Whatever Sabathia’s training program is, IT TAKES EFFECT. We can see it in recent photos.
On the wide Internet it is easy to find now the pictures of the former “New York Yankees” pitcher in much better shape than he had while playing. He now has more muscles than earlier. The photo shows a slimmed-down Sabathia, who retired after last season, in a tank top with muscular and cut arms. It is a far different appearance than the huskier version of him fans saw during his time with The Bombers, who already have a pitcher with huge arms in Aroldis Chapman.
Sabathia weighed about 300 pounds at the peak of his career. In spring 2011, the New York Daily News reported that Sabathia dropped 25 pounds and credited his weight loss to not eating cereal every day. In 2014 he began to work purposefully on weight loss. In 2018 he became a vegan and also underwent cardiac catheterization. In 2019 he suffered a dislocation of his shoulder and knee, which accelerated the end of his professional baseball career. It was a terrible period in his life. The last season took place in 2019. He finished his career with one Cy Young award, an American League Championship Series MVP award, and six All-Star appearances. His 251 career wins made him the active leader before he retired. Bartolo Colon has the second most with 247.
It was at this time that Sabathia got to the gym. His coach, Dave Paladino, posted a photo with the results of their training. Fans were shocked about Sabathia’s weight loss. Some of them wondered whether it was Photoshop.
But Sabathia’s friend and podcasting partner Ryan Ruocco confirmed on Twitter that the photo was not Photoshopped and that Sabathia has been working hard during the coronavirus lockdown. “Not Photoshopped,” Ruocco answered. “The big fella has been getting after it during quarantine!” This is the way CC Sabathia is looking now.
Acceptance, though, quickly turned to annoyance, as baseball fans bemoaned Sabathia waiting until retirement to “get in shape.” The takes are endless, but can be summed up with a tweet from one commenter, who wrote, “Great, the Yankees pay him millions and millions of dollars for years and years, and now he decides he should get in shape. Excellent.”
In conclusion: His lone Cy Young Award, though, came when when he was well over 300 pounds, during his 2007 season with the Cleveland Indians. Sabathia was absolutely dominant that year. And his greatest success with the Yankees – two straight 19-win seasons – also came when he was at his heaviest. According to data from FanGraphs, that’s because Sabathia’s fastball lost velocity as he lost weight. He began to rely more on secondary breaking ball pitches and lose more games.
The most frustrating misconception about Sabathia’s post-retirement body changes is this concept that he still owes anyone anything. The 39-year-old has a right, like any of us, to pursue the body he wants. In 2017, MLB Hall of Famer Jim Rice frankly said that Sabathia needs to lose weight. Sabathia then did not answer him. But now we can see the result.