C.C. Sabathia got ejected and cost himself $500,000 with a single pitch

Yahoo Sports

When the New York Yankees played the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, a legendary baseball moment was born. C.C. Sabathia, a mere two innings from receiving a $500,000 bonus for pitching 155 innings in 2018, was ejected for intentionally throwing at Jesus Sucre.

But it wasn’t just a simple ejection. It was so much more than that. It was ejection art.

Let’s back up to what started the kerfuffle. In the top of the sixth inning, Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge hit Austin Romine on the shoulder with a pitch. It seemed to be an accident, but that didn’t matter to Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia. Seconds after Romine got his tower buzzed, C.C. actually came out of the dugout to register his displeasure with one of his teammates being hit. That could only mean one thing: retaliation.

But not so fast. Marc Carig of the Athletic was at the game, and tweeted this interesting fact about Sabathia’s contract.


So if C.C. pitched another two innings, just the bottom of the sixth and seventh, he would get a $500,000 bonus. And on top of that, he was completely in control of the game. He’d been mowing down Rays hitters, and had allowed just one hit and no runs through five. Plus, after Romine was hit, the Yankees scored four runs in the top of the sixth, and led Tampa 11-0.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 21: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 10-8. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 21: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 10-8. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Maybe the Yankees scoring so many runs in the sixth, effectively putting the game out of reach for the Rays, helped Sabathia decide what to do next. Or maybe it didn’t, and he decided that he would give up that $500,000 and go out in a blaze of glory no matter what. Because that’s exactly what he did. When he took the mound in the bottom of the sixth, he threw one pitch. That pitch hit Jesus Sucre on his thigh, and cost Sabathia $500,000.

From there, things got insane and awesome. (NSFW language incoming.)




C.C. was automatically ejected, because it’s never okay for a pitcher to intentionally hit another player with a pitch. But wow, that’s a totally epic way to go out.

Sucre took first base and didn’t appear to be injured. The benches didn’t clear, and Sabathia left the field without an issue (after the crotch-grabbing, of course). But Aaron Judge wanted to make sure the Rays bullpen was up to date and totally fine with everything that had happened.



Aaron Judge vs. the Rays bullpen: who ya got?

Sabathia will most likely receive a fine (losing himself a $500,000 bonus doesn’t count), but there could be more punishment. While pitchers almost never admit to retaliating, there’s no question of Sabathia’s intent, especially given his behavior before and after the pitch. But no matter what happens, Sabathia has set a new standard for baseball ejections. Because if you decide to shrug off a $500,000 pay day in favor of getting ejected to stand up for a teammate, you automatically become a legend.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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