Former Yankees Pitcher CC Sabathia Named Special Assistant to Rob Manfred

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2022

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 09: Former MLB Player CC Sabathia looks on from the 16th hole during the pro-am prior to the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 09, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)
Rebecca Noble/Getty Images

CC Sabathia was one of the best pitchers of his generation during his 19-year career, but he will help the game of baseball in a different way this season.

MLB announced Sabathia as a special assistant to Commissioner Rob Manfred on Wednesday.

"An advocate for amplifying diversity, strengthening the sport and impacting the community, CC will bring a player's perspective as a liaison for decision making," the announcement read:


After a 19-year career, <a href="https://twitter.com/CC_Sabathia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CC_Sabathia</a> is the newest Special Assistant to the Commissioner. An advocate for amplifying diversity, strengthening the sport, and impacting the community, CC will bring a player's perspective as a liaison for decision making. Welcome, CC! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LegaCCy?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LegaCCy</a> <a href="https://t.co/M0QCMJhY1h">pic.twitter.com/M0QCMJhY1h</a>

"I love this game and the opportunity to bring about real change, diversity, developing the youth, and being a voice for the players," Sabathia tweeted. "This new position with the MLB Commissioner's office is another step in that direction. Let's get to work!!!"

Sabathia played from 2001 through 2019 for Cleveland, the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees while building a resume that included the 2009 World Series title, an American League Cy Young, an American League Championship Series MVP and six All-Star appearances.

He finished with a 251-161 record, 3.74 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 3,093 strikeouts. The southpaw is one of 19 pitchers in history to eclipse 3,000 strikeouts.

Sabathia will take his experience as a player into a role with the league, which is all the more notable considering that the relationship the players have with ownership and MLB as a whole was under the microscope this offseason.

After all, there was a lockout that lasted 99 days and pushed back Opening Day by a week. It was the second-longest work stoppage in MLB history and focused on a number of topics, including the competitive balance tax threshold, the international draft, minimum salaries and the pre-arbitration bonus pool.

It appeared at times that the season could be delayed well into the spring or perhaps even the summer, but the sides eventually reached an agreement.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Manfred made an effort to improve his relationship with the players by meeting with some from each team ahead of the start of the regular season.

Perhaps having Sabathia as someone who enters his new role with a player's perspective can help improve the relationship as well.