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Chris Sale scratched from start due to "clubhouse incident," not trade

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White Sox release vague, troubling statement after late decision

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Brace yourselves. Tonight could be a doozy.

Chris Sale was scratched from his start against Detroit tonight, with Matt Albers replacing him. It took an eternity to find out why, and we still don’t actually really know the reason.

Original reports of the flu didn’t materialize, and then were shot down. That increased the trade speculation, and that, too, was shot down by multiple reports shortly before White Sox released a statement of their own that says simultaneously so much and so little.

CHICAGO – Chicago White Sox senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn issued the following statement prior to tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field:

"Chris Sale has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start and sent home from the ballpark by the White Sox due to a clubhouse incident before the game. The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club.

"The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed."

We know of one other time when Sale was sent home, and that was after a heated argument with Robin Ventura toward the end of the 2014 season. But Sale wasn’t even pitching that day, so the fact that he’s missing this start and the word "investigation" is involved gives this one a far more ominous tone.

He also tried storming the Royals clubhouse last April, and he lashed out against Kenny Williams in L'Affaire LaRoche.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

Update (6:27 p.m.): Jerry Crasnick with a little elaboration:

Update (6:46 p.m.): Getting more specific...

Update: (7 p.m.): Please be true.

Update (7:14 p.m.): This one is not being shot down. There is corroborating circumstantial evidence, in that the team was supposed to wear its 1976 throwback uniforms, but came out wearing the 1983 ones instead.