At one time, sports used to be about following the best players on the best teams. From MLBbro legends such as Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr and the list goes on about how they were as Reggie Jackson famously stated, “The straw that stirs the drink”, on winning teams that benefited from their talent and superstar contributions. In other words, players like these put their prospective teams in position to win championships.
But based on these comments by former Yankees pitcher, CC Sabathia, winning is no longer a part of the equation. Despite the fact that Aaron Judge has dominated the baseball diamond and newscycle on baseball’s most iconic team, the New York Yankees, Sabathia still believes that Shohei Ohtani should be AL MVP and not our MLBbro.
Sabathia’s words via CBSSports.com…
“He’s the best player to ever play baseball,” Sabathia said regarding Ohtani. “He’s the MVP every year that he’s healthy. He continues to get better as a pitcher. You have to give him the MVP.”
“He’s having a better year than last year. I understand everything that Judge is doing,” Sabathia added. “I think it’s going to be incredible to watch him chase down 61 home runs in a Yankees uniform. If it wasn’t for him, they probably wouldn’t be in the playoff picture. This guy (Ohtani) is literally the best player we’ve ever seen.”
No, Ohtani has the advantage of being a two-way player which is almost unprecedented, so therefore captivating. Not since Babe Ruth has a player been a pitcher while being a home run threat the way Shohei has. He hasn’t been the best player all year as Sabathia claims…Aaron Judge has and it’s not even close.
Compare those stats with Ohtani’s .265 batting average with 34 home runs (tied for sixth in the league) and 88 RBI. As you can see, Shohei trails Judge in almost every statistical category at the plate. Furthermore, even though Ohtani has a 12-8 record with a 2.55 ERA (10th lowest in baseball) with 188 strikeouts (ranked 8th), the fact that the Angels are struggling should not factor in the mediocrity of his record. Back in 1972, Steve Carlton won the NL Cy Young with a record of 27-10, an ERA of 1.91 and 310 strikeouts on a Phillies team that finished last in their division by a whopping 37.5 games.
But Judge’s numbers wouldn’t be as impressive if they didn’t tie into a championship situation. Although 57 homers can stand alone as an obvious MVP campaign. Everyone in MLB can play and there has to be one player on each team that has to be the best, no matter how bad the team is.
That’s where these two players are separated.
Superstars will lead their teams to victories no matter what is going on behind the scenes. It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Angels are one of the worst teams in baseball. It’s also no secret that no matter what stats Ohtani produces, the team will continue to struggle mightily to the point that he may leave when his contract is up.
Nothing illustrates this point more than the 14-game losing streak the Angels had earlier this season that got manager Joe Maddon fired. In a period where the entire organization was being criticized for its play on the field and the front office, Ohtani struggled on the mound and the batter’s box with a .192/.333/.383 slash line and a two start ERA of 9.00 while opponents bombed homers at an alarming rate.
Our MLBbro on the other hand, did not allow contract negotiations to derail maybe a historic campaign that is sparking debates that he would be the single season home run king if he breaks the AL home run record of 61 held by Roger Maris. While MLBbro.com founder, Rob Parker broke down his thoughts based on what Barry Bonds had to deal with in his era, MLBbro.com’s very own Manny Brown and Mark Gray weighed in with their opinions…
Debatable | Would 62 Dingers By Aaron Judge Be Greatest Home Run Season Ever?@thesportsgroove and @TheManuelBrown debate the greatest home run seasons in history.
Sports shows do invent subjects to debate about, however this race was over about six weeks ago. If anyone was trying to hang on with advanced stats to make their claim for Ohtani, those discussions died this week when Judge deposited two more home runs in the seats when the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
When the Boston Red Sox fans rain down MVP chants on a New York Yankees player, that speaks volumes and closes the book on the MVP race this year. That’s history in itself…
MLBbro.com could bring up the fact that Aaron Judge has 57 homers with 123 RBI with an excellent chance of breaking Roger Maris’ record. It could be pointed out that he’s doing it in one of the biggest markets in the country. We could even say the Yankees would be irrelevant without Judge and his offensive mastery this season.
But what makes this MVP race a landslide for Judge over Ohtani is the basic theme of this report…team wins. Something our MLBbro understands.
