Alex Cora puts Chris Sale critics on blast with pro-Red Sox comments ahead of matchup

Atlanta Braves v Seattle Mariners
Atlanta Braves v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

On May 8, the Boston Red Sox will face off with a familiar player. During its two-game series in Atlanta, Boston's bats will battle with Chris Sale.

Sale was traded to the Braves in December for Vaughn Grissom, who debuted just in time to face off with his old team. All the while, Sale's been healthy and showing out for Atlanta. He's pitched to a 3.44 ERA over 36.2 innings and fanned 42 batters in the process.

Many Boston fans joked about the sheer level of Red Sox bad luck tied up in the Sale and Grissom exchange. The perennially injured starter left Boston and he's pitched well for Atlanta without a hitch, while Grissom missed all of spring training and the first month-plus of the season.

But Alex Cora doesn't appreciate those jabs. Sale's former skipper rushed to his defense over the many snide comments made by Sox fans.

“I know people make jokes about him, the injuries and the bike and all that stuff, which I think is (expletive) bull-(expletive) because this guy did everything possible to be on the field,” Cora said to Christopher Smith of MassLive.

Alex Cora calls out critics of former Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale

Sale battled a laundry list of injuries during his time in Boston, which Sox fans remember all too well. But many of his ailments that earned him stints on the injured list were freak accidents, particularly in 2022. Sale was hit by a comebacker after his second start of the season, which was already delayed, and he needed to get surgery to repair the finger fracture. While he was recovering from the surgery, Sale fell off his bike and broke his wrist, which ended his season. Former chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom joked that the Red Sox needed to find the owner of the "Chris Sale voodoo doll" to finally kill the hurler's injury bug.

Even after his tenure with the Red Sox ended, Sale remains connected with his former manager and some teammates. Cora's comments dispelled some of the negative perceptions of Sale's work ethic and personality and showed he cared about Boston.

"I’m very proud of him,” Cora said. “He’s been in touch. He’s been helping our guys, too. He talks to Kutter [Crawford] and to Tanner [Houck]. He’s in tune like everybody else. And that’s the thing I take more pride of in my job — like these guys are still part of the organization even from afar."

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