CC Sabathia was one of my favorite players growing up.
He seemed like a laid-back, chill dude that managed to strike guys out and gather wins. Oh, he also managed to hit one over the fence once in awhile as well. NBD! Anyhow, it seemed like CC was the type of guy that never stressed over anything and was just enjoying life while living the dream life of a Major Leaguer.
That was until a few days before the 2015 American League Wild Card game between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros.
The Yankees organization sent out a press release stating the CC won't be joining the Yankees for the upcoming postseason due to his alcohol addiction.
I was like..."What!?"
You're about to enter one of the biggest games of your career...your chance at collecting a World Series ring...and you're going into rehab to fight off alcohol addiction? It was totally unexpected. I would've never imagined CC Sabathia to be in such situation and publicly state, "I need help".
And while his team was out on the battlefield, trying to inch past the next round in the playoffs, CC was fighting his own battle against alcohol addiction.
I didn't quite understand at that time how anyone could let go of the opportunity to be part of a great organization like the New York Yankees and let go of their opportunity to take part in the postseason race to becoming the champions of the world. Yankees GM, Brian Cashman said this:
"What CC is dealing with is a life issue. It's bigger than the game we have tomorrow night. And so because of that, it's vitally important that gets put in the proper perspective and place. He needs to tag out of this situation, which is a lot of high-end pressure, and really take a step back and get the professional help necessary. Because he's not alone in this. He's not alone in this because he's not the only one walking this planet dealing with this problem.''
Well, you know the rest of the story. The Yankees lost to Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros and had to end their journey to the World Series early than they've expected.
After a long respite from baseball, we are finally only a few days away from Opening Day of the 2016 season. And guess who's back? That's right. CC Sabathia.
And upon his return to baseball, CC wrote an essay titled, "My Toughest Out".
You can find the essay ----> HERE.
After reading his essay, I realized the pressure all these athletes have to go through. Although we may look up to them and aspire to become just like them, they all have their own problems and barriers. It's not all fun and glorious.
Everyone should take a moment to read CC's essay and if anyone around you or even yourself need help, just say these three words: I need help. That can make the difference between living and dying.