Sabathia to Work on Player Relations, The Players Alliance Partnership, And Special MLB Network Game Telecasts
Major League Baseball announced today that CC Sabathia has been named Special Assistant to the Commissioner in a new role developed specifically for him that will address areas important to the future of the sport, including player relations, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, social responsibility, youth participation, and broadcasting.
Sabathia will work closely with the Commissioner’s Office staff on a variety of high priority league initiatives. The Vallejo, California native will bring his perspective as a 19-year MLB veteran to the Commissioner’s Office where he will be a liaison between MLB and active Major League players to collaborate on special efforts to help grow, and promote equity within, the game of baseball.
Sabathia will help execute new initiatives with MLB’s partnership with The Players Alliance, where he is Vice President of the Board of Directors. The Players Alliance is a nonprofit formed in 2020 to address barriers to equity and inclusion in the game of baseball. Through his work with the group, Sabathia has actively engaged both active and retired players to ascertain the best methods for increasing opportunity and representation of Black talent on and off the field.
The six-time All-Star also will continue to collaborate with MLB Network on its Clubhouse Edition telecasts where Sabathia joins former players to call the action in a non-traditional format, a concept Sabathia was involved in creating and developing last season. The former southpaw joined all four Clubhouse telecasts on MLB Network with former players to announce the games in a more conversational way and casual setting.
“We are excited to have CC Sabathia join the Commissioner’s Office to work on some of our most important initiatives,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “We welcome CC’s positive energy, strong character, creative mind, and civic-minded approach in building on our efforts to strengthen the game, diversify the sport, and give back to the community. CC has a powerful voice in Baseball, and we value the perspective he will bring to our office.”
“I’m looking forward to sharing my viewpoint as a former Major League player with the Commissioner’s Office,” said Sabathia. “I want to be able to continue to give back to the game that I love so much. This new role gives me the opportunity to continue the work I’m passionate about, be an advocate for players and be able to contribute to the decision-making process of the league office after 19 years on the field. I can’t wait to get started.”
Sabathia, who will be based in MLB’s midtown Manhattan headquarters, joins a group of former MLB players working in the Commissioner’s Office including Raúl Ibañez, Billy Bean, Rajai Davis, Gregor Blanco, Joe Martinez, Dan Otero, and Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. (Special Assistant to the Commissioner) and Cal Ripken Jr. (Special Advisor to the Commissioner).
Sabathia retired in 2019 as only the third left-hander in Major League history to register 3,000 career strikeouts. The 6’6” hurler also recorded 251 wins, earned the 2007 American League Cy Young Award, and was the 2009 ALCS MVP as the ace of the New York Yankees’ most-recent World Series title team. MLB honored Sabathia at the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland, where he started his career and pitched from 2001-08, for his contributions to the game and community.
Helping Baseball Grow In The Inner-City
In 2009, CC and his wife Amber founded the “PitCCh In” Foundation to enrich the lives of inner-city children by raising their self-esteem and improving their chances of success through sports and education. Since its inception, PitCCh In has donated more than 50,000 backpacks with back-to-school essentials for deserving children and multiple baseball field renovations. The Sabathia’s have also personally supported numerous philanthropic organizations and worthwhile causes, including the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Toys for Tots.
Do you ever wonder what the players discuss when they’re just chilling in the clubhouse watching other teams play? Or when they are at home in the offseason watching the playoffs. Or at the barbershop, or even the local bar?
Well, CC Sabathia is making history as a broadcaster today. An articulate student of the game, CC has made appearances here and there on baseball and basketball telecasts, as he starred in both sports during a legendary High School career. His podcast game is crazy too. He’s one of the more expressive baseball players around.
The CC you used to see on the mound or while doing public appearances, is not the same CC you’d get if you were just chilling in the crib with him, watching the game. With that being said, now you can get the best of both worlds thanks to an ingenious idea that The Black Ace himself created.
As MLB continues to find ways to engage fans, especially with COVID restrictions still in place across the league and limiting the number of fans that can attend games in most cities, Sabathia, a six-time MLB All-Star, will join former All-Star Carlos Peña, Hall of Famer John Smoltz and host Stephen Nelson in a non-traditional game telecast format for the New York Yankees against the Cleveland Indians this Sunday, April 25 at 1 p.m. ET from Progressive Field.
“Whenever I watch games with my friends and former teammates, I always say that it would be cool if the cameras were rolling and people could listen to our different conversations,” said CC Sabathia. “I’m excited to test this vision out for fans on MLB Network, especially with the game involving two organizations I’m incredibly familiar with.”
