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Pitcher Throws Away $500K Bonus to Defend Teammate

CC Sabathia ejected for hitting a batter just 2 innings shy of his bonus mark
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2018 8:07 AM CDT
New York Yankees' CC Sabathia points at the Tampa Bay Rays dugout after he was ejected for hitting Tampa Bay Rays' Jesus Sucre with a pitch during the sixth inning.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(Newser) – So agonizingly close. Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia got ejected Thursday in his last start of the season for hitting a batter, and the timing was especially costly. Sabathia got tossed in the sixth inning—leaving him two innings shy of the 150 he needed for the year to earn a $500,000 bonus, reports ESPN. As the New York Times frames it, the veteran pitcher chose team loyalty over his wallet. In the top of the sixth, Tampa pitcher Andrew Kittredge threw near the head of the Yankees' Austin Romine. It was so close that Sabathia emerged from his dugout to yell at Kittredge, and the ump warned both teams that the next hit batter, or near hit, would result in ejection.

When Sabathia took the mound in the bottom of the inning, he promptly hit Tampa's Jesus Sucre in the leg with a fastball. Upon being ejected, he pointed toward the Tampa dugout—presumably at Kittredge—and shouted, "That's for you." Afterward, he didn't seem much fazed by the bonus. "I don't really make decisions based on money, I guess," he said. "Just felt like it was the right thing to do." Teammates defended Sabathia for the retaliation, saying that while throwing at a batter is part of the game, throwing at a batter's head is not. "That gets people fired up," says the Yankees' Aaron Judge. The Yankees won the game 12-1. (Read more CC Sabathia stories.)

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