Friday, August 01, 2008

CC question and answer

Answer Man: CC Sabathia talks imaginary friends, dots, Serena

CC Sabathia hit it big in Milwaukee from the moment he arrived in a trade from the Cleveland Indians. The Brewers, 26 seasons removed from a World Series appearance, again have realistic championship aspirations.

By adding Sabathia, whose 6-foot-7, 300-pound dimensions make him the majors' biggest attraction, the Brew Crew gets much more than the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. They also have — as this week's Answer Man reveals — a giant hot dog, an invisible boy and a revolutionary punctuator.

Oh, and on the extremely small chance he remains in Milwaukee past this season, CC talks about what it'd take to keep him in the Land of Cheese. Quick! Someone call the Bucks.

Q: I read in a secret file that, when you were a little boy, your mom says you had an imaginary friend named "Danny." Please say it's true.

CC Sabathia: Oh, yeah, it's true! His name was Danny. I had an imaginary friend. I don't know when I stopped having an imaginary friend, but my mom and everybody in my family remembers it pretty good. It's definitely true.

Q: What did Danny look like?

CC: I can't remember what he looked like. I mean, I don't think he looked like anything. He was just "there," hanging out with me and playing every day.

Q: Would he be your invisible runner on third?

CC: Oh, yeah. And he'd be the invisible goalie when I played soccer, the invisible receiver playing football. He was always my right-hand man.

Q: I had an imaginary friend, too, whom I shared him with my real friend Nick DeLuca. His name was J.P. Cockroach.

CC: Ha! So it's like the same thing. Maybe he was the same guy — you remember what he looked like?

Q: No. He was just always "there." If you see Danny, tell him to say hi to "J.P."

CC: I will.

Q: Did you see the Onion article about you and Fresh Prince Fielder?

CC: [Shaking head].

Q: You know the Onion, the satirical newspaper that does funny stories?

CC: No, I haven't seen it.

Q: OK [scrambling]. I think the headline went something like, 'CC Sabathia, Prince Fielder Keep Imagining Each Other aAs Giant Hamburger, Hot Dog, Respectively.'

CC: Ha! That's good! I mean, we're big guys and always going to be big guys. Nothing really offends me and I'm not really bothered by it. You take it in stride and laugh if it's funny.

Q: When you look at Ryan Braun, what food comes to mind?

CC: Food-wise [laughs]. Gosh. Braun, probably, a steak. He's got a lot of ribbies — ribeyes, RBIs (178 in his first 217 career games) — so, I guess, a medium-rare steak.

Q: To help prove that you have the biggest pants in the majors, can you tell us what size they are?

CC: [Reaching into locker]. Here they are. Forty-four waist. Fifty-six in the thigh. Thirty-six length.

Q: Would you dress in white leather suits and slick back your hair like Al Davis if it meant fixing the Raiders?

CC: Yeah! 100 percent, every day, I would. If they were guaranteed to win the Super Bowl, I would do it.

Q: Sabathia. Is that Greek?

CC: No, it's French Creole. My grandfather's from New Orleans. My family's from there, too.

Q: Will you be curious about the careers of the guys — like Matt LaPorta — for whom you were traded?

CC: I'll pay attention to them; I'll be curious. I know the people in Cleveland are going to let me know about it. I have some friends there and they're going to be telling me every step of the way. I'll be interested.

Q: I'm looking for some dirt on the Indians. You're a guy to ask because you just came from there. The Tribe has been struggling. How much blame should we place on Eric Wedge for not re-growing his imperial mustache in a time of crisis?

CC: Ha. I don't know. Not as much as the fact that Victor [Martinez], and [Travis] Hafner and Jake [Westbrook] and Fausto [Carmona] and everybody got hurt. We can't blame him or his mustache for that too much. I kinda liked the mustache, though.

Q: Does Grady Sizemore talk about trying another career? Because baseball's obviously not working out.

CC: Ha! He talks about football a lot, but I don't think he'd trade anything now for what he might have had.

Q: When is Jhonny Peralta gonna fix his outta whack first name?

CC: I don't think he can fix it now [laughs]. I think it's too late. I don't think that's his fault, though. They messed it up on the birth certificate. I think his mom wanted to spell it regular and then they messed it up.

Q: When you came over from Cleveland, it gave you an opportunity to clear up the matter of your dots, your periods, in "CC," .... and you have this exasperated look on your face right now.

CC: I had no clue what was going on with that. I never said that I never liked dots. They asked me when I wrote my name, how do I spell it, and I said I spell it "Carsten." I never write "CC". I don't really care about the dots anyway. It's just something that kind of got made-up when I came here. I never stated anything about the dots in my name. J.J., you like the dots in your name?

(Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome from a couple of lockers over, Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy)

J.J. Hardy: It doesn't make a difference. You know, I have 'em, but it doesn't make a difference.

CC: See? Doesn't make a difference.

Q: Are we all putting peer pressure on J.J. to drop his periods because of your situation, CC?

CC: What do you think, J.J.? Should you drop your dots, too [laughs]?

J.J.: Should I drop mine? I mean, I have a problem when people spell out "Jay Jay" [in mail correspondence]. I'm content with "J.J."

CC: OK [laughs].

(Folks, again, Mr. J.J. Hardy. Thanks, J.J.)

Q: Did you know that Ryan Braun's mom works for Anheuser-Busch?

CC: I didn't.

Q: Does that make him a double agent?

CC: I guess that would make him a double agent. But, as long as he keeps hitting the ball the way he is, I don't think there's going to be a problem.

Q: They're putting up a statue of Fonzie in downtown Milwaukee. By how much does that trump the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland?

CC: Oh, yeah. I think anybody who watched "Happy Days" is going to be coming down to see it. I think it's very comparable. I never visited the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. I'm sure I'll check out the Fonzie statue.

Q: You never visited it? That's like people who live in New York and never go see the Statue of Liberty. Anyway, if they're doing a statue of Fonzie here, would you be willing to help fund a statue of Fred Sanford in El Segundo, [Calif.]. He left his wallet in El Segundo

CC: Oh, 100 percent [laughs]. He did leave it there a lot. I'm all for that [laughs]. I'd be there for the unveiling.

Q: This trade has gone well for the Brewers so far, but the consensus is there's no way they can afford to sign you to a long-term contract. So, it might it be wise to start thinking about things that you would accept in lieu of cash, to stay here long-term. Would you stay in exchange for:

— Packers stock?

CC: If it was Raiders stock, I'll be all for it [laughs]. I don't know about Packers stock.

— A seat on the board of Miller Beer? Or your own brewery?

CC: My own brewery would be nice. I'd like that.

— What could we call your beer?

CC: "Periods" [laughs]. "Dots."

— Dots with a "Z." Dotz.

CC: It'd be an ale.

Would you like to own the town of Appleton, Wis.?

CC: No, thanks.

Sixth man on the Bucks?

CC: Sixth man, guaranteed sixth man? Oh, awesome! Sixth man on the Bucks, definitely.

Q: I once asked you about this, but if you'd just confirm, that'd be great. You put the kibosh on one of the great urban legends of all time when you said that you and Serena Williams never were an item.

CC: Rumor. All rumor. I wish I could tell you different [laughs] but it was a straight-up rumor. I remember that interview now [laughs].

David Brown is a regular contributor to Big League Stew and writes Morning Juice, which runs Monday-Friday in the a.m. Answer Man is a regular feature on BLS.

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