Notes: Crawford glad Rays game is behind him

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Notes: Crawford glad Rays game is behind him

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. Before Thursdays game against the Rays in Port Charlotte, Carl Crawford said he was looking forward to the trip. It would give him a chance to see some old friends and former teammates in the organization that drafted him in the second round out of Jefferson Davis High in Houston in 1999. He was also looking forward to getting it out of the way.

After the game, an 8-6 Red Sox loss, Crawford acknowledged he was glad to have it behind him.

Yeah, he said. Just to see how it feels for the first time playing against your former team. Just wanted to get that feel and know what to kind of expect next time around. So, it was nice to get that out of the way.

Crawford, who went 1-for-3, spent some time before the game visiting with his former teammates and manager Joe Maddon.

They wished me well and I did the same for them, he said. Just got to move forward.

Its baseball when it comes down to it. Its the same game. I just try to make everything feel as normal as possible. So, it didnt feel too weird today.

Oscar Tejeda went 1-for-4 with a run scored, 2 RBI and a game-tying home run in the ninth inning. He is hitting .391 (9-for-23) in 12 games this spring with .696 slugging percentage and .440 on-base percentage. He entered the game tied for the Grapefruit League lead with two triples.

Mike Cameron, who had not played since March 5 with tendonitis in his left knee, served as the designated hitter, going 1-for-4 with a run scored. It was good just to put the bat on the ball, he said. I didnt know where I was going to be with that, after taking a few days off. A little bit out of sync, but for the most part I was seeing the ball well and able to put some good swings on it.

He is scheduled to play next on Saturday against the Marlins at City of Palms Park.

Nate Spears went 3-for-4 with a run scored, two RBI and a triple. In 10 Grapefruit League games he is hitting .381 (10-for-21).

Andrew Miller, the 6-feet, 7-inch lefty vying for a spot in the bullpen, went 1 13 scoreless innings, giving up one hit with one strikeout. It was a nice rebound from his two-inning stint Sunday against the Mets when he allowed three runs on four hits, including a home run, with one strikeout. I hope he understands how tough he can be to face, Terry Francona said. At times he looks like a left-handed Daniel Bard. Very tall, when he leverages the ball downhill, theres some giddy-up on the fastball. Hes got a nice feel for the breaking ball. Hes real interesting.

Said one scout in attendance: Miller threw hard, but got behind too many hitters especially when he first came in. He was helped by his defense, for example the Carl Crawford catch on Sam Fulds fly to end fourth. He was a little better in the fifth. He got Evan Longoria a little off balance with a changeup for the last out. He had better command in an earlier outing, but he threw fine.

The Red Sox have two split-squad games Friday, both on the road. Pitchers schedule to face the Twins at Hammond County Stadium are Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, Hideki Okajima, Tony Pena, Alex Wilson, and Jason Rice. Pitchers scheduled to face the Astros in Kissimmee include Kyle Weiland, Dan Wheeler, Dennys Reyes, Rich Hill, Clevelan Santeliz, Michael Bowden, and Matt Albers. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale will manage the game against the Twins. Francona will travel to Kissimmee to face his former bench coach and current Astros manager Brad Mills. Dustin Pedroia is also expected to make the trip to Kissimmee.

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was out of camp Thursday morning for personal reasons. He and Jason Varitek are expected to catch in the game against the Twins.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

White Sox suspend Chris Sale over uniform flap

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White Sox suspend Chris Sale over uniform flap

CHICAGO - The Chicago White Sox were set to wear throwback uniforms. Chris Sale had other ideas.

The White Sox suspended their ace five days without pay for destroying collared throwback uniforms the team was scheduled to wear.

The team announced the punishment on Sunday after Sale was scratched from his scheduled start and sent home the previous night.

The suspension comes to $250,000 of his $9.15 million salary. He was also fined about $12,700 - the cost of the destroyed jerseys - according to a person familiar with the penalty. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

"Obviously we're all extremely disappointed that we have to deal with this issue at this time both from the standpoint of the club as well as Chris' perspective," general manager Rick Hahn said. "It's unfortunate that it has become this level of an issue and potential distraction taking away from what we're trying to accomplish on the field."

Sale was not expected at the ballpark on Sunday. He is eligible to return Thursday against the crosstown Cubs at Wrigley Field, though Hahn would not say if the left-hander would start that game.

The Major League Baseball Players Association declined comment, spokesman Greg Bouris said. Sale could ask the union to file a grievance.

FanRag Sports first reported Sale was protesting the 1976-style jerseys, which were navy and sported unusual collars on a hot and humid night.

Sale then cut up an unknown number of jerseys before the game and was told to leave the stadium. With not enough usable 1976 jerseys available, the White Sox wore white throwback uniforms from the 1983 season.

The incident comes with the White Sox in a tailspin after a 23-10 start and Sale's name circulating in trade rumors.

"The actions or behaviors of the last 24 hours does not change in any aspect, any respect, our belief that Chris Sale can help this club win a championship and win multiple championships," Hahn said. "It does not move the needle one iota in terms of his value to this club, his value to any other club that may be interested in his services or the likelihood of him being moved or kept whatsoever. None of that stuff is impacted at all by these events."

The incident does raise some questions in general about throwback uniforms, how players feel about them and whether they should be forced to wear jerseys that aren't comfortable - particularly starting pitchers.

"If I'm playing with Chris Sale I want him to pitch," Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "If he wants to play with no shirt, we play with no shirt. I just want him to pitch."

New York Yankees pitcher Chasen Shreve said: "Pitchers like their stuff. Me, it doesn't bother me, but for him, obviously it does. It's crazy. I don't think I'm that bad."

White Sox pitcher James Shields wouldn't comment on whether players should be made to wear throwback jerseys. But he did say: "I don't really mind the throwbacks. I haven't had any issues with that."

Manager Robin Ventura said players occasionally wearing uniforms they don't like comes with the job.

"But you wear it," he said. "If you want to rip it after, you can rip it up after. I've seen guys rip it up after."

Hahn said throwback uniforms the White Sox wore last season were a bit baggy so the team took measurements in spring training so they would fit the players better. He also mentioned the money the uniforms generate.

"Part of the element of being in position to win a championship is the revenue side of the operation and respect for their reasonable requests to increase revenue," Hahn said.

This wasn't the first flare-up involving the 27-year-old Sale, who is known for his competitive streak and strict training regimen.

He was openly critical of team executive Ken Williams during spring training when he said Drake LaRoche, the son of teammate Adam LaRoche, would no longer be allowed in the clubhouse. Adam LaRoche retired as a result, and Sale hung the LaRoches' jerseys in his locker.

He was also suspended five games by Major League Baseball last season for his role in a brawl at Kansas City that started with a flare-up between teammate Adam Eaton and the Royals' Yordano Ventura. Sale went to the Royals clubhouse after he got tossed and was seen pounding on the door.

Hahn said the punishment was unrelated to previous incidents. He also said the two had a "very candid" meeting in his office with Sale after the pitcher had some exchanges with staff members in the clubhouse and that both "expressed remorse." They spoke again on Sunday.

"At that point last night Chris stood by his actions," Hahn said. "Part of what makes Chris great, part of what makes him elite, is his passion and commitment. We've seen that sometimes spill out from between the white lines. Yesterday was one of those instances and it unfortunately led to events that required discipline."