Sabathia bows out of World Baseball Classic
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) -- Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia said Wednesday he will not play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic this month.
"I don't think I'm ready to pitch in meaningful games this early," he said. "This is big. I don't think I'm game ready. Pitching in front of 30,000 fans there is a lot different than pitching in a game in Kissimmee [Fla.]."
Sabathia, 25, said he started having second thoughts about participating a week or two before reporting to spring training.
Sabathia, a left-hander who was 15-10 with a 4.03 ERA in 2005, is scheduled to start the Indians season opener against division rival Chicago. A year ago, he pulled a muscle in his rib cage warming up for his first exhibition start and began the season on the disabled list.
He had wanted to pitch for the U.S. team.
"I want to make sure I'm right," he said. "If I go there and get hurt, I feel like I'll be selling the guys here short."
Sabathia pitched an inning in an intra-squad game Tuesday and is scheduled to pitch Friday in an exhibition game against Houston.
New York Mets closer Billy Wagner also withdrew Wednesday from the U.S. team's roster. Wagner and Sabathia were replaced by Washington right-hander Gary Majewski and Yankees left-hander Al Leiter.