GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Sale and his wife Brianne experienced yet another surreal moment this spring on Friday when their alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, stunned No. 2 Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament.
The two were shocked after the 15-year-old school, whose oldest alumni is 37 according to Sale, became only the seventh No. 15-seed in NCAA tourney history to win its opening game.
Then his phone began to chirp.
On the end was White Sox closer Addison Reed, who did some chirping of his own after his alma mater, San Diego State, won its NCAA Tournament opener to set up a third-round showdown between the two schools.
Reed didn’t offer much in the way of congratulations before he began to break down the matchup.
“I got to enjoy that win last night for about five minutes and the phone rings and it's Reed,” Sale said with a smile. “He might have to take me out for dinner.”
Reed’s pretty confident dinner will be paid for by the All-Star starter, who earlier this month signed a five-year, $32.5-million contract extension.
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More important, however, is how the two now have a built-in way to break up the monotony of the last week of spring training, a welcome relief from an exhibition season extended by the World Baseball Classic.
“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Reed said. “In my bracket they’re going pretty far so it makes it even better that a couple lockers down we have a Florida Gulf Coast guy and it’s going to make a little more fun, a little more interesting. I’m pretty confident in that draw. No disrespect to Florida Gulf Coast, but I’ve never known them as a basketball school.”
Sale isn’t so sure Reed’s team will win in a walk as the second-year pitcher suggests. After all, the Eagles dispatched of a very solid Hoyas team and even had time to celebrate at the end. Sale’s excited because the school, which had 12,683 students in 2010, has only played Division I basketball for six seasons. He also feels like the notoriety should stop people from saying “FGC-Who?”
“It's awesome,” Sale said. “I had nothing to do with it, obviously, but it just feels good. You come from a small school like that and everyone just kind of looks at us like a midweek prep game. 'All right, we'll get our win midweek and then we'll get ready for conference play.' I don't think that's the way it's going to be from here on out.”