CC Sabathia embraces Yankees ‘being that hated team’

CC Sabathia delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees vastly exceeded expectations in 2017, advancing to Game 7 of the ALCS in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. That put the Bronx Bombers in the unfamiliar position of popular underdog. But with Giancarlo Stanton now in pinstripes, that’s changed.

CC Sabathia likes it that way.

“Last year, we were the team that everybody loved,” Sabathia said on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove.” “That was that feel good story. But getting Giancarlo just gets us back to being that hated team. That’s what we like. We want to go out there, try to put the best team on the field, and crush everybody, every game.”

Indeed, some in MLB circles — including New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon — have complained about the Yankees adding Stanton. The 2017 Yankees were overpowering with the likes of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez on the roster. Adding the powerful reigning National League MVP definitely felt like a classic “rich get richer” scenario that the Yankees were so familiar with in their past heydays.

But whether you hate New York or not, this will be an awfully fun team to watch in 2018. Not only do the Yankees figure to hit a lot of home runs, but they figure to hit a lot of long, majestic bombs that are so fun to watch, even if they don’t count for any more runs than your average wall scraper.

So, opposing fans may pack the ballpark to cheer against the Bronx Bombers. But those same fans figure to get plenty of enjoyment out of watching the Yanks do what they do best.