CC Sabathia is Already Earning His Next Contract

Nino CollaSenior Writer ISeptember 26, 2008

The bitter realization that he is finally gone is starting to wear off.

I'm in complete awe watching CC Sabathia dazzle us all in the stretch run of the MLB regular season.

I was critical of the Brewers for using and sort of abusing Sabathia shortly after they got him. Running him out in meaningless situations to get three extra outs for a complete game that was pretty much decided.

I suppose, if they were doing anything wrong, that decision would have come back to bite them when they decided to start Sabathia on three days rest for the second time in a row.

Sabathia will start again on Sunday with yet another three day rest period. If what the Brewers did was wrong, Sabathia won't be effective on Sunday and they will have learned their lesson.

Instead of questioning Milwaukee for their continued use of CC on three days rest, I'd rather praise Sabathia for stepping up.

People questioned his mentality when he claim out flat in the 2007 American League playoffs. He struggled against both the Yankees and the Red Sox in his starts and really didn't look like the Cy Young Award winner he was in the regular season.

This year, when it counts the most and with little rest, Sabathia has gone out and given it his all. He’ll do it again Sunday again with just three days of rest and he’ll be glad to do so.

For that reason alone, he deserves every single penny he will get in the off-season. He is putting his contract on the line for a team that is pretty much using him as a hired gun.

He is making a very risky sacrifice by pitching for the Brewers on three days rest, when he's waited so long. This is a pitcher who denied a $20 million dollar contract from the team that basically raised him in his baseball career. He didn't have to take the ball on short rest, he had every right to tell them, "No, once was enough, I'm not doing it again."

That isn't CC Sabathia and that isn't what he's about. He has something to prove to the world, and that is he is in fact a pitcher who can get it done in the crunch time.

Last year, in both the ALDS and the ALCS, Sabathia let his team down. When they needed a win against Boston, he was not able to pull through. People questioned if it was fatigue, nerves, or if he simply couldn't handle the pressure.

CC is a pitcher who learns from experience. He hadn’t been in a situation like that one before, one that called upon him to be the man for his team.

He has now experienced it and he knows how to handle it.

Last year in the playoffs, he had a tendency to overthrow. He was not nervous, but rather excited. He let the situation get the best of him in a different way.

Sabathia has now figured it out and you can see why he is regarded as one of the best pitchers in the game. So far on three days rest he's allowed just two earned runs in 12.2 innings.

He struck out 11 in the last start he made compared to just two walks, very Sabathia-like.

I'm still shaken that he wouldn't accept the Indians four year offer, but I now understand just how much he deserves the price he is looking for. I don't often endorse someone getting a huge contract, but circumstances are different.

CC Sabathia has earned every penny of what he'll get. He put it all on the line in a position he didn't have to. For that, he's going to get paid and he's going to get paid big.