Sale on New Contract: “It Means the World to Me”

Friday, March 8, 2013

Today’s News

Change of Plans

On a chilly, rainy day in Glendale, today’s scheduled Cactus League starter for the Sox, Jake Peavy, threw on the back fields instead to make sure he got his work in. Adam Dunn was a healthy scratch and ended up hitting off Jake. Jeff Gray replaced Peavy and Seth Loman was in the starting lineup for Dunn against San Diego.

It’s a good thing Peavy and the Sox chose that option as the game with the Padres was postponed after three innings because of the inclement weather. Before the contest was called with the Sox leading 4-1, Loman drove in a run with a first inning sac fly, Carlos Sanchez delivered an RBI single in the second inning and Angel Sanchez singled in a pair in the second as well. Gray went two innings, giving up a lone run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts while Matt Lindstrom pitched a scoreless inning.

Quote of the Day

Chris Sale on what it means that the White Sox made this type of commitment so soon: “It means the world to me. I spoke to Rick (Hahn) about it and told him, ‘I appreciate this more than him getting me to the big leagues quick.’ Getting here means they wanted me, but now they want to keep me. This means they want me to stay around so it means the world to me, and like I said I couldn’t have been in a better situation. I have to thank Jerry (Reinsdorf) for everything he’s done. My dad sat me down when I was talking with him on the phone and said ‘You have to take a step back and look at it…what other team would you rather play for? What owner would you rather play for? What coaching staff would you rather play for?’ I have everything I want right here and I’m fortunate for this opportunity and very, very thankful for it.”

Play of the Day

Although the game was postponed, let’s give props to Angel Sanchez for his single and two RBIs.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Diamondbacks, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). John Danks, who will make his second start of the spring, faces former Sox pitcher Brandon McCarthy.

Did You Know…

…that Danks was a top pitching prospect in the Texas organization when he was dealt to the White Sox before the 2007 season for McCarthy, who pitched for the Sox in 2005-06?

Photo of the Day

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Chris Sale meets the media this morning, the day after agreeing to a long-term contract with the Sox.

Here’s the entire transcript of Sale’s media session:

Q: Now that the contract is done is it a relief?

Sale: It’s definitely a big relief on my end. Everything going into the last couple of weeks, I really haven’t been myself because it kind of took over my mind a little bit. I tried to do everything I could to stay focused and not let it run my life or anything. It’s definitely a big relief.

Q: Was it tough to sit on the news until they officially released it?

Sale: Yea, obviously with people asking you can’t really tell. You don’t want to say anything; obviously I wanted the team to release it how they wanted to. I almost slipped up, but I think we went at it the right way.

Q: Peavy mentioned you don’t have to focus on salary anymore, what does this do in terms of a baseball perspective for you?

Sale: That’s probably the thing that makes me feel the best about it. The worst part about this game is the business side, for me anyways. Now I don’t have to worry about the business side for the next five, six years. I can be like a kid again; all I have to do is just prepare myself and play. There’s a lot to be said for that and I don’t think I could’ve been in a better situation. Being able to play in the city of Chicago with this team, this organization, coaching staff and the types of players we have in the clubhouse makes me feel very fortunate. I’m very thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given.

Q: What does it mean to you that the White Sox made this type of commitment to you so soon?

Sale: It means the world to me. I spoke to Rick (Hahn) about it and told him, ‘I appreciate this more than him getting me to the big leagues quick.’ Getting here means they wanted me, but now they want to keep me. This means they want me to stay around so it means the world to me, and like I said I couldn’t have been in a better situation. I have to thank Jerry (Reinsdorf) for everything he’s done. My dad sat me down when I was talking with him on the phone and said ‘You have to take a step back and look at it…what other team would you rather play for? What owner would you rather play for? What coaching staff would you rather play for?’ I have everything I want right here and I’m fortunate for this opportunity and very, very thankful for it.

Q: Does it concern you that you traded away future dollars for the security now?

Sale: I was very well educated on the process not only for what I was getting, but for what I was giving up. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it and actually watched a YouTube video with a kid from Detroit going through some really tough times and he said one thing that stuck with me, ‘I’m not going to sit here and think about what’s happened to me in the past or what I could have or what I don’t have.’ I’m here to worry about what I do have and I’m very thankful for the opportunity I have. It’s a blessing for me and my family so I’m not going to look past this. I’m going to be able to lay my head down just fine every night knowing what I just did.

Q: Are you worried about trying to do too much to justify this contract?

Sale: That’s the biggest part, just trying to stay myself and stay the course. I don’t feel like I need to do anything differently than I have in the past and I don’t think I will. I have too many great people surrounding me with family, friends and this clubhouse. The guys here will keep me in check to stay on the road I need to stay on. I’m grateful for that too. No one in here is going to let me slip up and they’ll keep pushing me to the max. That’s what it’s going to take and that’s what I’m prepared for.

Q: Is the conditioning program you began in the last year a turning point for you?

Sale: It’s been a big part of my regimen. I stay on top of that to maintain strength and flexibility. I lean on the (training staff) here, these guys are here for a reason and they’ve been great for a long time. I see no other reason than to keep putting my trust in these guys because they’re going to keep helping me as long as I want to be helped and I want as much as I can.

Q: In your wildest imagination have you ever pictured getting a contract like this?

Sale: No, it’s kind of surreal. It’s still crazy to me. The last couple of weeks I’ve been going back and thinking about what it’s been like growing up and where I came from … a kid from Lakeland (Fla.) not really thinking anything too much, going to a smaller college and getting drafted. You never think about it until it’s here and it came. It still blows my mind.

Q: Do you feel any added responsibilities because of the contract, such as a leadership role into the future?

Sale: Absolutely. They’re putting a lot of trust in me and I need to do everything I can to be the guy they want me to be. With the contract not only comes on the field responsibilities, but off the field responsibilities too. I just have to be the best person I can be and stay the course and not think too much of it.

Q: How would you describe your journey from last year at this time to now?

Sale: It’s a whirlwind. It’s kind of like a dream. You go through it and it’s the offseason where it kind of sinks in. When you’re going through the mental and physical grind everyday it’s the down time when you sit back and think about all of the stuff that happened. I’m very grateful for last year and I’m very thankful for the people that I was surrounded by. I know its very cliché, but I 100% believe I wouldn’t be here without the people in this clubhouse and organization.

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