Boston Red Sox fans understandably were excited about the team acquiring Chris Sale this offseason. But perhaps no one was more ecstatic about the move than the man himself.
Sale, after all, is going from a Chicago White Sox team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008 to a Red Sox squad that’s won three World Series titles since 2004 and should contend for a fourth this season. As an added bonus, Boston plays its spring training games in Fort Myers, Fla., just a short drive from Sale’s home in Naples, Fla., and his alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University.
In short: The left-handed ace is all-in with his new club.
“This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, you kidding me?” Sale told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale in a recent interview. “What more can you ask (for)?”
Red Sox fans will be asking Sale to deliver another stellar season as the new ace of Boston’s staff. The pressure indeed will be on the 27-year-old, especially with David Price likely beginning the season on the disabled list. But Sale seems to be relishing the opportunity of pitching for Boston in one of his favorite ballparks.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am,’’ Sale said. “This is everything I wanted. I’m going to an organization very rich in history, and even more recently, a very winning tradition.
“And I get to pitch at Fenway Park, one of the greatest wonders of the world. How can you beat this?’’
It behooves Sale to say the right things entering his first year in Boston, but he does appear genuinely excited to be playing for a winning organization that sells out virtually every home game.
“You go to Fenway, and there’s a buzz in the stadium,” Sale added. “You don’t hear the foul balls hitting the seats. It’s never quiet. Honestly, this is everything I’ve wanted.”
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images