CC Sabathia took on alcoholism the same way he played baseball -- with utter ferocity. The lefty legend is now taking on sobriety with just as much intensity. As you probably suspect, the results prove he's still 110% Beast!
Our colleagues over at Healing Properties covered the Major League Baseball great upon the release of Under the Grapefruit Tree. The HBO Sports doc, which gets its name from Sabathia's grandmother's backyard, dove deep into ex-Yankee's binge drinking, as well as his decision to get sober. Now the retired giant has followed up with a bona fide autobiography entitled Till the End, the first offering from the Random House / Roc Nation collab called Roc Lit 101.
Like the doc, Sabathia's page turner is completely candid about his alcoholism. In fact, the book may go even further into breaking the stigma surrounding addiction. It's an especially strong show of support for those seeking help. Sabathia knows what it takes to walk down that road to rehab (he famously said the walk to Manager Joe Girardi's office in order to spill the beans was one of the longest of his life), and he wants others to know that they're not alone.
To have your book published via Roc Nation is undoubtedly a blessing; a blessing Sabathia undoubtedly deserves. The life story also includes an amusing little piece of kismet though. See, as CBS News' Analisa Novak reports, after one particularly debilitating bender, Sabathia woke up naked and drunk in Jay-Z's home. Whether or not that helped persuade the cultural kingpin to sign the newly sober All Star to Roc Lit 101 is anyone's guess. But we're betting it didn't hurt his chances one bit.
Beastly Sober CC Sabathia
Healing Properties also made a point of singling out ESPN ace Ryan Hockensmith's deep dive into CC Sabathia's newfound sobriety. Oh, the citing wasn't simply because of the story's innate strength (though of course there was that); it was equally due to the story's simpatico through-line. See, Hockensmith had also taken that long walk to sobriety. So he was able to give the tale the kind of grace that could only be summoned by one who's lived through the trek.
Reuters correspondent Rory Carroll recently added his own grace to the CC Sabathia sobriety story. It was Carroll who the Girardi anecdote we culled above. And it was Carroll who helped break the news of Sabathia's extra-curricular sobriety efforts. No, not that the 40-year-old has reportedly added an exercise regimen that would sideline many athletes half his age, nor even that Sabathia's all-in on helping others "struggling with alcohol dependency." No, Carroll came through with the news of the big guy's teaming up with a billion-dollar global biopharmaceutical company so he can help those struggling others even more.
The company is named Alkermes and Sabathia is now its new spokesman. It's all part of the "My Relationship with Alcohol" campaign, which, writes Carroll, "aims to help people identify whether they have a problem and provide them with next steps in seeking treatment." Since Alkermes produces the craving-reducing Vivitrol, it makes perfect sense -- for everyone. Sabathia even says so.
"It was the perfect thing for me to team up with Alkermes because I really had to rethink my relationship with alcohol," Sabathia told Carroll.
"It's such a big part of our culture. It's everywhere. At celebrations, when you pitch a good game, if you win the World Series. And it's just not for me."
"It can't be a part of my life."
Now, thank Zeus, it won't be.
Between the HBO doc, the Random House/Roc Lit 101 book, and his own PitCCh In Foundation, and you'll see the portrait of a player who's still in pure Beast Mode. Add six years of solid sobriety and an Action Bronson-backed health regime that's stripped over 50 pounds from his 6'6" frame, and that portrait ends up looking like a massive mural. Hard to believe the Big Guy actually found so many impressive ways to top off such an impressive career, but then, this is CC Sabathia.
What About Your Life?
How about you? Have you decided to step up to the proverbial plate and smash one out of the park? Are you sober enough to do it? Would you like some help? It's out there, you know. It can be extremely effective too. Sabathia makes that perfectly clear, in life and in deed. No, you don't have to be a baseball legend. You don't have to be a former baseball legend either. You've just got to be ready and willing to get truly honest with yourself. Once you are though.... Man, oh man. Your life will become some kinda wonderful. Really.
So whaddya say? Ready to pick up the phone and call someone? SAMHSA has good digits to dial. So does NIDA. Heck, you can even check out Sabathia's sobriety campaign. You're also more than welcome to call us at Recovery Boot Camp. We'd be thrilled to help you get sorted. Just so long as you reach out to someone. Please. You'll be grateful that you did.
(Image Courtesy CC Sabathia's Twitter Page)