ATLANTA - CC Sabathia was smoking.
Apparently, nothing more than a cigar.
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Sabathia posted a picture, taken by an unknown photographer, on Instagram early Saturday afternoon showing him holding what the pitcher said was a mini-cigar but others concluded was something else.
The photographer peddled the photo to several news outlets Saturday -- including one that paid about $15,000 for it, according to one organizational insider -- but first contacted Sabathia's wife, Amber.
"Somebody emailed Amber this morning and said they had pictures of me doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing," Sabathia said before Saturday night's game. "And I said, 'I wasn't doing anything I wasn't supposed to be doing.' That's why I put that picture up."
Sabathia, on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation, said he posted the picture before discussing it with his publicist. "I'm sure he's going to be chewing me out," he said with a smile.
Indeed, a little more than an hour after he spoke with reporters, the picture -- which showed Sabathia in a white Cavaliers LeBron James jersey -- was removed, replaced by one of him sleeping with the caption: "I was told I had to take the pic down by a NY newspaper who bought it $$$."
The caption on the original photo read: "Shout out to the Paparazzi for catching me on the smallest balcony ever trying to relax with my 4 kids driving me crazy!"
Following were these hashtags: #CountdownToSchoolStarts, #ItsOnlyACigar, #MiniCigarillos, #MyJerseyUsedToBeAThrowBack, #InMyMinonSlippers, #GuessImFamous, #CanILive.
Sabathia's wife and four kids are in Atlanta for this trip and are not staying in the team hotel because it does not have a pool. "My kids can't live without a pool," he said, laughing.
Sabathia, who was caught on a cellphone video yelling back at a heckler outside a Toronto nightclub two weekends ago, said something like this doesn't anger him, but he did call the prospect of someone with a camera so close to his hotel "spooky."
"Especially because I'm not staying at the team hotel, it's a different hotel," he said. "It kind of is what it is."
Tex no better
There still is no timeline for when Mark Teixeira (bone bruise) will test his right leg by trying to run.
"Until the swelling gets out of there, really can't do much," he said. "No testing it. We knew that [trying to run earlier in the week] kind of made it a little angry, so testing it and trying to run isn't going to be in the cards until I feel a lot better."
Joe Girardi said "my hope is Boston" for Teixeira's return, but he can't say for sure.
"I think we all felt he'd be playing by now," Girardi said, "but obviously it's not healing as quickly as we thought."