Karpin’s Korner: Sale “El-Bows” Out, Opening Day is…….?

Red Sox paid a “Schilling” for a championship and an end to “the Curse.” Now, Boston’s I-O-U on this “Sale” has come due.

Chris Sale’s funky throwing motion has finally caught up to him. Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery on that elbow that he put so much stress on throughout his 10-year career. To his credit, he made it work, but his mechanical imbalance with that “sidearm” delivery has put him under the knife.

Sale was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 21st round of the 2007 Amateur Draft but he did not sign. The White Sox chose Sale out of Florida Gulf Coast University with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 Amateur Draft. From 2012-2018, Sale finished top ten in the AL Cy Young voting but never won the award.

It’s unfortunate, but anyone who watched Sale over the years, knew full well that, at some point, Tommy John surgery would be necessary.

It could get worse for Boston because they sent highly regarded prospect Yoan Moncada to the White Sox for Sale. The 21-year old Moncada strikes out a lot but he is still developing and appears ready for stardom.

It’s becoming more and more likely that the baseball season will not be 162 games long.

It will really hit home (excuse the pun) when next Thursday rolls around. That was supposed to be Opening Day and every team was scheduled to play.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has conceded that the season will not open on April 9th. At this point, you can only make a guess as to when the season will start. I’m looking at Memorial Day weekend as a possible starting point.

If and when the season does begin, how will it be structured. Rockies Manager Bud Black would welcome some doubleheaders, although you could surmise they would be of the “day-night” kind.

Nostalgia has engulfed the sports world.

With the outbreak of the Corona Virus, fans across the country have called on the four major sports’ themed networks to show classic games from the past. Hockey, Basketball and Football can all boast of having a great history but no sport can match baseball for nostalgia and history. MLB Network has heard the public as they’ve scheduled a number of memorable games to occupy this down time.

I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in the sports business for over 40 years, so I’ve seen a lot of great games and sporting events over that time.

One of those games that I attended was shown this week on MLB Network. The WPIX broadcast of the “Pine Tar Game” was shown in its entirety. To their credit, the broadcast also included the resumption that was staged three weeks later. It was fun to hear the voices of Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, Frank Messer and Bobby Murcer, who was early in his broadcasting career after he retired six weeks earlier.

It was also the first time that I actually saw the TV broadcast because I was covering the game for SportsPhone.

July 24th, 1983 and I was at Yankee Stadium reporting on the Yankees/Royals game. Little did I know what was to come.

Seeing George Brett go berserk was an eye opener for me, but I knew that I had to go into the Royals room and be part of the scrum when they speak with him.

Brett gave us one of the great post game lines when he was asked by a media member why he used the pine tar on his bat. Brett replied, “I’m not a [expletive] I like the feel of raw hands on raw wood.”

Another eye opening event was when I was in the corridor downstairs between the clubhouses, I saw “the bat” being escorted out of the building by a number of NYPD.

What you didn’t see on the broadcast of the game was the period in-between the game and the resumption in August. The Royals filed a protest with the American League office and that became a huge distraction for the Yankees. Four days later, AL President Lee MacPhail ruled that the homerun would count and the game would be resumed from that point on August 18th, which was an off day for both clubs. The game wasn’t officially completed so as a result of MacPhail’s ruling, the Yankees went from being tied for first place in the AL East to being a half game behind.

The whole “Pine Tar” incident may never have happened if the Yankees had a shortstop with a little more range in the ninth. With two out and none on, Royals shortstop U.L. Washington hit a ball just to the left of second base. Yankees shortstop Roy Smalley did not even get close to a ball that conceivably could’ve been fielded.

Washington reached first, Billy Martin hopped out of the dugout, “Goose” Gossage came in to face Brett and the rest is history.

That was quite a gesture by the Mets’ Pete Alonso when he called that woman who is a huge Mets fan and is suffering with cancer. Alonso is a heckuva player and a “gem” of a person. He’s one of the reasons that we’ll be missing baseball even more this year, but the health of the country comes first.

Writing this column helps me in a little way to stay sane while baseball and sports are on hiatus.

Stay safe everyone!

Karpin’s Korner appears every Friday on nysportsday.com

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