A Thursday afternoon game in late September after the New York Yankees secured home-field advantage in the wild-card game probably went unnoticed by many.
Perhaps the most noticeable parts were the events of the sixth inning on Sept. 27, when Sabathia hit Tampa Bay catcher Jesus Sucre. It was a retaliation pitch and one that led to Sabathia’s ejection.
Of course, there was also was the famous exchange of “that’s for you” after Sabathia retaliated for Austin Romine being hit on a pitch that was retaliation for Sabathia hitting Jake Bauers.
There also was a financial cost since the ejection cost Sabathia a $500,000 performance bonus. It left Sabathia at 153 innings, two innings from the amount in the payment, something play-by-play announcer Michael Kay noted in his first comments before adding, “That’s why his teammates love him.”
Nearly three months later, it turns out Sabathia wound up getting paid anyway. It was discovered by the Associated Press when they looked at the Yankees’ final luxury tax payroll.
At the time, Sabathia said: “I don’t really make decisions based on money, I guess. I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”
While GM Brian Cashman did not publicize his reasoning, it was an obvious gesture as the Yankees view Sabathia in high esteem as a leader and he owns the locker spot previously held by Derek Jeter at Yankee Stadium.