CC Sabathia Reveals 'It's Tough to Think About' Loss to Astros in 2017 ALCS, Still Believes Yankees Were 'Better Team'

Max Goodman

Ask CC Sabathia about the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal and the former Yankee will always deliver with a candid reply. 

The recently retired starting pitcher dropped by the 'Bleav in Dodgers' podcast – with former big leaguer Brett Tomko and Josh Luke – and reiterated his thoughts on Houston's scheme in 2017 preventing New York from advancing to the World Series.

"I just feel like we were the better team," Sabathia said, explaining he had the same feeling in 2017 that he did in '09 when the Bombers were World Series champions. "Obviously we won the Wild Card, we came back down from 0-2 to the Indians. There was just something about us. It was something about that squad that that was a World Series winning team and there's nothing you can do to convince me to think that it wasn't. Especially with the cheating scandal."

Listen to the clip from the Bleav in Dodgers podcast on Twitter:

New York and Houston took the American League Championship Series to seven games in 2017, a series in which the Astros won all four games at their home ballpark. In the decisive Game 7, Sabathia's Yankees were shut out and forced to watch the Fall Classic from home. 

"It's hard to put it into words, but man, it's tough to think about any of that stuff," the southpaw said. "Obviously now that I'm done playing, I mean, it don't matter. If I hadn't won a World Series, you'd hear me talk about it everyday."

READ: Sabathia gives ultimate compliment to Angels' Shohei Ohtani

Sabathia does feel bad, however, for his former teammate Aaron Judge. The slugger came just one win away from appearing in a World Series in his first full season in the Majors – a campaign in which the right fielder was the American League Rookie of the Year. 

"It just sucks that a guy like Aaron Judge in his first full season, he would've won a World Series. It kind of sets him up to be on the same track as like Derek Jeter," Sabathia said. 

READ: Fantasy outlook for Aaron Judge in 2020

Prior to Spring Training, Sabathia referenced the same topic on his podcast 'R2C2' with Ryan Ruocco.

"We would've whooped the Dodgers' ass," he said earlier this spring, envisioning a scenario where New York took down Houston in the ALCS. "I'm sorry, that's just how I feel! We were rolling!"

All jokes aside, Sabathia was able to retire with one World Series ring and an all-time career. He eclipsed 3,000 strikeouts last April, a milestone only two other left-handed pitchers in MLB history have accomplished.

As for what's to come for this Yankees team, Sabathia is confident that they'll be just fine without him.

"Like '09, this Yankee team is set up to win. I think whenever we get back to playing, they'll be the next champion."

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees