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WATCH: Chris Sale throws tantrum, destroys things after being pulled from rehab start

Matt Johnson
Chris Sale
Allan Jung/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale took the mound on Wednesday during a rehab start for Triple-A Worcester, hoping to prove he is ready to make his 2022 debut. Instead, he struggled with his command and left some serious damage to a minor-league clubhouse.

Sale, making his way back from a fractured rib cage, took the mound on Wednesday night against the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. After allowing just eight hits with a 14-1 K-BB ratio across 7.2 innings in his first three rehab appearances, Sale hoped this would be his last.

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Things didn’t go particularly well. The 33-year-old southpaw faced 18 batters, allowing five walks and three hits across 3.2 innings. Ultimately, Worcester manager Chad Tracy saw enough and pulled Sale from the game late in the fourth inning.

  • Chris Sale career stats: 3.03 ERA, 2,059 strikeouts, 1.04 WHIP, 114-74 record

Despite the issues with his command, Sale expressed optimism after the game during a media session with reporters. He expressed confidence in his stuff and felt like he was ready to rejoin the Red Sox rotation for his next start.

“I had the best fastball, the best slider and the best changeup tonight, just not consistently. That’s not going to fly in the big leagues. I need to clean that up, obviously this next week in the bullpen and stuff like that. I’m excited for that task. It was there, I just have to work on the consistency. That’s what I’m here for, to get reps. I just needed it to click, and it never clicked.”

Chris Sale on his rehab start (H/T MassLive.com)

However, it seems reporters caught Sale after his meltdown. Video obtained by Alysha Palumbo of NBC 10 Boston shows the seven-time All-Star selection losing control of his emotions in the dugout. While Sale came out of his rage unscathed, the same can’t be said for whatever hung on the wall in the clubhouse.

Sale has earned himself a reputation for outbursts that lead to the destruction of things around him. As a member of the Chicago White Sox in 2016, he was suspended by the team after he cut up the team’s throwback uniforms because he didn’t want to wear them.

As Boston’s ace in 2019, Sale unleashed his frustrations on a cooler after giving up a home run. He is also prone to emotional outbursts on the mound, both over an umpire’s strike zone and big hits allowed.

While the Red Sox certainly won’t love the destruction of properly at their Triple-A affiliate, it won’t impact their decision to activate him off the injured list. Boston needs all the pitching it can get right now and if Sale is confident his stuff is back, he’ll rejoin the rotation.

One thing Boston must keep in mind is Chris Sale’s vaccination status. He is unvaccinated and will not be allowed to make the trip to face the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada for their final three-game series at the end of the regular season.

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Given how tight in the MLB standings the Red Sox and Blue Jays are, that could prove to be a major blow. If both teams face off against one another in the postseason and Toronto has the better record, it could be an even bigger problem.