CLEVELAND — Appearing on The Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show on Friday, CC Sabathia discussed what he considers to be the highlight of his career.
But as much as the former Cleveland Indians ace enjoyed helping lead the New York Yankees to a World Series title in 2009, he admitted that the moment was somewhat bittersweet.
"I always say this and I'm not just saying this because I'm on this show. It felt good, but it felt like I should have won it here -- '07, we should have won," Sabathia said.
That 2007 season was arguably the best of Sabathia's career, as the 6-foot-6 left-hander amassed a 19-7 record, 3.21 ERA and 209 strikeouts en route to winning the American League Cy Young Award. But after taking a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, the Indians dropped three straight games, with two of Cleveland's losses in the series coming with Sabathia on the mound.
During his appearance on UCSS, the six-time All-Star admitted that his shaky 2007 postseason stuck with him, until he was able to help lead the Yankees to a World Series title two years later.
"After '07, I was like, 'man, am I going to be a Charles Barkley? Am I going to be a Karl Malone? Like, am I going to be one of those players that has all these numbers, great, does all this stuff but can't get over the hump?'" said Sabathia, who was named the 2009 ALCS MVP. "Because 2007, if I pitch good, we win the World Series -- like, no question. So I go into that '09 playoffs just thinking like, 'man, this is like on me.' To be able to get it done felt great."
This isn't the first time Sabathia has echoed such sentiments.
Appearing on The Bill Simmons Podcast in 2020, Sabathia said that failing to win the 2007 World Series was the biggest disappointment of his career. He also went as far as to say that he felt guilty winning the lone championship of his career as a member of the Yankees and not the Indians.
"This is going to sound weird, but especially coming [to New York] and winning in '09 and then LeBron [James] left that year. It was just like, I felt guilty, yeah for sure. Cleveland, I feel like is home. It's one of the places I grew up. I got there when I was 20-years-old, three of my kids were born there. It's just like a place that I consider to be like home and to not be able to deliver a championship there, it really sucks. I still think about it all the time."
You can watch Sabathia's full appearance on UCSS in the video player below.