(CBS SF/AP) — Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia says he had “no other option” than to leave the team for treatment for alcoholism ahead of its loss to Houston in the one-game AL wild-card playoff.

In his first remarks to media since seeking treatment, Vallejo-born Sabathia told ABC “it was just the time.”

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“I know it was a bad time of the season, but there was no other option for me but to get help,” Sabathia said. “And I understand where, you know, fans would be upset and people don’t understand, but it’s a disease. And if it was my knee or it was anything else, then people wouldn’t have a problem with it, but, you know, it being alcoholism, it’s tough for people to swallow. But it’s the same thing.”

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The 35-year-old left-hander was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA this season, slowed by a chronic knee injury.

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