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Outside The Confines: The ‘22 Sale is over

The injury-prone Red Sox pitcher will not play again this season.

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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It seems like every time we hear the name Chris Sale lately, there’s something less-than-ideal happening. Whether it was his expressive outburst in the minors after a not-so-great outing, or the comebacker he took to his hand that resulted in a broken pinky finger and surgery to relieve the pressure.

Now, unfortunately, the news is still bad. Sale was involved in a bicycle crash this week, and the resulting injuries have shut him down for the remainder of the season.

There’s an interesting question to be asked here, in terms of what limitations players should put on themselves during their downtime. We often forget that these are men with lives outside the baseball stadium, who want to enjoy their off hours and usually want to spend quality time unwinding, or spending what little spare time they have with their families or doing something beneficial for their mental and physical health.

There has been a lot of rhetoric already surrounding Sale’s most recent injury, and it creates a difficult rift. On one hand, the Red Sox have over $145 million invested in their most recent contract extension with Sale, and in three years since that deal was signed, the injury-prone pitcher has appeared in only 11 games. One would hope that Sale is as focused on his recovery and return to the majors as his team’s management is, and certainly no one would look at an activity like riding a bike (unless he was going X-Games style offroad racing) would be a risky activity to undertake in his downtime.

Was Sale being selfish, doing an activity where he could hurt himself, or was this just an example of someone trying to live their life, and an accident happening? Let’s not forget that some of the most interesting injuries to baseball players have occurred in situations where no one should logically get hurt: playing Guitar Hero, for example. Or more recently Blake Snell who decided to move a “big granite thing” in his bathroom and accidentally broke his foot.

I think, to an extent, while ball players are employees and should take on responsibilities of personal care and not putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations — like Madison Bumgarner on his dirt bike, for example — accidents can and do happen anywhere, and I don’t think most of us would expect to find ourselves in danger of being out of work for a year just by taking a quick bike ride.

Although, to be fair, no one is paying me $29 million a year to do my job.

Let’s jump into today’s links.

  • I need more of this at major league baseball games, thanks.

And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.