When Chris Sale was scratched from his start Saturday evening, it was believed that the SP may have been traded to another team. This was not the case. It was announced that Sale was removed from his start due to a clubhouse issue. Apparently, he had some dislike for the 1976 throwback uniforms the Chicago White Sox were supposed to be wearing. The appropriate response: cut all of the jerseys with scissors.
The 27 year old lefty had a problem with the way the jerseys fit. As a pitcher, any little change in comfort or mechanics can throw off control or velocity of different pitches. If the shirt was too tight in a specific area Sale may not be able to cut a breaking ball with the exact precision he normally would. This would result in less effectiveness and an increased likelihood of a ball being put in play.
Sale may have taken this rebellion to a higher level, but he is generally right. If the pitcher can’t pitch to the best of his ability because of a change in uniform the team should accommodate accordingly. Change the jerseys, and get through the start. The White Sox organization can still sell the throwback uniforms without the players wearing them on the field.
White Sox management and Chris Sale have gone back and forth about many different issues over the last few years, and the incidents have been covered quite heavily by the media. This may be what is holding Chicago back from receiving a top-level trade offer for Sale, who has reportedly been involved in many trade rumors over the last year or so. If other teams are aware that management and Sale don’t exactly see eye to eye, they may believe that he will be available at a lower price tag.
Sale’s contract makes him extremely affordable, and he will command a big pay day after the 2019 season when the team options run out. For now, he remains a member of the Chicago White Sox, but his days may be numbered.