With disciplinary action from Major League Baseball still forthcoming, more details have emerged surrounding the aftermath of Thursday night’s vicious benches-clearing brawl between the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals. According to ESPN.com’s White Sox beat reporter Doug Padilla, Chicago’s Chris Sale attempted to enter the Kansas City clubhouse in the eighth inning Thursday night.
The report was confirmed by Chicago manager Robin Ventura. It is believed the Sale banged on the visitor’s clubhouse door in the eighth inning. While his intentions are unknown, it is hard to believe that any good would have come from Sale entering the Royals’ clubhouse and coming face-to-face with a still fired up bunch of Kansas City players.
Sale was asked specifically about his attempt to enter the Royals’ clubhouse, but declined to address it directly. “There’s really nothing to talk about; it is what it is,” Sale said. “What’s done is done. It’s all in the past. Baseball’s a day-to-day sport. Every day is a new day, so anything that happened yesterday, we’re ready to win a ballgame today, and we’re just ready to put this all behind us. Come in every day ready to win, and that’s what we’re ready to do.”
It was also reported that Sale’s former White Sox teammate Alex Rios, who now plays for the Royals, played an important part in calming Sale down. Rios and Sale were teammates for nearly four seasons in Chicago. Their past relationship may have prevented an already ugly night from becoming even uglier.
Sale has never had the reputation as a hot-head, and he did not actually play a large role in the on-field throwdown. That he felt compelled to take things to the next level out of the public eye shows just how high tensions were running in Chicago on Thursday night. Whatever Sale’s intentions were when he banged on that clubhouse door, the final result would not have been positive.
Major League Baseball must take a further look at this situation. There is no excuse for allowing a player access to an opponent’s clubhouse only minutes after an ugly brawl. Sale cannot be allowed anywhere near the Royals’ door in that situation. Had the door opened, and all hell broken loose, the responsibility ultimately would have fallen on Major League Baseball for not defining a clear protocol for security following a brawl of this nature.
These are not the old Wild West days of baseball’s past. A fight in the tunnels of the stadium would have been viewed less harshly decades ago, but not today. Chris Sale taking on the entire Royals clubhouse would have been a black eye for the league. The league’s public image already gets dinged thanks to the brawl itself. Throw in the fact that Kansas City duked it out with Oakland last weekend, and you’ve got quite the national media narrative on your hands. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and Sale was turned away at the door. Now, it is time for Sale, the White Sox, Yordano Ventura, and the Kansas City Royals to put this game and bad blood behind them and move on with the season.