When he's on the mound, he controls the pace of the game. And while it's his catcher who puts down signals, ultimately, it's Sale who decides what to throw and when.
But now and for the next few months, Sale must come to grips with the idea that he's not calling the shots. As he rehabs from last March's Tommy John surgery, Sale acknowledges that he must take direction from others and that he's no longer in control of his own destiny, or even, his own timetable.
"Showing up and doing what I'm told,'' said Sale in a Zoom call with reporters. "Taking it a day at a time, and whatever that day brings, we do. And so on and so forth, until I'm back pitching on the mound for the Red Sox again.''
Sale has yet to throw off a mound yet, which is indicative of how much more remains in his rehab program. In fact, he's not sure when that next step will take place.
"That's another one of those things where I wait until I'm told to do so,'' he said. "I said at the beginning of the process, I don't want to get too far ahead. I'm not looking at a month from now or two months from now, or really even the season. I can't. That wouldn't fair to my teammates or anybody involved in this process. The mound comes when it comes, and like I said, I take it a day at a time and I'm doing everything I can to get back out there, as soon as I can.''