CC Sabathia expects no Yanks letdown

TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia says there won't be any let-up in the World Series champion New York Yankees this season.

The reason is simple, the Yankees pitching ace says. The club's veteran group of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte won't let it ha ppen.

"I go back to those core four," Sabathia said Tuesday after his first pre-spring training workout at the Yankees minor league complex. "Those guys can stay hungry after five rings. They come in and they're excited to get to the ballpark every day. It rubs off on the whole team. We definitely look to those guys for leadership and we look for them this year, again, to lead us."

Sabathia went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA over 34 starts last year. Entering the second season of a $161 million, seven-year contract, the ace said his initial season in pinstripes was "crazy."

"Just from the day I signed, trying to get adjusted," Sabathia said. "To be able to come out and win the World Series in the first year of the new stadium, it was definitely a great year."

Sabathia started throwing on flat ground in December, part of his normal offseason routine. The left-hander will have his third bullpen session -- the first in Florida -- on Wednesday.

"I'm feeling good," Sabathia said. "You want to win, again."

Sabathia likes the Yankees' offseason additions, which included pitcher Javier Vazquez and outfielder Curtis Granderson. Acquired in a trade with Detroit, Granderson hit 30 homers last year.

"Hopefully he'll hit like 50 homers," a smiling Sabathia said of Granderson. "He's going to be a great ballplayer for us. He was always a tough out for me."