No disciplinary action for Sale/V-Mart flare-up last week
Major League Baseball investigated last week’s flare-up between White Sox ace Chris Sale and Victor Martinez, as well as the issues surrounding it, but decided against any fines or suspensions.
“We looked at all the factors, and we did not find a reason for disciplinary action,” an MLB spokesperson said Tuesday.
All on-field incidents get some level of review, including a report from the umpires involved. This one was more interesting for multiple reasons, not just the potential implications of a playoff race if Martinez had been injured by Sale’s pitch, but also what prompted Sale to hit Martinez.
Sale said after the game he tried to pitch inside and simply lost a pitch. However, his mannerisms from the mound and the dugout, and the feedback Martinez heard from ex-teammate Avisail Garcia, made it clear Sale suspected Martinez had somebody in the outfield stealing signs or pitch locations. The Tigers and Martinez scoffed at the idea.
“Victor, I think he’s hitting 20 points higher on the road, so apparently he’s got a small army of people with binoculars,” Ausmus said the next day. “I thought the whole thing was kind of ridiculous.”
From a league standpoint, the matter is closed. Whether the two teams — or more importantly, the two players — do the same won’t likely be clear until next season. The White Sox return to Comerica Park April 17-19, but Martinez is a free agent this coming offseason and stands to be one of the hottest hitters on the market. Considering he’s mainly a DH at this point in his career, he’s likely to remain in the American League. Suffice to say, any speculation of a free-agent courtship by the White Sox is now dead.