Chris Sale: When White Sox ‘Put Business First over Winning, That’s When I Lost It’

Chris Sale
The Associated Press

Chris Sale spoke out for the first time since his scissors shouted for him.

“When I saw that there was something in the way of that 100 percent winning mentality, I had an issue,” Sale told about slicing up the Chicago White Sox throwbacks on Saturday. “I tried to bring it up and say, ‘Hey listen, these are my thoughts and concerns,’ and they got pushed away because of the business deal that was set in place. I’ll never understand why we need to do something on the business side on the field that might impede us winning a game.”

Sale objected to the franchise forcing him to wear a collared, softball-style uniform on Saturday as part of a promotion giving away replicas of the unorthodox 1976 White Sox jerseys to the first 20,000 fans at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale, as the starting pitcher, claimed the uniforms made him uncomfortable. But his complaints fell on deaf ears.

“Robin [Ventura] is the one who has to fight for us in that department,” Sale opined regarding his manager. “If the players don’t feel comfortable 100 percent about what we are doing to win the game, and we have an easy fix — it was as easy as hanging up another jersey and everyone was fine. For them to put business first over winning, that’s when I lost it.”

He lost it by cutting up the uniforms in the clubhouse, rendering what he wished not to don unwearable for the rest of his teammates. The White Sox sent him home, and subsequently suspended him five games for the outburst. They won Saturday night’s game (on Sunday), the following day’s game, and last night’s game. The team won just one of the preceding nine.

The American League’s starting pitcher for the All-Star Game returns to the mound for the White Sox on Thursday.

“Do I regret standing up for what I believe in?” the lefty asked. “Absolutely not. Do I regret saying business should not be first before winning? Absolutely not.”