In the odd world of baseball, a former White Sox pitcher and a former Detroit Tigers antagonizer have become teammates thanks to the MLB Trade Deadline.
While this trade has no effect on either the White Sox or the Tigers, it does provide for a bit of nostalgia.
It also gives both fanbases a reason to tune in to see these two players when they take the field together for the first time.
These were two of the three players who were involved in the 2014 scandal known to both teams fanbases as binocular-gate.
For those who don’t remember, the scandal started when Sale accused the Tigers DH Victor Martinez of stealing signs. Sale thought there was someone in the outfield relaying signs. As retribution for the sign stealing, Sale hit Martinez with a pitch and the benches cleared. Keep in mind, while most players have had difficulty with Sale’s pitching, Martinez never did. According to ESPN.com, in 52 at-bats, Martinez’s numbers against Sale are .423/.466/.712 with four home runs.
That would irritate any pitcher.
So, how does Kinsler fit into all of this?
He did what he always does, support his teammates. So, to antagonize Sale and support Martinez, Kinsler started using his hands to make binoculars and stick it to Sale. It became a thing for the Tigers and they carried it all the way into the post-season (which didn’t last very long for the Tigers that year).
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So, now, Kinsler and Sale are teammates. While baseball players are supposed to have short memories, anyone who has followed Sale knows he can be a little testy. (Remember the throw-back jerseys?)
The Red Sox next series is against the New York Yankees and as of publishing, they have not yet posted their pitchers. But, Sale last pitched on Friday, July 27. So, he could take the mound on Wednesday or Thursday against the Yanks.
Since Kinsler plays second base, he’ll be near Sale at all times. Even if the two become fast friends, a Red Sox-Yankees game is always a good show.
Even though he is one of the best pitchers in the game, Sale was always good for some drama and a few laughs. He seems to have quieted it down in Boston, but this trade could bring back some bad feels.