Throughout recorded human history, we’ve composed art in the name of love. There was a war fought over Helen of Troy while Shakespeare asked (likely to an aristocratic male patron): “Shall I compare thee to a summer day?/Thou are more lovely and temperate.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning mused “How do I love thee?/Let me count the ways,” despite the fact that her husband, the poet Robert Browning, according to all accounts, was an inveterate bore.
And the 80s rock band Tesla assured us that “love will find a way.”
While I’m not a romantic—I don’t believe in love at first sight—I will acquiesce to the hypnotic powers of love. And I’m finally ready to declare that I love Chris Sale.
My totally platonic, man-love for the Red Sox ace has taken an entire season to manifest. However, when Sale struck out Baltimore’s Ryan Flaherty for his 300th K, the first Red Sox pitcher to reach this benchmark since Pedro Martinez, I squealed like a schoolgirl and clapped my hands like a seal.
For some reason, I only fall in love with Red Sox pitchers and, honestly, when Jon Lester left Boston for Oakland then the Cubs, I thought I’d never have a totally platonic, man-love again.
But when I found out the Red Sox signed Sale, I knew after he was introduced that a totally platonic man-love was possible. Sure, he was the bad-boy who defied ownership and defended Adam LaRoche when LaRoach spontaneously retired because the organization wouldn’t let his son hang out in the clubhouse. And then Sale cut up those God-awful throwback 70s White Sox uniforms.
Who isn’t drawn to the bad-boy, though?
Then Sale came to Boston, and for the first half of the season, he was nothing short of dominant. He started for The American League in the All-Star Game, despite lackluster run-support, and has posted a 2.75 ERA with 17 wins. While there’s good reason to believe the Cy Young will go to Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, by any measure, Sale has had a solid first season in Boston.
If the Red Sox, who have secured a postseason spot, are going to make any sort of run in October, it will have to be on the shoulders of Chris Sale as he ventures into his first playoff appearance.
The poet and lyrical genius David Coverdale once asked: “Is this the love that I am feeling/Is this the love that I am searching for?”
With Chris Sale, a lot is going to depend on October.