Chris Sale would've been 'perfect candidate' to use steroids but PED users piss him off the most


Chris Sale was one of the most dominant pitchers in his prime and he’s looking to get his groove back this season in Boston. The intense southpaw played seven years in Chicago with the White Sox before being traded to the Red Sox in the 2016 offseason.

Sale finished in the top six in Cy Young voting in every season from 2012 to 2018 but the closest he came to the award was a second-place finish in 2017.

Since then, however, the left has struggled with injuries that caused him to miss the 2020 season and throw just 42 ⅔ innings in 2021 and 5 ⅔ innings last season.

Sale is off to a strong start in spring training and has a new mindset for 2023.

The southpaw joined WEEI’s Rob Bradford on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” and opened up about a variety of topics, including his thoughts on steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.

“For me, the thing that would make me the most upset is the steroids, HGH, whatever you want to do,” Sale said (7:38 in player above). “If you fail a drug test for performance-enhancing drugs, that’s going to light me up the most just because I think it gives the most competitive advantage.”

Sale spoke about the sign stealing and sticky substance situations as well, but nothing gets him going like steroids.

The lanky lefty even admitted that a player of his stature would’ve benefited greatly from using steroids to get an advantage.

“With the performance-enhancing stuff, I would’ve been the perfect candidate my entire career to do it. You know, everyone said I wasn’t built to last and I feel like I’ve proved that wrong for the most part early on in my career,” Sale said. “Who’s to say some 6-foot-6, 160-pound 21-year-old showing up to the big leagues, hey, get a couple shots, bulk up to 205 and you’re going to throw just as hard, maybe a little bit harder, but the recovery is where it’s at.”

The recovery benefits of some of these drugs have been well-documented and some have even argued that they should be allowed in certain cases, but that creates a slippery slope.

Those benefits would’ve been great for Sale, especially in recent years given all of his injuries.

“Your arm feels just amazing after two, three days off, and you feel 100% every time out. That’s just not fair,” he said. “On top of that, now I’m going through some injuries. Tommy John, some of these other things, and it’s like HGH would’ve helped me out tremendously in the short period of time.

“Obviously, in the long-term there are long-term effects. I would never recommend anybody doing this ever. But if I was just a cheater and selfish and whatever, I could’ve done those things over this period of time and I would’ve been stronger, I would’ve come back quicker, I would’ve felt better, so on and so forth. So when I see other people doing that that don’t even need it, it pisses me off.”

Steroid use has declined as MLB instituted more strict rules over the past several years, but it’d be hard to believe that players have stopped using them.

Only four players – Pedro Severino, J.C. Mejia, Carlos Martinez, and Fernando Tatis Jr. – were suspended for PEDs in 2022 which matched the total from 2021 as well.

The fact that players are getting caught using them shows that others are likely out there as well. The league can do the best it can to prevent it, but it’s hard to catch 100% of perpetrators.

“We’re getting drug tested more,” Sale said. “The fact that guys are still getting popped means that guys are still doing it. IF guys are getting popped, guys are getting away with it, right?... It’s tough but I appreciate what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to clean up the game without taking the pureness of it.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images