Called MLB Network Showcase: Clubhouse Edition, the goal is to share the organic conversations that take place among a group of former players as if they are watching a game from home.
Nelson will navigate the conversation from a casual setup inside MLB Network’s Studio 21. Sunday’s telecast will mark the first time Sabathia contributes to a national baseball broadcast since his retirement in 2019.
This will be very interesting as CC is known to drop an F-bomb or three in casual and comfortable conversation, but If MLB is trying to capture the essence of “baseball talk” then they have to accept everything that comes with it.
Now, it was CC’s idea so I’m sure he’s prepared and has a certain direction he wants this unprecedented style of broadcast to go in, So he’ll probably be minding his jibs.
“When CC and his team brought this idea to us, we were thrilled by the opportunity to work with him as his Hall of Fame resume and knowledge of the game speak for itself,” said MLB Network President Rob McGlarry. “Letting viewers in to listen to the natural conversations among our former players has been a hallmark of our studio shows, and we’re
In collaboration with Sabathia and Ron Berkowitz, President of Berk Communications, Sunday will mark the first time MLB Network tests this game telecast format.
It’s lit to see CC, a Black player who rose up out of rough conditions to become one of the greatest pitchers of his generation, continue to make such an impact on how the game is marketed to the younger generation.
He has the same energy in retirement that he had as a star player in The Big Apple. We need connected voices like CC who has also dedicated a large portion of his career to supporting youth initiatives involving education and providing resources for local baseball programs in his hometown of Vallejo, California and his second home, the Bronx, NYC.
Since retiring, former MLB Black Knight CC Sabathia has a media and lifestyle brand named Roots of Fight which celebrates the improbable achievements of history’s most legendary athletes and their unique battle for greatness.
CC presented David Price with some special drip in the form of a sweatshirt and joggers. The logo has an Ace of spade between the two C’s with a B hovering over the Ace of Spade.
What’s A Black Ace?
The logo represents the Black Aces of MLB. That exclusive fraternity that hasn’t had a member enter since 2012 when Price went 20-5 for the Toronto Blue Jays. In many ways, Sabathia and Price are brothers beyond baseball and through their historical achievements have a unique bond that will tie them together in MLB lore.
“The term “Black Aces,” derived from the book, Baseball’s Only African-American Twenty-Game Winners, written by former major leaguer, and group member, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, the first African-American 20-game winner in the American League (Minnesota Twins, 1965) and the first African-American to win a World Series Game in the American League (1965).
The book is a historically accurate description of the lives of the thirteen African-American 20-game winners in the Majors that existed when the book was released in 2007.
The 15 Black Aces
Canadian-born Ferguson Jenkins won 20-games or more a remarkable seven times (1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974)
Bullet Bob Gibson did it five times (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970)
Dave Stewart did it four times (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)
Don Newcombe (1951, 1955 and 1956), and Vida Blue (1971, 1973, 1975) both won 20 or more games three times.
Dontrelle Willis (2005), CC Sabathia (2010), David Price (2012), Al Downing (1971), Dwight Gooden (1985), Sam Jones (1959), Mike Norris (1980), J.R. Richard (1976), Earl Wilson (1967) and of course, Mudcat Grant (1965) all did it once.
Respect Dave Stewart
Dave Stewart is the last Black pitcher to post multiple 20-win seasons. To put this into perspective, in the history of Major League Baseball only five black pitchers have eclipsed the 20 wins mark multiple times in a career.
Two of the five are in the Baseball Hall of Fame: Jenkins, who won more than 250 games in a 14-year career, and Gibson, who did it five times in a span of only six years. Gibson was so unhittable in 1968, that MLB lowered the mound to make it easier for hitters to deal with such Black dominance
Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who was the first black pitcher to ever win 20 (1951), and Vida Blue of the Oakland Athletics during the 1970s, each reached the achievement three times.
Price and CC are the last of MLB’s Black Aces.
Sabathia went 21-7 with the Yankees in 2010 after signing a huge free agent deal and then leading the Yankees to their first World Series in almost a decade in 2009. Price went 20-5 as the ace workhorse for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.
With the way pitching philosophy and culture has changed in the past decade, we may never see another Black or Brown 20-game winner again. So we must hold all Black Aces in the highest esteem because it’s one of the rarest achievements in baseball.