NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia is in double-digit victories for a 12th consecutive season, and his renowned consistency is also reflected in what he does off the field. At the same MLB Fan Cave
where last winter he acted as Santa Claus for underpriviledged children, the Yankees' ace spent the entire morning on a chair looking into a camera and tirelessly doing TV interviews around the country for public good.
The purpose was to spread the word about his new effort, along with the makers of Bayer Advanced Aspirin, to issue the Fast Relief Challenge, which raises funds for the American Red Cross. For every person who visits FastReliefChallenge.com and clicks on the Red Cross button, the makers of Bayer will donate $2 to the Red Cross -- up to a total of $100,000.
"It is definitely an honor to be a part of this cooperation between the makers of Bayer Advanced Aspirin and the American Red Cross, to create the Fast Relief Challenge," Sabathia said. "Helping others has always been really important to me, especially when I know even the smallest actions can help families in need ... I just want to do whatever I can, in the communities I have played in and lived in, to be able to give back."
"There's a disaster that takes place every nine minutes in this country," said Sam Kille, regional communications director for the American Red Cross. "It could be a big one like a flood or a hurricane, but more often than not, it's a home fire. We need to be there fast for people, and it's great that we're working with the makers of Bayer Advanced Aspirin and having CC on the mound for us to bring about the Fast Relief Challenge, which is a way to help people. We're a nonprofit, we respond to disasters every single day across this country, so we're really pleased to be partners in this."
Sabathia, who just turned 32, is between turns in the Yankees' rotation, with his next scheduled start on Friday against the Mariners. Reminiscent of what Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith did one year earlier at the Fan Cave in a "satellite media tour" there, Sabathia sat next to Kille for hours, with an occasional break, and chatted with one TV station after another.
In addition to discussing the Fast Relief Challenge, Sabathia wound up touching on a variety of topics, from market to market. For example:
On who will survive the wild MLB races: "Hopefully it'll be us. We've been playing really well. We've hit a tough patch right now, but we've been playing some good baseball. We've had some guys go down, a lot of guys have filled in and stepped up, and now we're starting to get healthy. Hopefully we can make a stretch run and get back to the World Series and bring another one back to New York."
On superstitions: "I try not to have any superstitions and purposely do things. Especially on the day I am pitching. I try to make sure I don't create any new routines, just because if I miss it one day, I don't want to feel that I'm not going to perform well that day. I try to stay away from superstitions and just have fun and go out and enjoy the game."
On his high school field back in Vallejo, Calif.: "My high school [field] was just renamed CC Sabathia Field, so that was a great honor, to be able to have that. I played on that field for four years, the first time I got scouted, for me it all started there. So to be able to have that field named for me means a lot."
On fatherhood: "I have four kids -- soon-to-be-9-year-old, 7-year-old, 4-year-old and 2-year-old. So my house is pretty hectic."
Between now and Sept. 30, fans may enter the Bayer Advanced Aspirin Ultimate Baseball Experience Sweepstakes, which gives you a chance to win a choice of any of these 2013 jewel events: Opening Day of your choice; All-Star Game plus State Farm Home Run Derby; or the World Series.
This season marks the second consecutive year in which Bayer Advanced Aspirin is the official pain reliever of MLB and partners with the Red Cross. Sabathia noted that fans also can enter the Fast Relief sweepstakes for the chance to win tickets to an MLB game, $50,000 for their local Red Cross chapter and a year's supply of Bayer Advanced Aspirin.