CC Sabathia’s professional baseball career is winding down as he plays out a one-year, $8 million contract with the New York Yankees. Chances are good that the 38-year-old will hang up the mitt and cleats after this season. When he does, he’d like his post-playing career to pick where this one leaves off… with the Yankees.
Sabathia recently spoke to The NY Post’s Andrew Marchand about his retirement plans, and said that one way or another, he’d like to be involved with the franchise he’s been a part of since 2009.
“I want to be a part of the Yankees still, front office, whatever, however, we can work that out.”
Marchand said that while Yankees executives are fans of Sabathia, front office discussions haven’t taken place. Whether they do or don’t, there’s another avenue that would be much easier for CC to ease into, and that’s in the media.
Sabathia already has his own podcast, which is part of LeBron James’ Uninterrupted company. And he’s no stranger to making appearances on TV and radio, having appeared on ESPN as a commentator and going head-on against Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman on First Take. Marchand says that it’s possible Sabathia could end up working with ESPN in a fuller role, but that too remains unknown.
There’s also another possibility, to transition from being a player on the YES Network to be one of the commentators talking on the YES Network. Sabathia was adamant that he’d love to do it, but he was equally adamant about his conditions.
“I would love to do YES,” Sabathia said. “I think me and Ruocco would be fun doing the games on the air.”
“I’m not wearing a suit,” the 6-foot-6, 300-pound Sabathia said. “Why do I need to wear a suit to talk about baseball? It is fucking stupid to wear a suit. Guys on the field aren’t wearing dress clothes. People in the stands aren’t wearing dress clothes. It makes no sense. If they let me go up there in a Jordan sweatsuit, I’ll do games all day.”
The problem for Sabathia, other than a potential dress code, is that YES is doing just fine right now when it comes to play-by-play and color commentary. Not only do they have their set team of Michael Kay and Ken Singleton, but also a solid core of current analysts in David Cone, Paul O’Neill, and John Flaherty. Plus, the network already has a strong list of replacements if Singleton were to retire in Jeff Nelson, Willie Randolph, and David Wells.
Though YES president of production and programming John Filippelli “laughed a little” when Marchand mentioned Sabathia’s suit demands, he did say that he thinks Sabathia’s “potential is unlimited.”
Just in case CC can’t get any of the major networks to bite on letting him talk sports, he also has an idea for his own show, perhaps on a streaming service where he can be a little more free-wheeling (and definitely not wear a suit).
“I really like that show, ‘Best Damn,’ that was always a fun show to go on,” Sabathia said. “I would love something like that. Maybe a little more raw. I envision like myself, Gilbert Arenas, Stephen Jackson, just some guys that are going to tell you the truth, just some guys that have been champions, have been at the highest level, but are going to tell you exactly how they feel about a certain situation and they are not going to sugarcoat it so I don’t think that it is an ESPN show.”
You certainly can’t say CC Sabathia doesn’t have big plans even as his big league career winds down.