TAMPA — The voice that roared through cement walls and the loud laugh that started in the belly of a big frame and shattered the early morning stillness of the Yankees’ spring training clubhouse are no longer present.
CC Sabathia took them with him when he retired after last season, and it didn’t take three days for those he left behind to notice his absence.
“At that stage of his career, the biggest thing was just being there for his teammates and the pitchers through struggles and being their biggest supporters when they were doing well,’’ reliever Zack Britton, who was Sabathia’s teammate for one-plus seasons as a Yankee, said Saturday at Steinbrenner Field. “He always kept things in perspective, when things were good and when things were bad. He had been through so much and had seen it all and obviously that big personality.’’
Sabathia went 134-88 with a 3.81 ERA in 11 Yankees seasons and was the ace of the 2009 World Series-winning staff, so he had the numbers required of a leader.
According to Britton, Sabathia also had a sense of timing when and where the left-handed Hall of Fame candidate would deliver away from a packed Yankee…