CHICAGO • Pitcher Chris Sale says it was the Chicago White Sox putting "business first over winning" that caused him to boil over and led the Major League Baseball team to discipline him.
He was suspended for five games by the White Sox due to an incident on Saturday when he reportedly cut up the team's 1976 throwback uniforms, with unusual collars on a hot and humid night.
"(The uniforms) are uncomfortable and unorthodox. When I saw that there was something in the way of that 100 per cent winning mentality, I had an issue," he told MLB.com.
"I didn't want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in."
Sale had raised the issue with the jerseys before Saturday's game and was unhappy that the White Sox management had overruled him in favour of the promotion.
The suspension cost him US$250,000 (S$340,000)of his US$9.15 million annual salary.
The left-hander will start tomorrow against the Chicago Cubs in his first appearance since he was punished by the team.
STANDING BY HIS ACTION
Do I regret standing up for what I believe in? Absolutely not.
Do I regret saying business should not be first before winning? Absolutely not.
CHRIS SALE, Chicago White Sox pitcher who was suspended for five games for "destroying team equipment".
"I'm going to show up on Thursday and do what I've always done. That's get ready to play baseball and put everything I got into winning that game," Sale said.
"I know my team-mates are, too. So that's all that matters to me. It's unfortunate it got to this point."
Speaking before Monday's 5-4 victory over the Cubs, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said that he does not think that he needs to talk to Sale before the outing at Wrigley Field.
"Not necessarily. He's going to pitch," Ventura said. "That's what he does."
Sale apologised to fans who went to Saturday's game to see him pitch, but stood by his decision to protest against the jerseys.
"Do I regret standing up for what I believe in? Absolutely not," he said.
"Do I regret saying business should not be first before winning? Absolutely not."