As you know, last Saturday, Sox pitcher Chris Sale slashed up a bunch of jerseys. Normally, starting pitchers get to pick that day's jersey. The Sox had a giveaway promotion scheduled, and Sale didn't like the throwback jerseys; he found them uncomfortable. So, while teammates were doing BP in their warmup jerseys, Sale took a knife to all the throwbacks.
First off, I loved how bent out of shape half the Internet got over it. The roto fans speculated if Sale had ruined his trade value. The amateur psychiatrists wondered what was wrong with Sale's head -- maybe he has issues with Authority? (Show me someone who's never BADLY wanted out of a workplace.) And moralists worried over the example Sale set for young fans. (Uh, children know that adults can lose their tempers.)
Then I liked the funny responses. South Side Sox had one of my favorites, the following thread. Commenters were speculating about different former Sox players who could be managers, and one brought up JIMMERS:
mechanical turk: Thome would have handled this recent Sale crisis with aplomb, to be certain. He would have given Sale a hug to make him feel better, and after Sale got off the DL with a few broken ribs he would never cross Lennie the Manager again.
Trooper Galactus: "Put the rabbit down, Jim!"
homesickalien: CHRI CHRIS SALE SO SOFT
Elsewhere, immortal Grant Brisbee wrote, "and then what happened was he just sitting at his locker like vincent d’onofrio i want answers about this next part"
Because that is exactly right. Did Sale wait amidst the carnage, smoking a cigar? Did he take shreds out to the equipment manager and say "you might want to sew these." Did he leave the locker room and wait to hear "WTF, SALE!"
What's truly wild is that Sale apparently hasn't offered any kind of apology. He did say he was sorry his teammates had to pick up the slack during his five-day suspension. But he defended the action and blamed the incident primarily on embattled manager Robin Ventura.
Of course, nobody is in favor of slamming a colleague via the press gossip mill. And yet part of me respects Sale for defending his silly behavior. I tend to let corporate employers walk all over me. Sale's been critical of Sox personnel decisions, notably a rule change which caused teammate Adam LaRoche to retire.
And he joined Sox players who protested a new Mariner policy of collecting 60% of tips given by players to clubhouse attendants. Tipping those attendants is an old baseball tradition; rookies on a low pay scale aren't expected to do it, better-paid veterans are.
Wherever you stand on Sale's personality and behavior, though, you gotta admit: he's given us one of the all-time classic baseball stories.
Torii Hunter punching Nick Punto (while swinging for Justin Morneau) was great, as was Kyle Lohse, a bat, and Ron Gardenhire's door. I don't say the actions were great; merely that they make good stories baseball survives on. If baseball players weren't a bit strange, the game and its history wouldn't be as fun to learn about.
Yet players have smashed things with bats. Players have socked one another. I don't know if there's ever been a player who went on a jersey-killing rampage before. It's like pitcher Dock Ellis intentionally trying to plunk the entire Reds lineup. Call it crazy, call it against the spirit of the game, call it whatever you wish.
But you do have to call it original! And that's what the best baseball stories are made of.