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Red Sox Legend Carl Yastrzemski 'Glad' He Never Had to Face Chris Sale

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2013 file photo, former Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski throws out a ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in Boston. Kobe Bryant has announced that this season on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, will be his last. Bryant is the first NBA player to spend that many years with one franchise, though it’s not completely uncommon across the other pro sports in the United States. Yaz had 1,822 hits for the Red Sox at Fenway Park. That's 11 more than Wade Boggs and Nomar Garciaparra, combined. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has made many Major League Baseball hitters look silly, a fact that Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski took notice of. 

Speaking to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston GlobeYastrzemski admitted he's "glad" he never had to face anyone like Sale during his MLB career. 

"I don't know," Yastrzemski said. "I know he's tough on left-handers. He wheels and deals. I feel sorry when I see a left-hander go up against him. I'm just glad it's not me."

It's also notable Yastrzemski admitted athletes in every sport now are better than they were during his playing days. 

"The athletes in every sport are much better," Yaz said. "I think pitching is different a little because of the lower mound. Before they lowered the mound, everybody was hard-throwing. When [Luis] Tiant came up with Cleveland, he threw close to 100 miles an hour. He could bring it."

Former MLB players who now serve as television analysts have come under scrutiny for routinely lamenting the current style of play that emphasizes more use of analytics, as well as a strong reliance on home runs, strike outs and walks. 

Sale has been one of the biggest reasons for rising strikeout totals across the sport. The Red Sox ace has posted at least 200 strikeouts in six straight seasons, including leading the league in that category in 2015 and 2017. 

Yastrzemski, who spent his entire 23-year career with the Red Sox from 1961 to 1983, was no slouch as a hitter. He won a Triple Crown in 1967 with a .326/.418/.622 slash line, 44 homers and 121 RBI. 

Left-handed pitching was a problem for Yastrzemski, who had a .692 career OPS against them. Sale has limited lefties to a .519 OPS. Perhaps it is a good thing for Yaz he didn't have to test his skills against the seven-time All-Star.

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