During the third inning of today’s Tigers-White Sox game, Chris Sale struck out MVP candidate Victor Martinez and afterward gestured toward center field.
It was weird — both to see Martinez strike out and Sale react that way.
In the sixth inning, Sale hit Martinez with the first pitch. Hmm.
It didn’t seem to be that big of a deal until Martinez kept staring down Sale. Sale finally took notice and responded by asking Martinez what he was looking at. Sale again pointed toward the outfield.
The benches cleared.
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What’s out there, Sale? Why do you keep pointing out there? Is that where you’d like Martinez to take a hike?
Matt Shepard, Tigers fill-in play-by-play guy, was lip reading and guessed that Sale said something along the lines of “that’s your boy out there…” Rod Allen also surmised that Sale was accusing Martinez of stealing signs. When Sale was in the dugout between innings, he pantomimed a nerdy-looking gangly fella (oh, that’s just him) peering through some binoculars.
Soooo, yeah, the implication seemed to be that Martinez had someone beyond the fence somewhere in the outfield looking at pitch signals through binoculars, someone who was then somehow relaying those signs (unsuccessfully) to Martinez all the way in the batter’s box.
One thing is certain, though: Martinez took up residence inside Sale’s head. Sale would later give up the tying run and was relieved the next inning.
After Ian Kinsler knocked in the go-ahead run in the 7th, he mocked Sale:
Tigers have their eyes on Binoctober. Thanks for nudging the sleeping beasts, Sale.