Kepner notes that Sabathia is becoming a leader. After noting that his slide step from the stretch helped Posada throw a couple of guys out, he cites other examples:
The Yankees lavished a $161 million contract on Sabathia to give their rotation an ace. As a bonus, they gained a team leader.
Sabathia has taken teammates to three Orlando Magic games, gone fishing with Brian Bruney and Nick Swisher, and taken the Toy Story Mania! ride at Disney World with Joba Chamberlain.
“I don’t know if I’m a leader,” Sabathia said. “I like to hang out with my teammates. I like to talk to my teammates, get to know them. It’s just my personality. Going to Magic games and going out to eat, doing different things, it’s just something I felt like guys on the same team should always do.”
I can’t help but read Sabathia’s tone as one of amused confusion. As if he’s found himself surrounded by a horde of Gotham reporters demanding to know the secrets of leadership, and the things they cite are the sorts of things folks in Cleveland and Minnesota like to do with one another as a matter of unnoticed course. On the Yankees, however, it’s a sign of leadership.
Which is kind of fun and quaint until the first time Sabathia wakes up in a bad mood and decides that he doesn’t want to play with others one afternoon and the next morning the stories are all about how Sabathia’s leadership is in question or something.
Remember CC: It’s New York. Which, from a baseball perspective, might as well be another planet.