First the White Sox moved Chris Sale from the bullpen to the rotation, then they moved him back to the bullpen after five starts, and most recently they allowed him to pitch with a sore elbow that eventually led to an MRI exam.
Meanwhile, Sale has repeatedly made it very clear that he wants to continue starting and there’s seemingly disagreement between manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper regarding if or when he’ll get another opportunity in the rotation.
All of which makes it something less than shocking that Sale’s agent, B.B. Abbott, contacted Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune to say that he’s “extremely concerned about the way the White Sox have approached this entire situation with Chris and his future.”
Gonzales calls the handling of Sale “clumsy” and notes that “presumably Sale, and some in the hierarchy, believe he should be returned to the rotation while others think he should be in the bullpen.”
And it could be a moot point if the MRI results come back with bad news.
FOX Sports and Major League Baseball announced a few minutes ago that they have agreed to a multi-year broadcast rights extension. The deal keeps Fox as the lead MLB rights holder, and home of the World Series, All-Star Game and a good chunk of the playoffs through at least 2028.
While the press release does not announce the financial terms, Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that it will pay Major League Baseball about 30-40% more than the previous contract. While ratings are not what they used to be, it would seem that the eyeballs Fox is getting are more valuable to it.
UPDATE: That bump is actually even bigger:
For the time being, things will look very much like they do now. Starting in 2022, there will be more games broadcast. There are no specifics about how many more. The release says “FOX Sports will also expand its digital rights,” but again, no specifics on what that means, exactly.
FOX Sports has been a baseball rights-holder since 1996 and has been the exclusive national non-cable rights holder since 2001. That’s gonna continue for at least another decade.