Wednesday, July 27, 2016


There they were.  Two certified Met fans at my dinner table talking about CC Sabathia and his pursuit to pass Mike Mussina on the Yankee all time strikeouts list.  "How old is CC Sabathia?' asked my daughter, one of the Met fans.  "I think he is around 34."  Actually, he just turned 36, so I was close.  "Do you think he will pitch for as long as Bartolo Colon?'  And there it was, the Met comparison.  In actuality, I thought it was sort of interesting to consider.  Does CC Sabathia have the longevity of Bartolo Colon?  Let's take a look.

According to CBS New York, Sabathia and Colon "are two old warhorses clearly struggling to pull that cannon up the hill. The difference between them lies in their respective situations." Let's take a closer look at these situations.  Colon exudes confidence and control.  He does not seem fazed about anything, despite being the oldest player in baseball right now and being on one of the youngest pitching staffs in game.  He just seems calm and comfortable.  Sabathia, not so much.  But Sabathia carries the weight of an aging and unsuccessful team on his shoulders and has done so for years. That can age you in a different way.

Then you have to look at alcoholism vs. steroids; both are taxing on the body.  Colon was suspended for 50 days for testing positive for testosterone in 2012 and Sabathia checked himself into rehab at the onset of the AL Wild Card game last season.  You are as old as you feel and your body feels.  Perhaps Colon feels younger than Sabathia, who is seven years younger.  

CC Sabathia has a number of good years left in him, especially if he continues on the path he has made for himself this year.  And he is fighting for his presence in the game and with the Yankees. On the flip side, Colon's days are numbered, and he doesn't care.  "When the time does come for each man to recede into the shadows beyond the outfield fence, Colon will go just as willingly as he did last postseason. At his advanced age, he realizes he’s playing with house money. And he knows he will not replace any of the other faces in the Mets’ young, stacked rotation," reports CBS New York. 

So, will CC Sabathia be a 44-year-old baseball pitcher for a team in the major leagues?  I don't think so.  Sabathia has had a hard time physically and mentally which can be overwhelming for anyone, let alone an athlete.  But Colon, he keeps moving along.  "Colon is succeeding at doing one thing exceptionally well, and it's one of the least exciting things a scout can look for. An average fastball with movement, put in just the right spot, almost every time," states SB Nation.  

There is something to be said for managing stress well and not so well.  If you can stay calm, manage your anxieties through positive means, you may outlast your fiercest competitor.  As the tweet I read stated, "Do u mentally give up after a tough stretch? Remember that champions have lost & made more mistakes than u can count. #TheChampionsComeback"  Colon has had a number of comebacks and he is enjoying longevity in a game he almost lost.  For Sabathia to stay in it for the long haul, he has to stay hungry, stay healthy, stay calm and just want it.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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