NEW YORK -- A joyous ride through the Canyon of Heroes would be the final act of Carsten Sabathia's long and meritorious career. The veteran left-hander is prepared to retire if the Yankees win the World Series this season, he told the New York Post on Sunday."I want one more
NEW YORK -- A joyous ride through the Canyon of Heroes would be the final act of Carsten Sabathia's long and meritorious career. The veteran left-hander is prepared to retire if the Yankees win the World Series this season, he told the New York Post on Sunday.
"I want one more parade and pretty sure that will be it," Sabathia told the newspaper. "I thought I had it last year."
Sabathia returned to the Yankees on a one-year, $10 million contract for his 18th big league season in December, though he told the Post that he would have retired if the Yankees had defeated the Dodgers in last year's World Series.
New York lost to the Astros in a seven-game American League Championship Series. Sabathia shed tears in the visiting clubhouse at Minute Maid Park that night, later remarking that he couldn't remember the last time he had done so at the conclusion of a season.
"That's what you play for," Sabathia said. "But you got to get it first."
Sabathia was the ace of the Yankees' staff in 2009, playing a major part in christening the new Yankee Stadium with the 27th championship in franchise history. He has likened the atmosphere of that clubhouse to what the Yankees -- winners in 15 of their last 16 games -- are currently experiencing.
"You always want that feeling," Sabathia said. "It feels like 20 seasons [ago]. That's all you play for. … That's the only thing you think of after you win the first one. You think about the next one. Everyone around here is itching for the next one."
A former Cy Young Award winner and six-time All-Star, Sabathia is the longest-tenured pitcher on the Yankees' staff. He turns 38 in July and is 2-0 with a 1.39 ERA in six starts.
Sabathia leads active Major League pitchers in strikeouts (2,869), innings pitched (3,349 1/3), complete games (38) and quality starts (305). His 239 wins and 515 starts rank second to Bartolo Colon (241 and 533, respectively).
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.