Joe Girardi delivers emotional tribute to Yankees CC Sabathia – New York Post

The way CC Sabathia’s career very likely ended didn’t just tear up his Yankees teammates, it deeply affected Joe Girardi, his former manager.

“That was not the way I wanted to see it end for him,” Girardi, an analyst on MLB Network, said after the Yankees’ 8-3 loss to the Astros in Game 4 of the ALCS on Thursday night at the Stadium. “CC, you’re a Hall of Fame pitcher that was as tough as any man I was ever around. What you went through on a daily basis to just be able to get on the mound.”

Sabathia — who did not pitch in the ALDS because of left shoulder pain — was forced to leave the game in the eighth inning after recording two outs with that same injury.

It was tough to see for Girardi, who was Sabathia’s manager for 272 of his 583 career starts, including the postseason.

“You were a great husband. You were a great father,” Girardi said. “You probably were the greatest teammate I have ever been around because of your ability to pull all 25 and sometimes all 50 people together in a clubhouse.

“You were the guy that I always wanted on the mound, when we needed a win,” an emotional Girardi said, starting to choke up. “And it was a privilege for me to manage you for nine years. I love you, man.”

After the game, Aaron Boone offered a grim prognosis regarding whether Sabathia will pitch again.

“We’ve got to see more about it, but not good,” Boone said.