The Yankees released a surprising statement on Monday afternoon, as starting pitcher CC Sabathia has checked himself into rehab.
This decision comes right before New York's AL Wild Card Round game against the Astros, which will be played on Tuesday -- while Sabathia wasn't scheduled to face Houston, he could have pitched in any following rounds New York earned their way to to. That is now out of the question with Sabathia checking in to rehab, but getting his personal life together has taken precedence -- as it should.
In his statement, Sabathia thanked the Yankees for supporting his decision:
"Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease," Sabathia said in a statement issued by the Yankees.
"I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.
"I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.
"As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don't want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family's need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.
"Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids -- and others who may have become fans of mine over the years -- to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that's exactly what I am going to do.
"I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness."
For Sabathia's sake, one hopes that fans remember that he is a human being with human problems, and not just a pitcher. The Yankees seem to have remembered as much, and they have far more at stake than their fans do this October.