TAMPA — Gerrit Cole is throwing. Not a ball. This is pantomime. In front of his locker. He is doing Roger Clemens — barrel chest out — and then Bob Gibson — the whip-like snap.
He morphs into a righty Steve Carlton, mentioning that during the offseason he had stumbled into a replay of 1983 World Series Game 3 and became as absorbed watching Carlton “pulling through wildy” at the end of his motion as he has been in his first Yankees camp glued to video of Clemens and Gibson and Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez.
Cole has been hunting what commonality historically elite pitchers share to create durability. Like a detective recalling a favorite cracked case, he speaks of the eureka moments noticing how the greats kept their lead glove hand off their body and in counter-balance to their raised pitching arm — “It is an equal and opposite kind of thing.” He believes that led to better displacement of energy and stress. It has led him to strengthening his core to allow this in his own game while also detailing the hunger for detail Cole has to improve on his passion.
And “passion” is not a random word in that sentence. Get Cole going on the subject of…