Red Sox

Newest Red Sox ace has a repetitive theme: 'I'm here to win'

Newest Red Sox ace has a repetitive theme: 'I'm here to win'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Chris Sale has a one-track mind.

"I'm here to win," Sale pronounced during his first media availability this spring, "I know I've said win 157 times, but that's why I'm here."

The reference to 157 may sound like hyperbole, but Sale's count wasn't far off. Getting to the playoffs for the first time in his career, and winning as a member of the Red Sox, was a constant theme on Tuesday for the newly acquired left-hander.

"It's all I ever wanted to do", said Sale. "When I tell you that, I'm being completely honest. You can ask my Little League coach, my high-school coach, my college coach. I want to win. Plain and simple. That's my only job. I'm a starting pitcher. I play once a week, so when I get out there I do everything I can to win that game."

Everything including taking a pair of scissors to a White Sox jersey he didn't care to wear on the mound. 

Last season Sale objected to playing in a throwback jersey because the loose-fitting style affected the mechanics of his delivery. Sale was suspended five games by the White Sox and missed a start. 

At the time, Sale regretted hurting his team by missing a turn in the rotation. However, he stood by his actions. 

Sale didn't appear to have a change of heart with a change of scenery.

"I learned something from that experience," Sale explained, "and hopefully it's made me a better person."

When pressed on the issue by a reporter, Sale didn't back down and refused to call his behavior a mistake.

Following a long pause Sale said, "It was . . . it was something I learned from. I'll leave it at that."

Sale was more than happy to explain how he plans on avoiding the first-year curse in Boston.

"I expect a lot of myself," said Sale, "I have very high expectations of myself. I demand a lot of myself. I don't think it will be any different. I'll be harder on myself than you guys" -- media and fans -- "will."

Still, Sale is savvy enough to understand that Boston will require next-level focus.

"I think that's my game plan for this year. You know, dial it in on the important things that are baseball-related and go with that."

Sale certainly has the make-up to handle the pressure.

"I'm just competitive," he said "I'm very, very competitive no matter what it is. If I'm playing golf or pitching or running or whatever it is I'm just a very, very competitive person. Sometimes that gets the best of me and I know that. And that's why I think this year my focus level will be raised a little bit."

And that focus level clearly is set on finally becoming a champion. 

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.