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Yankees Star Ejected 2 Innings Before $500K Bonus

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One pitch cost New York Yankee hurler C.C. Sabathia a lot of money Thursday.

Sabathia was tossed from Thursday’s game after hitting Tampa Bays Rays catcher Jesus Sucre in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Umpire Vic Carapazza determined that it was in retaliation for a pitch thrown by Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge at Austin Romine in the top of the sixth.

Carapazza warned both benches against retaliation and promptly ejected Sabathia after he hit Sucre.

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Sabathia didn’t deny that it was thrown in response to Kittredge throwing at Romine. But it did cost him some money.

He has an incentive clause in his contract that said if he pitched 155 innings this year, he would earn a $500,000 bonus. Through the first five innings Thursday, Sabathia had pitched 153 innings — two shy of the bonus.

As he was throwing a one-hitter in a game that the Yankees were winning 11-0, Sabathia was almost certain to pitch two more innings and get the bonus — had he not been ejected.

“I don’t really make decisions based on money, I guess,” Sabathia said after the game, reported ESPN. “Just felt like it was the right thing to do. Any time you feel like your player’s safety is in jeopardy, all guys take exception to that.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone had no doubt that Kittredge was throwing at Romine.

“There’s no question there was intent. You’ve had some guys hit this series, and then you throw one over the head? Just kick rocks. I hated it,” said Boone, reported ESPN. “If you’re going to play that game and you start messing around with people’s heads, we’re going to take exception to that.”

It all started earlier in the bottom of the fifth when Tampa Bay’s Jake Bauers was hit by Sabathia. And the day before, Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka hit Kevin Kiermaier in the foot, causing a hairline fracture.

“I think it was probably a bunch of people protecting teammates more than anything. There’s not a ton to say. It looked like there was some intent there but that’s not for me to decide,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

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Kittredge agreed with that assessment: “It’s baseball. He (Cash) put it very well.”

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The Yankees ended up winning the otherwise meaningless game 12-1. Sabathia got the win to improve to 9-7. It was his last start of the season before next Wednesday’s wild-card game against the Oakland A’s.

Don’t feel too bad for Sabathia. He signed a $161 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees in 2009 that paid him about $23 million per year.

The 38-year-old signed a one-year, $10 million contract at the start of the 2018 season. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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