Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for Boston Red Sox ace and noted retro jersey hater Chris Sale. An uneven 2019 was followed by a lost 2020 season thanks to Tommy John surgery. 2021 marked a return to the mound at midseason and to his previous form across nine starts, but he’s again been beset by injuries this year, missing three months due to a broken rib, making the wrong kind of headlines on his rehab assignment after destroying some signage in a minor league tunnel, and then promptly breaking his pinky in just his second game back.
Sale had been on the comeback trail from his most recent injury, but he apparently took a detour, falling off his bike and breaking his wrist — an injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season, according to MassLive reporter Chris Cotillo. The Red Sox are taking this in stride, with the team’s head of operations Chaim Bloom telling reporters, “We need to dispatch some people to find whoever has the Chris Sale voodoo doll and recover it.”
“You couldn’t make this up, right? We need to dispatch some people to go find whoever has the Chris Sale voodoo doll and recover it.”
Chaim Bloom discussing Chris Sale's wrist injury pic.twitter.com/AyHBfB4qdC
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) August 9, 2022
Bloom explained that Sale fell off his bike while riding it to pick up lunch after a throwing session at Boston College (because Fenway was being occupied by a concert).
This is probably a death blow to already waning postseason hopes that were previously hampered by the team’s weird two-steps-forward-two-steps-back approach to the trade deadline. And while “wait till next year” sentiments are a popular balm for these kinds of burns, it’s an open question if stars like Xander Bogaerts (with his opt-out) and Rafael Devers (with his lack of an extension) will be back, and what, if anything, they can expect from Sale. After all, he’s only thrown about 50 innings since signing a 150 million dollar five-year extension that runs through 2024, so whether it’s all connected to a voodoo doll or a lack of the team wrapping its star pitcher in bubble wrap, something’s gotta be done to get actual value out of that contract.