Chris Sale got a pretty weak reception from Red Sox fans in return to Fenway

Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale returned to Fenway Park for the first time since he was traded from the organization in Dec. 2023.

In the middle of the first inning, the Red Sox broadcasted a video tribute to Sale's tenure with the club on the video board. Sale stood at the front of the away dugout and accepted the crowd's applause with flushed cheeks.

But the crowd didn't exactly roar for Sale's return. Fenway's reaction was quieter than expected for a two-time Red Sox All-Star and World Series champion.

NESN play-by-play announcer Dave O'Brien referred to the reaction as "lukewarm," but highlighted that the June 4 crowd featured a significant number of Braves fans. Fenway hasn't been packed often this year and Sox fans have gotten used to seeing a lot of empty seats at the park.

Red Sox fans didn't give Chris Sale the warmest welcome upon his return to Fenway Park

Sale is a polarizing figure across Red Sox Nation, and many fans have struggled to get past his frequent injuries during his tenure in Boston. Expensive pitcher contracts have burned the Sox before, and Sale's was no exception, but he still played a significant part in the 2018 World Series run and had two elite seasons in a Red Sox uniform.

Many Boston fans also can't help but feel that the Red Sox lost the Sale trade. Vaughn Grissom's tenure as a Sox hasn't panned out like many experts or fans expected, and Sale is back to his old ways, routinely posting excellent outings with the Braves.

Sale's tenure in Boston deserved greater fanfare than he received on June 4, but the seats at Fenway Park weren't packed during his salute. Sale has acknowledged that his Red Sox tenure didn't go according to plan due to his surplus of injuries, so the pitcher may have expected such a reception. Sale helped one of the best Red Sox teams in history win a World Series, and his achievements shouldn't be overshadowed by his history.

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