Red Sox announce Chris Sale underwent surgery on broken wrist, is done for the season
Nothing has been more of a constant for the Boston Red Sox over the last four years than Chris Sale being injured.
On Tuesday, the Sox announced that Sale had undergone surgery after breaking his wrist in a bike accident. His season is over. Again.
According to Sox president of baseball ops Chaim Bloom, Sale had been throwing at Boston College on Saturday and ‘jumped on his bike’ to go get some lunch. Riding down a hill, he hit something and went flying off his bike.
Biking in Boston is risky business no matter who you are, but for Sale, who’s seems to have the worst injury luck imaginable, it was a reckless choice. Since going on the Injured List in August 2019 and undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2020, Sale has made 11 regular-season starts for a grand total of 48 1/3 innings. He returned from the surgery in mid-August of last year, but struggled to limit runs. A fractured rib cage during the MLB lockout put him back on the Injured List in the spring, and he didn’t make his season debut until July 12, a promising five-inning shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays. Two outs into his second game of the season, Aaron Hicks drilled a 106.7 mph liner right at Sale’s hand, fracturing his pinky. He had surgery on July 18, but the team was hopeful he’d return in September. Bloom confirmed that he was on track to return before this new injury.
On top of all of this, he remains unvaccinated. He wouldn’t be allowed into Canada to pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays, and he’s at a higher risk of getting and spreading the novel coronavirus.
At this point, it’s fair to list his contract among the worst in franchise history. It’s also fair to be upset with Sale for engaging in reckless activities while already rehabbing an injury. He could have hurt himself when he went on a rampage in the WooSox dugout tunnel during his rehab stint, and he just injured himself riding a bike. Whereas the Tommy John surgery was necessary and the pinky injury was an accident, these are things he chose to do.
Imagine if the Sox had waited to give Sale an extension. He still had a year remaining on his contract when Dave Dombrowski threw caution to the wind, ignoring that Sale had been hurt for a significant chunk of the season and hadn’t looked the same when he returned. In the hazy afterglow of the 2018 World Series, with confetti still littering the streets of Boston and the image of Sale bringing Machado to his knee, it seemed like the first step in continuing the greatness of the most winning season in franchise history. Instead, it’s been a cinderblock dragging the roster down.