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.
The Brooklyn Cyclones hosted an Elaine dance contest for Seinfeld Night and you’re not gonna wanna miss this..— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) August 9, 2022
- Joe Posnanski talks good contracts and bad contracts, something with a lot of context recently with Sale, and also with the Cubs when we think about Jason Heyward.
- Jay Jaffe looks at what the Dodgers lose with Kershaw heading back to the IL, and it’s more about their aura of invulnerability than anything.
- Jaffe also looks at the decline of Braves’ pitcher Ian Anderson who was once a postseason hero and has now been demoted to the minors.
- Jackie Bradley Jr. has found a new home in the AL East, signing a 1-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, writes Wilton Jackson.
- Rocco Baldelli was not shy about sharing his opinion about the umpires after the Twins recent loss to the Blue Jays. Story by Aaron Gleeman.
- This is just a lovely moment.
"Hey, you're doing just great"— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) August 9, 2022
Oklahoma little leaguer gets hit in the head and then comforts the pitcher who is shaken up afterward pic.twitter.com/hYYLiy511K
- Jeff Passan looks behind the curtain to see how the big trade deal that sent Juan Soto to San Diego got done.
- Now that San Diego has Soto, Alden Gonzalez looks at three things the Padres need to do if they hope to best the Dodgers.
- The Soto trade had everyone talking at the deadline, and Will Leitch looks at five names that are likely to cause a signing stir this offseason.
- Jacob deGrom is back, but Ben Clemens cautions us to enjoy it while it lasts.
- Nick Selbe offers a cautiously optimistic look at Cody Bellinger.
- The Athletic staff track Aaron Judge’s current home run pace with that of some of the all-time greats. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Nelson Figueroa hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011, and he’s 48 now, but if you think he’s not still playing ball, you’ve got another think coming. Story by Scott Chiusano. (and before anyone comes for me about “another think coming” that is actually the saying, not “another thing coming” though the latter has become so commonplace in use it is now considered also acceptable... anyway, fun editor fact for your Wednesday I guess?)
- This will be Dennis Eckersley’s last season in the broadcast booth for the Red Sox. (AP)
- Uhhhh, would you try this?
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.