clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ned Yost has an All-Star Game plan for Chris Sale

American League manager convinces Robin Ventura to let his ace pitch in Cincinnati

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The arguments against Chris Sale pitching in the All-Star Game are concise and convincing: Robin Ventura rides him rough, and he's going to be needed in the second half if the White Sox have any dreams of getting back into the wild card hunt, so all rest is welcome.

Yet he's still going to pitch, as Royals/American League manager Ned Yost successfully negotiated with Ventura for Sale's usage in Cincinnati. One part of Yost's reasoning is worth noting:

"It took some convincing," Yost said. "I think (Ventura) understands and I understand. I understand how important (Sale) is to that organization and it’s one of those deals where the world kind of wants to see him pitch. But everything is going to be good."

This is kinda the point of it. On Sunday at Hardball Talk, Bill Baer (a Phillies blogger/fan) wrapped up his post about Ventura's perspective with this:

One can understand Ventura’s reluctance to have Sale throw any more than he needs to, but the baseball world at large would be deprived of awesome pitching were the lefty to rest on Tuesday instead.

Sale is the one player the Sox have who is automatically interesting to those with no vested interest in the team otherwise. While Ventura and the people under the baseball branch of the Sox might want to keep Sale for themselves -- Don Cooper is another one -- the rest of the organization welcomes the attention, and anything that might provide more tout quotes like this:

It's all about marketing, which seems like a silly reason to want him to pitch. But then again, Sox fans and personnel often gripe about their team being overlooked, whether locally or nationally ... and that's marketing (or lack thereof), too.

In isolation, this quote from Cooper makes sense:

"From the pitching coach’s perspective, I’m somebody who shares but I don’t like to share my toys,’’ Cooper told the Sun-Times Monday. "I wish that he didn’t have to throw in the All-Star Game. Because if my focus is keeping this kid healthy, I don’t want him having to crank it up another day. That’s ours. I want him to be ready to run the five-, six-day race for the Chicago White Sox.’’

But Cooper also repeatedly grumbles about attendance at U.S. Cellular Field, specifically saying that Sox fans might not appreciate Sale enough. It's difficult to maintain both stances while remaining logically consistent.

You can keep Sale to yourself in order to focus on matters at home. You can want the outside world to appreciate him. But you can't bemoan his supposed underappreciated status and want him to bypass the greatest midseason publicity opportunity there is.