Chris Sale told MLB.com on Monday that he doesn’t want to be traded from the Chicago White Sox and that he destroyed the team’s throwback jerseys they were scheduled to wear on Saturday because he puts winning above marketing.
Sale was pulled from starting Saturday and subsequently suspended five games by the White Sox for his outburst.
Sale, a five-time All-Star, returns to the mound Thursday.
In his interview with MLB on Monday, Sale explained that he didn’t feel the 1976-era throwback jerseys the White Sox were scheduled to wear – the jerseys are oversized, untucked and sport a collar -- are comfortable.
As the starting pitcher, Sale has a certain say in what uniforms his team wears on the days he pitches. Although Sale said he made his feelings known about the jerseys, the team still decided to wear them.
Sale reportedly cut up not only his jerseys, but those of his teammates as they were laid out in the clubhouse.
Sale said he was most incensed that the business of marketing – Saturday was a throwback day at U.S. Cellular Park – came above winning.
“When I saw that there was something in the way of that 100 percent winning mentality, I had an issue," Sale told MLB.com.
"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.
"[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. Not only that, but I didn't want anything to alter my mechanics. ... There's a lot of different things that went into it. Looking bad had absolutely zero to do with it. Nothing."