Complaining about CC Sabathia's sluggish start with the Yankees is kind of like Tom Brady complaining that Gisele Bundchen hogs the covers when they're in bed.
No one feels sorry for you. Get over yourself. And screw you for even bringing this up in mixed company.
Yankees fans are used to this apathetic mentality. New York's 40-23 mark entering Tuesday's action is tied for the best record in baseball, and as such, the fanbase would probably be wise to keep the griping to a minimum, lest a poor Orioles fan overhear any of the conversation and drive into a wall at 120 MPH.
But the idea that a Yankees fan, or a fan of any successful team, shouldn't complain, or doesn't have the right to complain, is off-base. Airing grievances about your star player, or manager, or mascot is central to the fan experience.
This brings me back to Carsten Charles Sabathia.
The Yankees' ace started out well enough this season. He stumbled in his first start on opening night in Fenway Park, but then won four of his next five outings, pitching to a 1.93 ERA over 37.1 innings during that stretch. He even took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in Tampa on April 10.
But after a Fenway rain delay robbed him of a win on May 8, the Yankees lost the next four games Sabathia started. Implosions by Joba Chamberlain cost CC two wins during that stretch, but it was clear Sabathia wasn't himself.
He righted the ship with wins in his last two starts, but they both came against the Minor League competition that is the Orioles. In fact, four of Sabathia's six wins this season have come against Baltimore, baseball's worst team.
Is it possible there are lingering effects from his heavy 2009 workload, when he threw a whopping 266.1 innings between the regular season and playoffs?
Cole Hamels racked up 262.1 innings during the Phillies' run to the World Series title in 2008 and he wasn't nearly the same pitcher the next season. Of course, CC Sabathia is the size of two Cole Hamels. This is a man built to eat bacon cheeseburgers and innings, so you don't worry about wear-and-tear nearly as much.
Besides, the Brewers did everything in their power to blow out Sabathia's arm following his deadline trade to Milwaukee in 2008, and that clearly had no effect on the big man in his first season in pinstripes.
My theory is that Sabathia is dealing with a bit of a post-World Series hangover. He never reached the top of the mountain before last season, and now he's finding it hard to start climbing again.
What he really needs is a shot of adrenaline, something or someone to push him back to that elite level.
Enter Roy Halladay.
The Yankees welcome the Phillies to the Stadium tonight, in a rematch of last year's World Series. Sabathia will take the ball opposite Halladay, who has dominated the National League over his first 13 starts, going 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA.
Sabathia can make a statement by out-dueling Halladay, kick-starting his season in the process. It's a mortal lock that Halladay will befuddle the Yankees—he did that for 10 years in Toronto. Sabathia will have to be as good or better.
What the Yankees need is for their No. 1 to pitch like a No. 1, and grab back the reigns of staff ace from Phil Hughes. Going head-to-head with the Doc may be just what Sabathia needs.