Red Sox ace Chris Sale has an interesting, albeit dubious, explanation for his recent overnight visit to Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I have irritation from a belly-button ring,” Sale said at Fenway Park Saturday. “Just kind of constantly taking it in and out, causing irritation, got a rash down there, so I had to take care of that. Doctors, nurses over at MGH were awesome, so things happen and you handle them and you keep moving forward.”
Color me skeptical, but aggravating navel jewelry likely isn’t the reason why Sale was a late arrival to Houston and missed his Game 5 start for the Red Sox. Manager Alex Cora revealed during the ALCS that Sale started throwing up after pitching four innings in his Game 1 start and that he continued to struggle with keeping solid food down in the few days following his release from MGH. Cora also mentioned Sale lost “some weight,” which likely contributed to his feelings of weakness.
Sale said Saturday he doesn’t know how much weight he lost, nor does he know whether he’s gained it all back, but the 29-year-old reassured reporters that he feels “fine” and “back to normal” ahead of his start for Game 1 of the World Series.
“It’s definitely not fun watching your team,” he said. “You got to do what you got to do, though. It happened. We dealt with it, and we’re here now. We keep rolling.”
By clinching the ALCS in five games, the Red Sox have a little extra time off before the World Series gets underway Tuesday at Fenway Park. Sale said he threw a bullpen session Saturday and acknowledged there’s a small luxury in banking “a couple more throwing days,” too. He said he’ll probably “do something a little shorter” Sunday, before proceeding with “normal stuff from there on out.”
Sale said he expects to have no limitations Tuesday, when Boston will face off against either the Milwaukee Brewers or the Los Angeles Dodgers. The game, as players iterated Saturday, represents the beginning of an opportunity the team has been striving for since spring training.
“That’s what we’ve talked about this whole year, from Day 1,” Sale said. “AC, the coaching staff, every player in here has talked about getting to the last game and getting to the World Series. We’re all excited. You can talk to anybody in here. We’ve all grinded, we’ve all worked hard, and we’re here. We have an opportunity to win the last game of the year, and that’s about as exciting as it gets.”
Oh, and for those still hanging on to hope that Sale’s stomach ailment was really due to his belly-button ring, just remember that he once attributed a foot injury to roundhouse-kicking a home intruder in the head.