia. He’s enjoying the success in New York, while the Tribe is going through a “call it anything but a rebuilding process” process. He says if they had kept everybody, they could have had a really good team. 

If I could get technical again for a moment, technically everyone that mattered from that 2007 team was back in 2008 and under contract for 2009 and 2010. That was, everyone except CC Sabathia, technically. 

All that hinged on “keeping everyone” was Sabathia saying yes, or even pushing some more discussion on the $18 million per year deal the Tribe had offered him prior to the season. 

Like James, I don’t blame CC for leaving, or I guess, technically wanting to leave, for greener pastures. And when I say greener pastures, I think you know exactly what type of green I’m talking about in terms of Sabathia. 

What I do blame CC for is trying to mock the organization that treated him with tremendous respect. He has no right to place the blame squarely on the organization for “breaking up the band” when he was the only member of the band that wanted to leave. 

2008 didn’t get off to the start many thought it would and the early trade of Sabathia signified the club not believing they were much of a contender. That’s the way the story unfolded and the only thing that was going to keep Sabathia in Cleveland was a team in contention. 

That and a contract extension, but you didn’t actually think that was possible, did you? 

CC certainly knew it wasn’t and to this day he acts like the possibility was never even presented, even though he made Tribe fans believe him in staying in Cleveland was possible.

The TCF Forums