The White Sox said Chris Sale was scratched from his start due to a "non-physical" incident, but you’d probably disagree if you were a 1976 throwback uniform.
After an hour of speculation that went from illness to trade to God knows what, Tommy Stokke of Today’s Knuckleball broke the report that stuck.
Not a joke: Source says Sale blowup was because he didn't want to wear throwbacks, so he cut the jerseys up so no one could wear them.
— Tommy Stokke (@StokkeTommy) July 23, 2016
Seriously. Stokke’s report was backed up by Jeff Passan, Ken Rosenthal, and eventually Dan Hayes. Besides being a wackadoo thing to do, Tom Verducci says Sale violated actual rules.
Verducci just said on @FS1 telecast that what Sale did is insubordination. Part of Uniform Player Contract. He does not set workplace rules.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 24, 2016
The White Sox were supposed to wear the 1976 uniforms as part of a throwback promotion, but the team came out wearing 1983 uniforms, which gave Stokke’s initial report some circumstantial evidence. Rosenthal said Sale cut up the jerseys during batting practice, a last-ditch protest after his earlier complaints about comfort and priorities fell on deaf ears.
(Julie DiCaro said he used a knife, if you were wondering.)
If Sale didn’t have a rich history of insane behavior, he would have a good point. Maybe he still does. Looking back at last year’s post about the 1976 uniforms, I thought the jerseys were too billowy on everybody, but they worked best on the guys with broad builds. Smaller guys like Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino looked like they were wearing nightshirts.
The jersey didn’t seem to affect Carlos Rodon, who threw six innings of two-run ball and picked up the victory over the Mariners. Then again, Rodon is quite a bit thicker than Sale. If a spindly guy like Sale tried pitching, his arms might’ve gotten lost inside the excess fabric.
Maybe the White Sox should have taken my advice from last year. Maybe Sale took it too seriously.