$161 Million Goes a lot Farther Than One Start

Marisa ScolamieroAnalyst IApril 9, 2009

BALTIMORE - APRIL 06:  C.C. Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees wipes his head after giving up three runs in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles during opening day on April 6, 2009 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Not even 24 hours after CC Sabathia's first start of the season sports writers, sports commentators and analysts, and talk radio hosts were calling him a "waste of $161 million." After one start.

I will be the first to admit that the Yankees have spent a lot of money on players over the past several years that have been less than productive (e.g. Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, Kyle Farnsworth, etc.).

However, this offseason, the Yankees went out and got some players that are of elite status. Most people would take Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira in a heart beat, so for the first time in a long time, the Yankees appeared to spend their money wisely.

I find it highly unreasonable that after one start a player can be considered a waste of money. Baseball season lasts for almost seven months—not 16 weeks like football, which gives players a longer time to improve.

Sabathia is typically a slow starter, although no one expected him to get roughed up the way he did in his first start. He only lasted 4.1 innings, had no strikeouts and bloated his ERA to over 12.

He couldn't get a handle on his fastball, and Baltimore had his breaking ball figured out pretty fast. As a result, he'll work on getting a handle on his fastball on his days off, and should be just fine.

Does that mean he'll never have a rough start again? No, but there's only room for improvement.

Yankee fans are typically impatient. They want results right away, and if they aren't good results they are ready to write the player off as a failure.

A guy like Sabathia has a good reputation, and people have no patience for him under performing.

When Tino Martinez arrived in New York, the fans had no patience for his lack of success from the start because he had replaced the great Don Mattingly. It took some time for Tino to get accustomed to his new surroundings, and before long he became one of the most beloved Yankees of all time.

The reality is that even the best players aren't going to be successful every time out. Sabathia is the type of pitcher that can typically throw seven or eight innings per start, which translates to almost 230 innings per season.

Yankee fans are quick to forget that last year we were dealing with the inexperience of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy who rarely made it to the fifth inning. Somehow I think having CC Sabathia in the rotation is a much better alternative.  

I was listening to some of the guy at my gym talking about Sabathia and all they could seem to come up with is, "He's making a lot of money and couldn't get a strikeout. The Yankees definitely overpaid for him."

Why is that the only answer that people can come up with? There is never one factor that contributes to a bad start. It is April and players aren't at their best yet.

Yes, Sabathia makes a lot of money and should put up good numbers. The Yankees have a lot invested in him, but even they know there's a margin for error. Not a larger margin, but one none the less.

A lot of talented players haven't been able to make it in New York, but it took a lot more than one game to decide that.

I honestly believe that Sabathia won't join that group of players who were a bust. He deserves a chance at proving he's as good as we all think he is. A real chance.

Everyone that's out to cause a stir over Sabathia's failed first start needs to take a seat and relax. The season is long, and nothing can be decided after one game.