At 6 feet 6 inches, Chris Sales is a large individual. He is also thin, very thin. Weighing 180 pounds, the 24-year-old pitcher for the Chicago White Sox has the distinction of being just the fifth player in league history to weigh 180 pounds or less and stand six feet six inches or higher. That interesting factoid is courtesy of Brian Costa who penned a profile of Sale for Monday's Wall Street Journal.
“His body type is so rare in baseball,” Costa told Bill Littlefield. “He just looks remarkably thin on the mound, which would lead a lot of people to assume that maybe he doesn’t eat that much. But he’s actually a monstrous eater and he actually doesn’t put on any weight.”
The pitcher lists In-N-Out Burger, McDonalds, and Taco Bell as a few of his preferred dining establishments. He also enjoys downing pizza and baby back ribs.
Sale has credited flexibility rather than strength for his success on thew mound, telling Costa, "I can do things with my arms that make guys throw up sometimes."
Luckily, Costa did not witness those acts in person.
“He did not give me a demonstration, thankfully,” Costa recounted. “But you can kind of use your imagination as to what sorts of the body contortions he is able to do.”
Costa said baseball is more forgiving towards this type of diet than other pro sports.
“I don’t think a basketball player would have that diet for example, but it’s one of those things where if you keep your physique and you’re performing, no one’s gonna care much how many chicken fingers you’re eating in the afternoon.”
Costa hasn’t heard from Sale since the article came out, but he’s confident that his subject will take the story in stride.
“I would not think he’d have a problem with it. One of the really nice things about Chris Sale is not only is he a really good, smart, articulate guy, He’s also able to laugh at himself. He can take it, and I think he does a good of a job of anybody at laughing about it and being OK with it.”
Costa believes Sale pitches too well for his teammates to hate him for his miraculous metabolism, but said "a few of them kind of spoke wistfully about their younger days and kind of missing what it’s like to be 24.”
Eating fruit and not as many chili cheese dogs qualifies as a “foreign concept” to Sale, meaning that he’s likely going to be in for a rude awakening as he ages.
“I don’t think he’s looking forward to his older years, if that’s what it’s gonna be like,” Costa said.
This segment aired on May 25, 2013.