Sale never shakes off catcher: 'It simplifies it for me'

Greg M. Cooper / USA TODAY Sports

Mark Buehrle spent 12 years with the Chicago White Sox finding unorthodox success - including a no-hitter and a perfect game - despite never throwing hard. Notably though, Buehrle is somewhat of a poster boy for never shaking off your catcher.

While Buehrle has moved on from playing - his jersey number will be retired by his old team on June 24 - another former White Sox pitcher is starting a new chapter with a different color pair of socks.

Chris Sale - now a member of the Boston Red Sox thanks to an offseason trade - shares something in common with Buehrle in that he never shakes off his catcher either.

"It's never, 'Should I throw this here? Should I throw that there?' Whatever pitch it is, it's just executing," Sale told Rob Bradford of WEEI.

The wiry left-hander is prepping for a bout with his former ball club which gets underway Tuesday evening against the White Sox - the team where he spent the first seven years of his major-league career.

"It simplifies it for me," Sale said about the somewhat unorthodox approach of trusting your catcher completely with the game-calling aspect of competition.

Instead of asking himself rhetorical questions on the mound, Sale prefers not to think.

"For me personally," Sale elaborated. "The less I think on a baseball field, just reacting and doing, I don't have contradicting thoughts going on in my mind when I'm pitching."

While Buehrle's and Sale's careers overlapped for one-and-a-half brief seasons between 2010-11, Sale credited his college years with his approach.

"Coaches (at Florida Gulf Coast University) were calling pitches, so if you shook your coach off and something bad happened it wasn't going to be pretty."

Of course, Sale did admit he had a notable exception during his earlier years coming out of the bullpen.

"I shook off Tyler Flowers ... because he called a changeup and I was out there pissed off and just wanted to throw a fastball really hard just to get some anger out."

While placing full trust in your batterymate is somewhat noteworthy - especially for such an elite pitcher as Sale - the 28-year-old ace admits that "catching, throwing, calling a game was their strong suit. No doubt about it. I trust them, and I have no reason not to."

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Sale never shakes off catcher: 'It simplifies it for me'
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