NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Yankees veteran starting pitcher CC Sabathia is checking himself into alcohol rehabilitation and will miss the upcoming Major League Baseball postseason, the left-hander said on Monday.
"Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease," the 35-year-old Sabathia said.
The Yankees will host the Houston Astros in a one-game Wild Card showdown on Tuesday with the winner moving on to play the Kansas City Royals in the best-of-five American League Division Series starting on Thursday.
Sabathia, a six-times All-Star who won a World Series with New York in 2009, was the winning pitcher last Thursday against the rival Boston Red Sox when the Yankees clinched their first postseason berth since 2012.
"I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series," said Sabathia.
"It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player."
Sabathia, the 2007 Cy Young Award winner as the American League's best pitcher while with the Cleveland Indians, battled injuries last season and this year, going 6-10 with a 4.73 earned run average in 2015.
“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help," said Sabathia.
"I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness."
(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Frank Pingue)