Red Sox

Was Mark Teixeira's call-out of David Ortiz also a shot at Red Sox?

Was Mark Teixeira's call-out of David Ortiz also a shot at Red Sox?

Who said the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees rivalry is dead?

Red Sox legend David Ortiz had some harsh remarks for Mike Fiers on Thursday, calling the former Astros pitcher a "snitch" for blowing the whistle on Houston's illegal sign-stealing operation after winning the 2017 World Series with the club.

Not everyone agreed with Ortiz's take, though -- including former Yankees slugger and current ESPN analyst Mark Teixera, who sounded off on Big Papi during Monday's episode of "Get Up!"

“Players that are clean, whether it was during the steroid era or anybody that wasn’t on the Astros -- they want these guys outed. They want the Astros punished," Teixeira said. 

"So, for David Ortiz or Pedro Martinez or anybody — interesting that it’s two Boston players and Boston is actually a part of this investigation, as well — so I think there’s some meaning behind that it’s two Red Sox players saying it."

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That's an eye-opening line from Teixeira, who seems to be implying that Ortiz and Martinez are trying to deflect from Major League Baseball's investigation into the 2018 Red Sox, that the Boston legends don't have a leg to stand on given their own club's alleged cheating.

Teixeira also wasn't a fan of Ortiz's word choice.

"There are very few people out there that really even use the word ‘snitch’ and ‘rat’ anymore, anyway," Teixeira said. "This isn’t Goodfellas. This is the real world. In the real world, you want bad things brought to light."

Ortiz and Martinez had more of an issue with when Fiers blew the whistle, suggesting that he should have went public earlier to nip Houston's cheating in the bud.

Teixeira wasn't buying that argument, though, suggesting Fiers would have been powerless to stop the Astros' sign-stealing operation even if he had spoken up at the time.

"He could’ve said something every single day," Teixeira said. " ... That’s what all the Astros pitchers are basically saying: 'Hey, I didn’t like it, but I had no control over it.' "

How Chris Sale was able to have Tommy John surgery amid coronavirus shutdown

How Chris Sale was able to have Tommy John surgery amid coronavirus shutdown

In a vacuum, it was a standard announcement from the Boston Red Sox on Monday.

"Left-handed pitcher Chris Sale today underwent successful left UCL reconstruction ('Tommy John surgery,')" the team's statement read. "The procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, CA."

But when you consider the circumstances -- that California is under a state-wide shelter-in-place order amid the global coronavirus pandemic -- it's pretty remarkable that Sale walked into a medical facility to undergo a non-essential operation.

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So, how did Sale and the Red Sox pull this off?

According to Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, the team had plenty of internal debate before Sale flew to California on Monday.

"It was important to all of us to do this in a way that would not place any undue burden on anyone suffering due to coronavirus,” Bloom said Monday night in a conference call, via MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo.

"I spoke to Dr. ElAttrache personally to make sure that was the case here and he is just as mindful of the considerations that go along with surgery at a time like this. ... We know this is not life and death and that there are people who are suffering in situations that are life and death."

Los Angeles County (where Sale had his surgery) recently issued a memo recommending all elective surgeries be "limited" until further notice. But the memo didn't explicitly ban such operations, and ElAttrache is of the belief that they're borderline essential for top pitchers like Sale.

"I know that I’m going to get criticized for taking care of these kinds of guys, but it’s essential to their livelihoods," ElAttrache told the San Francisco Chronicle last week. "If you have somebody’s career at stake and they lose two seasons instead of one, I would say that is not a nonessential or unimportant elective procedure."

While ElAttrache's shop is still open, others are already shut down: Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews recently announced he's suspending all Tommy John surgeries at his Florida clinic amid the pandemic.

The Red Sox revealed Sale would need surgery back on March 19 and didn't provide any updates until after Sale's operation Monday. So, why the delay?

Bloom told the reporters the team was working out logistics and making sure it was safe for Sale to go under the knife.

"I think under normal circumstances, we might have been able to have it happen a little bit sooner,” Bloom said. "Obviously, we’re still talking about a relatively short timetable. There’s usually a lag of a few days at a minimum to get something like this done, even in normal times. It was a little longer in this case just because of all the considerations that I discussed."

Sale faces a 14- to 15-month recovery that should sideline him until at least June 2021. But the 31-year-old likely is grateful he was able to have the operation at all before the pandemic worsens in the United States, which already has the most confirmed coronavirus cases than any country in the world.

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

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File Photo

Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale turned 31 on Monday. He also had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow on that same day. The procedure will sideline him for at least the rest of the 2020 season and beyond. 

But when exactly can we expect Sale back? Boston Red Sox chief of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, wouldn't confirm to an exact date, but he did provide some insight into how long Sale might be sidelined.

"We don't know exactly," Bloom said, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. "Typically you see around that 14-15 month range."

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Okay, so maybe that's not the most specific answer, but it at least gives us a ballpark idea of when Sale could return.

A 14-15 month recovery period would have Sale return sometime between early June and early July in 2021, if his recovery goes well. Of course, there are so many variables to take into account about how Sale may be progressing but also about how the Sox may be faring. If they aren't doing well, the team could take an extremely cautious approach with Sale in hopes of having him fully healthy for the 2022 season.

But Bloom's estimate at least gives Sox fans an initial target for Sale's potential return. The target date will certainly be fluid especially considering that some pitchers take 18 months to return from the surgery.

But no matter what, Sale won't be suiting up for the Red Sox until mid-2021 at the earliest. And that's bad news for the squad considering their lack of starting pitching depth.