Stone's mailbag: Trade rumors and Crosstown Cup

Stone's mailbag: Trade rumors and Crosstown Cup

Monday, June 14, 2010
5:14 PM
Steve Stone dives into his mailbag to answer some of your questions about the crosstown cup, possible deadline moves, and more!
Question from Matt M.- Chicago, IL: Steve, with Mark Teahen on the DL, I wouldn't mind seeing Ozzie move Beckham over to 3rd with VizquelNix platooning at 2nd. What are your thoughts?

Steve Stone: I think they are not in the business of moving Gordon Beckham wherever they have a perceived weakness. He has to learn 2nd, which he is doing and I think the best thing is doing that. Third will be fine until Teahen gets back. You can't move Beckham back and forth, so I think leaving him in one spot is the best solution.

Question from Zach T- Dubuque, IA: Steve, the White Sox right now are not out of it all and are starting to hit. Do you think they could trade for a guy like Mike Lowell or another bat that is available in June or July?

Stone: I think certainly they would probably have some interest. Kenny is always looking at some players to make the team better. That being said, Lowell is hitting .215, pretty good defender, but lost lots of speed and power. I don't know if he is the answer but you have to wait until the end of the month to figure out exactly where they will be before Kenny pulls off any trade of substance. He has no idea if they will get back to a three game deficit of Minnesota or if they will fall to a 10 game deficit. Now they have 100 games left, waiting a couple weeks wont hurt anything and maybe the picture clears up by then and Kenny has then an idea about where he wants to go as far as being a buyer or a seller.

Question from Will G-Glenview, IL: Steve, Do you think the Cubs could trade a guy like Derrek Lee or Ted Lilly before the deadline? If so, what kind of player could the Cubs get in return?

Stone: Well, the White Sox and Cubs are 7.5 games back right now. Cubs behind St. Louis and Cincinnati, Sox behind Minnesota and Detroit. Neither believes their team is out of it despite that the Cubs are seven under .500. The same will hold true as to whether Jim Hendry will be a buyer or seller. GM's will have a clearer picture on the trade. Lee has a no-trade clause so you have to satisfy his demands and Lilly is very valuable and if you intend to get back in it, you want to keep him. With the contacts ending with both players, they would be guys you would seek to move.

Question from Joe T-Hanover, NH: Hey Steve! Big Cubs fan from New Hampshire here, and I was just wondering if you think the upcoming CubsSox "Cross-town Classic" will be one of the more dull six game sets these two teams have played? Both under .500, both struggling to score runs, what if anything do I, as a Cubs fan, have to look forward to in this series?

Stone: Because this is written after the first three game series, the Cubs have to look forward to a losing series against the White Sox. That being said, when the Cubs come to U.S. Cellular, it will be exciting for both teams. Most players, most fans like it, some don't. I'm a big fan of the six games they play against one another and there were very dramatic games at Wrigley. I'm expecting nothing less when the teams shift from Wrigley to U.S. Cellular in a couple weeks.

Question from Robbie L-Evanston, IL: Steve, if you were Bud Selig, how would you decide the outcome of the Armando Galarraga "perfect" game? Do you think that whatever Selig's decision is that baseball needs to broaden the use of instant replay in games?

Stone: I think if baseball is unhappy with replay then it's up to them. You have one rule as it pertains to replays, the only thing that you use it for is home runs. Bud could not change that call because it went against the rules of baseball. If you don't like them, winter can change it to expand it. What was said out of the first round of using, baseball likes the human element in the game if you keep appealing each game. Most umps got the call correct, thats the human element. Bud handled it right and with 30 teams that meet in the winter, they will make a decision if they want to change instant replay but you dont change a rule after the fact.

White Sox conclude suspended game with Tigers on CSN

White Sox conclude suspended game with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox conclude their suspended game against the Detroit Tigers, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. The 3-3 game will pick up in the top of the ninth at 1:10 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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White Sox mum on Chris Sale incident after suspended game against Tigers

White Sox mum on Chris Sale incident after suspended game against Tigers

The White Sox and Detroit Tigers will resume play of their suspended game — which is tied 3-3 to begin the top of the ninth — on Sunday after a third rain delay finally washed things out Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field. 

