White Sox's Ventura takes issue with Ausmus' comments

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Well, the 2015 Tigers-White Sox series just got more interesting.

Certainly the Chris Sale-binoculars-Victor Martinez beaning incident Wednesday was a start, but White Sox manager Robin Ventura accelerated it on Thursday.

In his pregame meeting in Chicago before the White Sox face the Royals, Ventura reacted strongly to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus characterizing Sale's actions as "weak."

"He's not weak and we don't do weak things," Ventura told reporters. "And Chris doesn't do weak things. He should probably worry about his own team and invest a little more on his own team. Don't worry about my team."

As uncharacteristic as Ausmus' outburst was Wednesday, Chicago writers said Ventura's was just as out of character. Clearly, a nerve was struck.

Sale, though he denied it, appeared to think Martinez had a fan in right-center field using binoculars to steal the catcher's signs and relay them to him.

"I've been doing this (hitting well) my whole career and that's what he thinks?" Martinez said "What happened with the other guys who hit good against him — were they using somebody, too? I have a lot of respect for Sale. But what happened today, you have to be kidding me."

Ausmus wasn't amused.

"It's a little weak they would hit him," Ausmus said Wednesday. "If they injure Victor there and we're in the playoff hunt, that's bad news. That can't happen. He clearly did it on purpose. He made it obvious.

"And quite frankly, we can't do anything about it. There were warnings and if we retaliated, one of our guys could have gotten suspended and it could have went right into the playoffs. It was just weak on Sale's part."

Ausmus, who spoke to the Detroit media before Ventura made his comments, wasn't in mood to revisit the situation.

"The whole thing was ridiculous," he said.