Many professional athletes and broadcasters over the years have battled alcohol addiction, but the realities of what that looks like on a day-to-day basis haven’t always been discussed publicly. Former New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia discusses that in stark terms in a clip HBO released Tuesday from Under The Grapefruit Tree, the HBO Sports documentary on Sabathia that premiers Tuesday night on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern. Here’s that clip:
And here’s a transcription of Sabathia’s comments in there on how he handled his alcohol addiction while pitching:
“Say I pitch on Monday, Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, I’m blackout drunk. Thursday and Friday, I don’t drink at all, like, nothing. Straight water, Gatorade. Pitch Saturday. When I’m coming out of the game, I need a Crown and Sprite in my locker. So I would literally start after the last pitch I threw. If I won, I was celebrating because I won. If I pitched bad, then I was pissed off, so I needed a drink. There was never a shortage of reasons why I needed to drink or needed a cup, you know?”
Sabathia is just one of many sports figures who have struggled with alcohol addiction. Another notable story on that front recently came from Michael Russo of The Athletic, on former NHLer and current NHL Network broadcaster Mark Parrish. And there have been a lot of these stories over the years. But it’s definitely notable to hear Sabathia (a recent prominent media figure on several fronts) talking in stark terms about what alcohol meant for him. And that’s an interesting note to this documentary, and one that may make it worth checking out.
[HBO Sports on YouTube]