The news that Chris Sale's season was over - not because of his injured finger but instead due to a fall off a bike - left even his boss in somewhat of a state of bewilderment.
“You couldn’t make this up, right? We need to dispatch some people to go find whoever has the Chris Sale voodoo doll and recover it," said Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. "It stinks. It’s really unfortunate. We’re relieved this wasn’t worse. Obviously, it was a pretty rough spill and very glad this wasn’t worse. It’s been such a run of bad luck for him and obviously for us."
After it was revealed that Sale had undergone surgery on his broken right wrist due to a fall off his bike, Bloom met with the media to offer some details regarding exactly what happened.
"So this happened Saturday afternoon around lunchtime. Chris had actually just finished up his throwing at BC (Boston College)," he explained. "Of course, we were using BC last weekend because of the shows here at Fenway. Took his bike out to go grab some lunch near his house and hit something going down a hill, flew off the bike and I learned about it later that afternoon. He reached out to (head trainer) Brad (Pearson), Brad got over there and tended to him. I was up in Portland this weekend and got looped in by Brad."
Bloom added, "Fortunately that was the only thing really requiring medical attention. He’s pretty beat up as you could imagine flying off a bike, I know he was going down a hill. I don’t know if anybody knows exactly what he hit. There wasn’t any other person or vehicle involved. He must have hit something and fallen off the bike. So he’s pretty beat up and we did a full workup to make sure everything else was OK and all those bumps and bruises are going to heal but the wrist was broken badly enough that it needed surgery.”
Making the accident even less palatable was Bloom's admission that the organization full expected Sale to contribute again in 2022, having started throwing while recovering from his broken finger.
"I think he was going to," said Bloom when asked if he believed Sale would have pitched again in 2022 if not for the bike accident. "Actually, when Brad was calling to tell me about the biking accident he said, 'You should've seen him throw at BC. He looked great.' Obviously, with the pinky going to be involved, the changeup was probably going to be the last thing to come into play. But just in terms of picking up a baseball and letting it go confidently, he was looking good. We obviously had not gotten to the point of putting a timetable on it, but we all felt pretty good that he was going to come back and pitch this season."
Bloom did say that the circumstance didn't make him rethink any approach taken at the trade deadline, with the understanding that any return by Sale would be coming well into the season.
"By the time he was back, we would be significantly deeper into the season and we have a lot of work to do between now and then," said Bloom, whose team entered the day five games out of a Wild Card berth. "Chris was someone we were not really factoring in in terms of immediate rotation help, but it’s nice to be getting healthier, hopefully very close to having Michael back and some tough decisions to make about who is going to get starts. That’s a good thing. That remains the case. With Chris or without him, we have a lot of work to do to get into the hunt if we would’ve been back. So that’s where our focus has been."