GLENDALE, Ariz. – Adam Eaton is a young old-school type player who says the game of baseball has been pretty good for a long time. He doesn’t see the need to speed up the pace.
“I get you try to keep the fan base, I understand that, but the fan base understands this is a thinking man’s game and when a pitcher steps on the rubber, there’s a lot going on,” Eaton said. “There’s thinking in the dugout, there’s thinking, manager, first-base coach, third-base coach, and that’s the beauty of the game. Why speed that up?”
The conversation stems from new rules that will be implemented during Spring Training. Measures requiring hitters to keep one foot in the batter’s box during an at-bat, timers used to resume the game after inning breaks and managers no longer needing to leave the dugout to ask for a replay will be taken to speed up games.
Chris Sale, who works fast, said nobody likes to sit through a four-hour game. So he’s all for it.
“Get the ball and throw it,” he said.
Said catcher Tyler Flowers: ”You have to adapt to the times and I think it’s been something they’ve been looking at for a while. We’re open to looking at things to help that, but we also can’t affect the integrity of the game.”
Sale of the Century
Sale has one of the best team-friendly contracts in baseball, a deal that pays him $6 million this year as part of a five-year, $32.5 million extension signed two springs ago. At 25, he’s one of baseball’s best pitchers. And best bargains.
“It is what it is. It’s a business,” Sale said. “You guys don’t all make the same money, right? It doesn’t bother me. Not everyone is going to make the same amount of money. Your whole life, everybody. I’m happy with what I’m doing. I like where I’m at. I’m in a comfortable position. My family is healthy. I have people that I love. I have people that love me. What could be better than that.”
A raise? Sale is getting that after making $3.5 million last season. He’ll earn $9.15 million next year and $12 million in 2017. The Sox hold club options for 2018 ($12.5M) and 2019 ($13.5M).
The highest paid Sox
John Danks will make more than twice what Sale makes this season, owed more than $14 million in each of the next two seasons. His shoulder surgery has taken him a step back from the caliber of pitcher he was that earned him a five-year, $65 million deal.But general manager Rick Hahn isn’t complaining. He expects Danks to give him innings.“Johnny Danks, now a few years post op and learning more about his stuff and how to pitch with it, we think has a real good chance to be effective,” Hahn said. “John Danks going out and giving us 180 some odd, 200 innings of similar ball to what we’ve seen from him in the past [4.75 ERA over 139 innings in 2013, 4.74 over 195 in 2014] is going to be valuable even if he’s not part of that Cy Young consideration. It’s a matter of getting as many quality innings filled as we can and we think we are in a good position to do that with quality stuff.”