Chris Sale wants to stay with teammates, move past ‘fiasco’

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Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale talks to reporters in the dugout after the White Sox’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs in a baseball game Thursday, July 28, 2016, in Chicago. Sale returned to the team after a five-day suspension. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chris Sale found a uniform to his liking, the White Sox traditional road grays.

This one looked better, in Sale’s view, but it didn’t help the Sox win a game they badly wanted at Wrigley Field Thursday night. Sale pitched six good but not great innings, saw his record drop to 14-4 after a 3-1 Cubs victory in which he allowed two runs and then had to answer questions from a media horde crammed into the visitors dugout afterward.

It was an odd place for a postgame interview after a strange and bizarre six days for the Sox ace, who said he felt like he was “on an island” while serving a five-game suspension for destroying 1976 throwback uniforms he was supposed to pitch in Saturday but didn’t want to because of how they looked.

As expected, only one of the questions Sale was asked to answer was about the game itself. No, he hadn’t talked to his teammates about his zany behavior and the reasons behind it but he would. And the message would be?

“I want to let them know where my head is at, where my heart is at,’’ he said. “And let them know how much I appreciate them.’’

Sale raved about support he’s received from teammates who he feels he let down by not taking the ball on his scheduled day to pitch.

“I regret not being there for my guys,’’ he said. “I’m a pitcher. I’m called on every fifth day and when I can’t go out there for my guys and the fans, it gets to me.

“I felt like I was out on an island, really.’’

In an interview with Monday, Sale said he went off because the throwback promotion demonstrated the Sox are more about business than winning games. He had said the uniforms could affect his mechanics but there is little doubt, according to those in the Sox clubhouse, that Sale despised how they looked more than anything. When manager Robin Ventura felt powerless to do anything to have the promotion day changed, he went off.

“I don’t want to get too far into it,’’ Sale said when asked specifically about his issue with the baggy throwback uniform. “I want to put this stuff behind me. I really do. It’s counterproductive to winning ballgames talking about it and bringing it back up.’’

On his relationship with Ventura, whom he had said should support his players more, Sale didn’t exactly extend an olive branch.

“I know you guys are trying to get in there and have to write stories and stuff,’’ he said. “I understand. But they said their side. I said my side. I’m ready to talk about baseball and playing baseball and getting back to winning and getting the Chicago White Sox into the postseason. That’s my goal. That’s my focus.’’

The subject of trade rumors like never before during his career, Sale said he wants to remain with the Sox, who fell to 50-52 four days before the trade deadline.

“I’m here to win,’’ he said. “I love exactly where I’m at. I have an unbelievable group of guys in that clubhouse. We’re pulling for each other, they are pulling for me and vice versa. I’d like to stay with this group of guys and make a push for the playoffs because I love those guys.’’

“I thought he pitched a good game,’’ Ventura said. “[Cubs right-hander John] Lackey [one run allowed on four hits] was just better tonight.’’

<em>Chris Sale gave up two runs on three walks (one intentional) and six hits against the Cubs at Wrigley Field Thursday night. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)</em>

Chris Sale gave up two runs on three walks (one intentional) and six hits against the Cubs at Wrigley Field Thursday night. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In the end, nothing good seemed to come of it. Sale said he’s hoping a charity will benefit somehow, suggesting something could be done with the uniforms.

“Hopefully we can find to help somebody, a group of people with this whole fiasco and hoopla, whatever you want to call it, who would benefit,’’ he said.

Fiasco works.

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