OK, OK, OK, OK. We don't expect you to feel bad for the New York Yankees. This is the same franchise that's has 27 World Series titles to their name. This is the same team whose fanbase has spent the last two postseasons dumping $13 beer on opposing fans and throwing bottles at visiting outfielders. Even their stadium is overpriced trash now. So fine. We get it. You're probably even happy that Yankees, after their 8-3 home loss in Game 4 of the ALCS, are now on the brink of their third consecutive postseason capitulation. But the Yankees' World Series dreams weren't the only thing that ended on Thursday night . There was also the incredible, Hall of Fame-worthy career of CC Sabathia.
Sabathia entered the game in relief in the eighth inning, but after just a few pitches, strained a pre-existing injury in his throwing shoulder. After consulting with manager Aaron Boone, the 39-year-old former ace was forced from the game to a standing ovation. With the Yankees trailing 3-1 in the series, it was, in all likelihood, the last time Sabathia will ever take the mound in a Major League Baseball game.
If that doesn't have you complaining about a sudden allergic reaction to dust mites, however, then the soliloquy former manager Joe Girardi delivered on MLB Network following game almost certainly will. Girardi was in the dugout for 272 of Sabathia's 583 career starts and led the pitcher to a 2009 World Series title, so if you find yourself wondering how genuine this could possibly be, don't.
Whew, tough stuff. Good stuff, but tough stuff. In fact, we're going to go out on a limb and say that even Red Sox fans will be hard pressed not to choke up when Girardi, voice quaking, pen nervously ticking on the table, says "You were the guy I always wanted on the mound when we needed a win and it was a privilege for me to manage you for nine years. I love you, man." Girardi is not exactly known displays or normal human emotion, so to see him coming unglued like this on live TV shows you how much Sabathia really means to him as a person.
Like we said, we're not asking you to feel anything for the New York Yankees. Nor are we suggesting this is the way anybody wanted it to end, least of all CC Sabathia. But if this is the final sign-off, and it sure seems like it is, we can't think of anybody better to deliver it than Joe Girardi.