Ever since Chris Sale was acquired by the Atlanta Braves on December 30th, people have wondered what he has left in the tank. Sale who is entering his 15th season in the MLB and has faced a lot of adversity in his career. Trading for (and extending) a 7x All-Star who at times struggles to stay healthy has caused a lot of mixed emotions from the Atlanta fan base. Chris Sale joined 'Foul Territory' to share his perspective on his move to the Braves heading into 2024.
Leaving Boston for Atlanta
During this interview, Sale made it clear that it was a tough decision to leave the Boston Red Sox but saw more promise with the Atlanta Braves. He also made a comment that seems to be blown out of porportion. Former Atlanta Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski asked Chris Sale what his thoughts were when he hears "Chris Sale, number four starter."
Sale replied with "I can go out and suck and no one will hate me." Many individuals saw this as a shot to the Red Sox fan base for being over critcal in the time of player's struggles. Others saw this as a jab saying that Braves fans aren't as passionate. Both of those interpretations are wrong.
At this point in his career, Sale is no longer going to be the ace he was when he made his 7 All-Star Games. All he was pointing out in this comment was that being on the back end of the rotation, he has a little pressure off of him and knows with the Braves lineup even on his off days he could get enough run support to win.
Sale went on to say that it does not matter to him where he is at in the rotation, he just wants the ball in his hands every fifth day to give his team a chance to win.
When asked about his injury history in recent years, Sale was very open and honest. He says he understands why people talk about his health as a concern but pointed out that since 2021 all of his injuries have been minor, annoying setbacks.
Sale went on to say because of his injuries he has not been able to have a normal off-season for a few years now and that he has thrown the most long toss this off-season since 2018. This is an encouraging claim for Braves fans to hear. Sale seems motivated to be ready for Opening Day.
In this interview, a lot of fun was had as well. Pierzynski and Sale reminisced on Sale's big league debut in Baltimore which was highly entertaining.
In classic rookie fashion, Chris Sale was obligated to carry all the snacks, gum, coffee, etc. to the bullpen. Apparently he had no idea how a french press worked and he accidentially poured coffee down the front of his uniform right before his MLB debut.
Strangely enough, that was not the only heat Sale had to deal with that night. Sale claims that he was forced by teammates to "apply hot stuff to his body" prior to the game and it was the first time he had ever used such a substance. When Pierzynski asked what part of the body, Sale just put his head down and laughed. We will let you make your own inferences from there.
Chirs Sale may have battled a lot of injuries in recent years but he seems like he will be on track to start the year in the Braves rotation. Listening to this interview should have Braves fans fired up about what he can bring to this already dangerous team on the mound and in the clubhouse.