Kutter Crawford of the Boston Red Sox is getting hit with an undisclosed fine for getting ejected during the national anthem. However, he won’t have to worry about that as his teammate Chris Sale is going to take one on the chin for him.
The ejection occurred when Boston was in Philadelphia for a three-game series with the Phillies. Ahead of one game, Crawford and Matt Strahm of the Phillies were having some fun, seeing who would stay out longer after the national anthem. It’s almost like a game of chicken.
However, MLB is serious about the pace of play and both pitchers were ejected. This is a problem for Crawford because he’s currently on the injured list. That means that he was facing, and received, a steep fine, though the amount was not disclosed.
Still, as Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained, Chris Sale was going to foot the bill for him. NESN’s Tom Caron later seemed to confirm this.
“The fines increase if you’re on the injured list, so it was a hefty fine for Crawford,” Caron said.
“Word is, a Florida Gulf Coast University teammate by the name of Chris Sale will pick up the tab on that one. Alex Cora had a chuckle with us before the game saying, ‘He got a guy out of the game. He did his job.’”
For Strahm, who pitched for the Red Sox last season, the standoff was just a bit of fun.
“Zero of it was planned. Just, (the) anthem was over and I looked across and Kutter kind of gave me a grin and I know exactly what that grin meant so just stood there,” Strahm explained.
Unfortunately for Strahm, it doesn’t seem like Chris Sale will be paying his fine.
Chris Sale left a batter audibly baffled with a slider
Chris Sale is MLB’s all-time leader in strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He was able to earn that record with a great fastball and one of the best sliders ever. Throwing from nearly a sidearm, Sale’s slider dives away from lefties and onto the ankles of right-handed batters. It’s the same pitch that Sale struck out Manny Machado on to win the 2018 World Series.
Since then, Chris Sale has dealt with a laundry list of injury issues that have kept him off the field. That includes Tommy John Surgery, having a line drive break a finger, and falling off his bike and breaking his wrist.
In his 2023 return, after only pitching 48.1 innings in the two previous seasons, Chris Sale has shown flashes of his old self. Like when he left a Detroit Tiger Audibly baffled.
That’s a beautiful slider when it’s working. The problem for Chris Sale has been consistency, especially with his locations. If he can figure it out, though, the Red Sox will finally have an ace in their rotation once again.