After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale won’t pitch in 2020 but could return better than ever in 2021.
If it wasn’t for COVID-19 invading the world as we know it, the 2020 Boston Red Sox were set to go into an MLB season in the midst of having as bad as an offseason as it gets.
Not only did Red Sox Nation have to deal with the team’s involvement in the sign-stealing scandal, Alex Cora was dismissed as manager, the team traded the great Mookie Betts along with often disgruntled pitcher David Price and to top it all off, Chris Sale finally gave in to needing Tommy John surgery.
In a way, the fact that the 2020 MLB season will be shortened at the very least has been a blessing in disguise for Red Sox fans.
As for the team itself, perhaps playing with no fans in the stand is a good thing for a season. And for Chris Sale, having some time to heal and get back to the dominant pitcher we have witnessed over two seasons.
In fact, there’s probability he may come back better than before.
Joining ESPN’s Marly Rivera in an interview, the lanky lefty reflected on the surgery amongst other current events in the world of baseball.
Understandably, his thought process prior to surgery was the first thing he ventured into as he explored his frustration and came to the stage of acceptance and moving forward right before going under the knife.
“…from a personal standpoint, I’m done trying to figure out what’s wrong with me,” Sale told Rivera in the interview. ‘OK, this is the end of all the crap that you’ve gone through for a couple years.’ It’s like a new beginning for me. I wouldn’t be able to play baseball productively without this surgery. I’m a baseball player, what can be better than getting a brand-new elbow for my birthday.”
With the timing of the surgery coming just a season after he signed an extension with the Boston Red Sox, Chris Sale was being labeled as damaged goods before he finally decided to undergo Tommy John surgery. But that happens when fans have such high expectations for a player who has displayed dominance on the mound.
Fans have also watched that player breakdown at the end of both seasons and watched him struggle at times to the point where his frustration was spiraling off the mound in greater emotion than any 100-mph fastball he has thrown.
It just wasn’t there, and it was obvious something was wrong. Chris Sale knew it. He fought it but he knew it and now he has to move forward with his new elbow and a new attitude.
For Boston Red Sox fans, the hope is he’ll be even better when he does return. As for the player, he plays to win and that is the main focus of a man onto something brand new during a time and place we are all just looking for a glimmer of something to be excited about.
Due to COVID-19, we won’t see him for a while, but Chris Sale is that glimmer of excitement…new elbow and all.