CHICAGO – The drama has trumped just about everything surrounding the White Sox.
From their two-straight wins over the Tigers to the start of their Crosstown Cup series with the Cubs, it pales in comparison to the pre-game jersey incident with starter Chris Sale.
A number of reports say that Sale cut the 1976 throwback uniforms which the White Sox were scheduled to wear on Saturday as part of a promotion. These are the jerseys that are left untucked and feature the collars made popular 40 years ago and Sale’s reaction to them led the club suspending him for five days.
On Monday Sale spoke out for the first time about the incident in an interview with MLB.com writer Scott Merkin.
He didn’t confirm that he cut the jerseys as the reports said but he did explain why he was so upset about the decision to wear them. According to the article, Sale asked not to wear the uniforms during his start on Saturday and when he saw them hanging in the team lockers he became upset.
“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,” said Sale to Merkin. “I’ll never understand why we need to do something on the business side on the field that might impede us winning a game.
“[The ’76 uniforms] are uncomfortable and unorthodox. I didn’t want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in.”
In the article Sale puts some blame on White Sox manager Robin Ventura for not doing more to prevent the team from having to wear the jerseys.
“Robin is the one who has to fight for us in that department,” said Sale to Merkin. “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.”
Sale will return to the team on Thursday and start the final game of the Crosstown Cup against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.