CC Sabathia felt he had "no other option."
The Yankees lefthander, in an interview that will air Friday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America,'' said that when he got up Oct. 4 after a weekend of heavy drinking in Baltimore, he knew something had to give.
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"I know it was a bad time of the season, but I woke up on that Sunday morning in Baltimore and there was no other option for me but to get help," Sabathia told Robin Roberts in the interview, which also includes his wife, Amber.
The comments were the first by Sabathia, 35, since he announced Oct. 5 that he was entering a 30-day rehab program, which was at a facility in Connecticut.
The announcement came the day before the AL wild-card game, which the Yankees lost to the Astros, 3-0.
"It was just the time," Sabathia said. "I understand where, you know, fans would be upset and people would not understand. If it was my knee or if it was anything else, then people wouldn't have a problem with it. You know, it being alcoholism, it was tough for people to swallow, but it's the same thing."
Sabathia struggled much of the season, going 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA, but was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his last five starts. The Yankees were prepared to put him on the 25-man roster for the wild-card game and, if they had won, would have started him in the Division Series against the Royals, likely in Game 2 or 3.
Sabathia, scheduled to be in Manhattan tonight for a party for his annual CC Challenge charity event, which assists inner city youth, said he already is looking ahead to 2016.
"Just getting back with my teammates, being back in Yankee Stadium, enjoying the fans and, you know, pitching," Sabathia said. "That's what I love to do, competing. I'll be back out there 100 percent, ready to go."