On Saturday, July 23, Chicago White Sox star pitcher Chris Sale was scheduled to start in a game against the Detroit Tigers. It was turn-black-the-clock night, as the White Sox wore throwback uniforms set to 1976. They were only worn three times by the White Sox that 1976, but they were so stark in contrast to the rest of baseball's uniforms; the set had shorts!
Yes, they actually prevented their very own players from sliding and diving because the knees were exposed! The shirts were also collared, so without an undershirt, pitchers and hitters felt uncomfortable playing because of potential skin rashes that could sideline them for an extended period of time.
The picture above shows future Yankees hero Bucky Dent batting with the shorts uniforms of '76.
But this time, the White Sox just kept the shirts, while adding baseball pants that actually overcame those fears.
Before the game, however, Sale didn't feel like wearing them, so he cut off a part of the jersey for the rest of the team's shirts with scissors. Then the Sox hahd to scramble to get new uniforms. They scratched Sale from his start that night, and suspended him for five games because of violating the team's rules and showing lack of respect.
At the same time, being as appreciative of the past of the sport as I am, I'm literally offended. First of all, I had the southpaw in both of my fantasy leagues as baseball's #2 overall starting pitcher so far this season. So I traded him in both of my leagues to my friend. Luckily I got Mike Trout in return, but that is besides the story.
Whenever you sign a contract with a professional sports team, you are supposed to follow team rules, and that includes the uniforms. If you're out of uniform, you don't play, simple as that.
He needed to be more considerate of the fans, and the potential consequences that could come up because of those actions.
If the scissors weren't available, what else could have he done?
The White Sox tried to go back in time in effort to show the different time periods of the sport so that not only can longtime fans relive their past roots as baseball fans, but to give the younger generations a concept about where the sport was in the day. Every time clubs across the league go retro for throwbacks, it interests me as I can envision what it was like back in the day with the setting. Granted only three parks from the 1960s still stand today (Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field in Chicago, and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles). But, besides that, the vast majority of baseball has changed uniforms on multiple occasions throughout the years.
But apparently, Chris Sale's inability to follow team rules and deal with the obstacle offended me last week. The clubs try to do new things every day with their home games that intend to keep the fans interested.
If you don't follow the rules, you go home. That should be clear and simple orders as that. The oddities of baseball apparently caught up to Sale that afternoon.
There is the argument made that obsession with throwback jerseys is too much for fans to digest because fans tend to look more at the present state of the team. But all teams in sports celebrate team pride, which involves looking back at team's history. Granted, teams may have as little as nineteen years of history (like the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays) to almost 150 years.
But baseball is also supposed to show pride toward its part in culture, and it has been just that throughout the sport's existence. Yes, the 1976 White Sox jerseys may be ugly, but former NFL coach Herman Edwards once said "you play to win the game!" Chris Sale is the pitcher that can carry the White Sox to the playoffs, and is it possible the both sides had every reason to execute a trade involving the American League's starting pitcher in the All-Star Game?
If it happens, whatever. If not, the conflict between Sale and the White Sox may not be a good story for baseball to cover, especially in a big city like Chicago.
Any apology Sale gives I do not accept because it it clearly showed an inability to handle adversity and braving the elements.
Just deal with it!