USA Today Sports

No, an infected belly-button ring did not put Chris Sale in hospital -- Red Sox ace, now healthy, just messing with us

John Tomase
October 21, 2018 - 9:22 am

First things first: Chris Sale did not end up in the hospital because of an infected belly button ring.

The Red Sox ace has mastered the art of deadpan delivery, so on Saturday it was understandable that some took him at face value when he said this:

"I had irritation from a belly button ring, just constantly taking it in and out, causing irritation and got a rash down there. Had to take care of that. Doctors and nurses over at MGH were awesome. Things happen, you handle them and keep moving forward."

Sale was joking -- he merely had a stomach ailment, as USA Today and others noted -- but what's important is that he feels much better and is on track to start Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday against the Dodgers.

"We can’t wait," Sale said. "This is what we worked hard for all year, to play in the World Series. You show up to spring training, that’s the goal. That’s what we talked about all year. From Day 1, everyone in here, AC, the coaching staff, has talked about getting to the World Series. We’re all excited. You can talk to everybody in here, we’ve all grinded, worked hard, we’re here and have an opportunity to win the last game of the year and that’s as good as it gets."

Sale is back on a regular between-starts throwing schedule and will likely throw a short bullpen on Sunday. He was uncharacteristically wild in his last start, against the Astros in a Game 1 ALCS loss, walking four in four innings.

He spent the next night in the hospital, watching the Red Sox win Game 2 before rampaging through Houston to win the series, and now it's on to the Fall Classic.

"Not fun," Sale said of his hospital stay. "It’s definitely not fun watching your team. Got to do what you got to do, though. It happened, we dealt with it and we’re here now. We keep rolling."