Sale jokes his absence during ALCS was due to belly-button ring
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Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale says he missed a start in the American League Championship Series for a bizarre reason.

At least, that's what he wants you to believe.

The left-hander was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital last week with a stomach illness, which forced him to miss a potential start in Game 5 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

While discussing his absence and health with reporters on Saturday, the 29-year-old explained the cause of his hospitalization was a belly-button ring.

"I had irritation from a belly-button ring," Sale told reporters, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. "Constantly taking it in and out caused irritation. Doctors and nurses at MGH were awesome. Things happen. You handle them. And keep moving forward."

However, it seems Sale was just trolling members of the press. Shortly after word of the bizarre cause of his illness began making waves on social media, several of his Red Sox teammates confirmed to Bob Nightengale of USA Today that Sale was joking about the belly-button ring.

"He told me that he was going to say that (to the media), but I didn't believe him," an anonymous Red Sox player - whose identity was withheld to protect the effectiveness of Sale's prank - told Nightengale.

Sale has since recovered from his stomach illness - and whatever actually caused it - and will start Game 1 of the World Series for Boston on Tuesday against the winner of the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.

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Sale jokes his absence during ALCS was due to belly-button ring
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