Chicago — The White Sox have suspended All-Star left-hander Chris Sale for five games for his actions in the team’s clubhouse Saturday.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Sale was suspended for “violating team rules, insubordination and destroying team equipment.”
He will be eligible to return to the rotation Thursday.
Neither Hahn nor manager Robin Ventura would discuss in detail what transpired, but according to multiple reports, Sale took a knife and shredded the 1976 throwback jerseys the club was supposed to wear Saturday – part of a ticket promotion and giveaway that was on the schedule all year.
Sale apparently felt the jerseys were uncomfortable and would negatively impact his ability to pitch. He got into a profanity-laced argument with team officials when they wouldn't change jerseys.
“The suspension was a reasoned decision based upon his actions in the clubhouse,” Hahn said. “Later in the day when we sat down and talked face to face in my office, he expressed to me his rationale behind his actions. He understood at that time that because of his actions, there would be discipline.”
Hahn said Sale did not back down from his stance on this issue, even after the suspension was handed down.
“We had a candid conversation about his thoughts on the matter and what led to his actions and what led to his exchange with our staff members,” Hahn said. “I was very candid with him about our point of view about the events and what is appropriate behavior.
“We both expressed remorse that it got to this point. But at that point last night, Chris stood by his actions. Part of what makes Chris great, part of what makes him elite, is his passion and commitment. We’ve seen that at times spill out between the white lines. Yesterday was one of those instances.”
Hahn also made it clear that the incident will not impact anything the club does before the trade deadline regarding Sale.
“The actions and behavior of the last 24 hours does not change in any respect our belief that Chris Sale can help this club win a championship, win multiple championships,” he said. “It does not move the needle one iota in terms of his value to the club, his value to any other club that may be interested in his services or the likelihood of his being moved.
“None of those things will be impacted by these events.”
Hahn also said that at no point in his discussions with Sale did he ask to be traded.