On the eve of the New York Yankees American League wild-card game against the Houston Astros, pitcher CC Sabathia issued a written statement that he was checking himself into alcohol rehab.
The Yankees released the statement. Here's part of it:
"Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.
"I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.
"I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.
"I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness."
The 35-year-old Sabathia was not scheduled to pitch in Tuesday's wild-card game, but if the Yankees advance to the American League Division Series, he likely would have been in the rotation. This season, Sabathia has a 4.73 ERA and 6 wins, 10 losses in 29 starts.
Statistically, the 2015 season was one of the worst in Sabathia's 14-year career, although he had been improving lately. He ended September with 2.25 ERA and in his most recent game on Oct. 1, he led the Yankees to a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox, pitching 5 innings and giving up one run.
According to ESPN, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he was informed of Sabathia's decision "via an 'unexpected' phone call with the pitcher and others."
"CC has demonstrated a great deal of courage in trying to tackle this problem," Cashman said. "Time and place have no bearing. There is something here that needs to be taken care of and I applaud him."
"What CC is dealing with is a life issue," Cashman said. "It is bigger than the game [Tuesday] night."
Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.