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White Sox suspend Chris Sale five days for cutting uniforms

Saturday start will be the only one missed; Anthony Ranaudo up to provide bullpen reinforcement

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the White Sox sent Chris Sale home on Saturday for cutting up the 1976 throwback uniforms he did not want to wear, they levied additional punishment with a five-game suspension. Saturday’s dismissal counts as the first day, so he will be eligible to return as early as Thursday, which is the final game of the White Sox-Cubs series. It basically amounts to one missed start.

The Sox recalled Anthony Ranaudo to take his place on the roster. While Ranaudo is a starter, he’ll likely be used in long relief, since Matt Albers had to start a Johnny Wholestaff game on Saturday after Jacob Turner was knocked out in the fourth inning on Friday. He may even be called upon to pitch the remainder of the suspended game should it drag beyond nine innings. That game will resume at 1:10 p.m., and Jose Quintana will start Game 2 afterward.

The White Sox released a statement with a message from Rick Hahn:

"Chris has been suspended for violating team rules, for insubordination and for destroying team equipment," said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. "While we all appreciate Chris’ talent and passion, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to express concerns about team rules and organizational expectations."

Sale, who also was fined an undisclosed amount, has been placed on Major League Baseball’s suspended list.

A couple odd things at this point:

No. 1: Jon Heyman added details about the incident, although I call into question a couple of them.

Sale cut up the team’s throwback uniforms after he was surprised to learn the team would wear the very throwback jerseys he understood to have been stored for good. But he is said by a friend also to have been disappointed by a lack of backing by the staff — meaning manager Robin Ventura and others — over whether he and the team had to wear the heavy, wool throwbacks he thought the team had nixed months earlier. [...]

Sale, a generally genial fellow who can be quite emotional, is described as so "passionate" about winning that he considers anything else to be "white noise." In this case, he thought everyone on the team had agreed that those particular throwbacks, with the heavy, wool fabric hanging over the belt, were too uncomfortable to wear, especially on a hot summer Chicago day.

They aren’t wool, are they? They were big and looked like they might be a distraction for a skinny pitcher, but they don't look wool. I could be wrong, as way too many Google searches don't reveal the answer.

At any rate, Hahn, speaking to reporters today, said the White Sox took my advice. OK, not in those words, but still.

No. 2: You know, this wouldn’t have happened if the White Sox pushed Turner’s first start to the last possible day, rather than starting him on Sunday against Anaheim and pushing Sale and Jose Quintana back. At least Sale and Quintana will have opportunities to get additional breathers in August and September, if they’re still around.

To that point, Hahn spoke to reporters today and said Sale never asked to be born traded.