But literal storms paled in comparison to the figurative one that erupted from the White Sox clubhouse involving ace left-hander Chris Sale. The American League's All-Star Game starter was scratched from his start about 30 minutes before the scheduled first pitch, with a vague statement from general manager Rick Hahn mentioning a “non-physical” incident in the clubhouse that was under investigation by the team

Just as the game's second rain delay hit, though, a report surfaced — which was later confirmed by CSNChicago.com’s Dan Hayes — that Sale, who started for the American League All-Stars last week in San Diego, was so furious over having to wear the team’s 1976 throwback uniforms that he cut them up so they couldn’t be worn. Sale was sent home by the White Sox after the incident. 

The White Sox will still start All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana for Sunday’s series finale — which will begin 30 minutes after the final out of the suspended game, which will resume play at 1:10 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet — and manager Robin Ventura said he doesn’t have any plans for when Sale will make his next start. 

“I’ll talk about the game, but any of that stuff, we’ll wait on that,” Ventura said when asked about the Sale incident. “I know the team put out a release on that and we’re just going to stick with that. I’m not going to discuss what went on in there. But unfortunate he didn’t start tonight and proud of the guys that came in and filled in.”

Third baseman Todd Frazier declined comment — “I can’t really talk anything about that,” he said — as did right-hander Matt Albers, who started and threw two innings as the first cog in a seven-pitcher “Johnny Wholestaff” game.  

"I think we're going to keep that in-house,” Albers said. “For me, obviously you guys probably know what happened, but for me as a player, and in our clubhouse, we're going to keep in in-house. So, you're going to have to ask somebody else about that."

Without anything close to ample time to shuttle a starting pitcher up from the minor leagues to replace Sale, the White Sox went with Albers despite the 33-year-old throwing an inning both Thursday and Friday against the Tigers. Albers said he was told he would start the game around 4:30 p.m. 

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The White Sox needed seven relievers to get through the evening, with Albers, Dan Jennings and Tommy Kahnle all soaking up two innings and Zach Duke, Nate Jones and David Robertson combining for the final two frames before more heavy storms slammed the South Side. 

“(Sale’s) one of the best, absolutely,” Albers said. “But we're here for teammates. We're here to pick each other up in good times and bad, so we're just here to pick whoever up whenever."

On Thursday, general manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox are open to all options at the trade deadline outside of adding a short-term rental, meaning that a complete teardown and rebuild of the roster is on the table, even if it’s ultimately an unlikely scenario. But Frazier said the swirling rumors about plenty of players in the clubhouse aren’t fraying — or causing bizarre, national storylines — a White Sox team that only has one win since the All-Star break. 

“That’s happened to me the last two years,” Frazier said. “You just gotta be professional and play baseball. That’s it. Control what you can control, that’s playing the game.”

Chris Sale scratched from start due to 'clubhouse incident'

Chris Sale scratched from start due to 'clubhouse incident'

Chris Sale has not been traded, but he was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday due to a "clubhouse incident."

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement about 25 minutes before the scheduled start of Saturday's game against the Detroit Tigers that Sale was sent home from the park after a "non-physical" incident that is being investigated by the team. 

Here's Hahn's statement in full:

“Chris Sale has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start and sent home from the ballpark by the White Sox due to a clubhouse incident before the game.  The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club.

“The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed.”

Multiple reports, which CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes confirmed, have the incident stemming from Sale not wanting to wear a 1976 throwback jersey for Saturday's game. The White Sox announced in March they would wear those uniforms on July 23, instead, the White Sox wore their 1983-style uniforms for Saturday's game. 

Matt Albers instead started for the White Sox on Saturday.

CSN Chicago's Chuck Garfien reported the incident started over something "stupid," while ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported the incident wasn't with any of Sale's teammates. 

The news of Sale’s scratching set Twitter ablaze with questions about if this year’s American League All-Star starting pitcher was on the move. On Friday, rumors circulated that the Texas Rangers were pushing to acquire Sale, but the White Sox reportedly were asking for a hefty return. 

On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant reported the Rangers had moved on from talks with the White Sox and were focusing on acquiring a starting pitcher from the Tampa Bay Rays.

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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday the cost to acquire Sale would be “five top prospects.”

Earlier this week, general manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox were open to anything (except acquiring a second-half rental) but added that it might be “extreme” to undergo a full rebuild with Sale and fellow All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana under team control through 2019 and 2020, respectively. 

“We certainly have desirable players that people would want to help them win a championship,” Hahn said Thursday.” But at the same time, we’re aware of the fact that we have a lot of high-quality talent under control for years beyond 2016.”