- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
Sabathia down to 275 pounds, lightest in years
Question of the Day
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - CC Sabathia got up from his chair in the corner of the New York Yankees‘ spring training clubhouse and looked almost slim - at least for him.
Sabathia was a shell of his former self on the mound last year, and now his body is a fraction of what it once was. A six-time All-Star used to a hefty frame, he didn’t have any superstitions about shedding the weight.
“Being a fat guy is a little different than wearing the same glove,” he said Friday.
After the worst of his 13 major league seasons, Sabathia reported at 275 pounds, 40 below his high in 2010. He was shaken when a cousin, Demetrius Davis, died of a heart attack at age 45 in December 2012. Sabathia started thinking about his future.
“I’d lose the weight to be around, to be around my family, be around my kids,” he said.
Sabathia dropped most of the pounds last year plus an additional 5 during the offseason. Changing eating habits was key for the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner.
“I just did no carbs and then really worked out, and this offseason I just watched my diet and worked really hard,” he said.
Photographs of his appearances during the offseason sparked a flurry of Internet comments. Was his weight loss the equivalent of Samson going for a haircut?
“Yeah, I thought it was hilarious,” Sabathia said sarcastically. “I didn’t think people cared that much, but whatever.”
“Everybody was like mad at me and stuff. That’s why when I went on ‘First Take’ I brought a Cap’n Crunch bag, just to let them know I’m still eating,” he added. “Just not as much - not two boxes at a time.”
Sabathia’s ineffectiveness was a weight on the Yankees last year, when the 33-year-old left-hander went 14-13 and set career highs for ERA (4.78) and home runs allowed (28). He gave up a major league-high 122 runs, 45 on the homers, according to STATS.
Not what a pitcher with a 205-115 career record is accustomed to.
“Nobody wants to go through that again,” he said. “It sticks with me a lot - just being disappointed in not being able to help this team win. I feel like if I could have been a little better we might have made the playoffs. I blamed myself for a long time in the offseason.”
His fastball velocity dropped from 93.9 mph in 2011 to 92.4 in 2012 to 91.3 last year, according to fangraphs.com. Following elbow surgery in October 2012, his fastball average barely topped 90 in the first two months of last season.
“I think not having a normal offseason because he was rehabbing his elbow was part of it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I can’t tell you exactly where his velocity is going to be, but the bottom line for success is not his velocity. Obviously it helps a little, but it’s location.”
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq