Blame Robin Ventura's mindless, slavish adherence to the 100-pitch dogma for humiliating White Sox loss

Ace White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale was four outs away from another great performance last night, on his way to a complete game and a 4-0 shut-out of the Boston Red Sox.

But he had thrown more than 100 pitches--an arbitrary number--so Manager Robin Ventura benched Sale in favor of what everyone knows is a shaky bullpen. As sure as night follows day, the predictable happened. We Sox fans watched in frustration, then anger, then absolute outrage  as the bullpen lost the game.

There's no excuse for this kind of stupidity. You could tell that Sale didn't want to come out, but complete game shutouts thrown by a starter are as rare today as (insert your own Cubs analogy here).  Common sense and  experience dictated that Sale should have stayed in the game.

Honest to God, I don't understand Major League Baseball today. The games are overly long and ponderous, in a word, boring. Hawk and Steve Stone do their best to liven the game with knowledgeable chatter, but they can't disguise the fact that MLB is committing seppuku with such blind wisdom as pulling a pitcher who's doing a whale of a job because, well, that's what the book says.

This loss rests squarely on Ventura's shoulders. How much longer must fans put up with this until he's sacked?

What was America's greatest come-from-behind war? Go here to find out.

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    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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