The subject is whiskey, and Terrance Gore reaches in his locker for the bottle and says, “Here it is.”
Then Gore produces … “J.R. Watkins Pain Relief Liniment,” which resembles alcohol in packaging but touts itself as “fast-acting heat that provides temporary relief for minor aches and pains.”
It also serves as a sort of jet propulsion fuel for the fastest man in baseball, who has taken to rubbing it on his legs before games to set the kindling for his late-game base-running adventures.
As other reporters approached Gore’s locker on Tuesday, he playfully started to hide the bottle and joked, “Don’t tell anybody, all right? This is how I run fast. This is it.”
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As recommended by shortstop Alcides Escobar, Gore will apply the liniment on his legs about 20 minutes before game time on the premise that it effectively will lie dormant until engaged as he limbers up late in the game by pedaling a bike or running on a treadmill.
“Once you start sweating, it activates; it warms your body up,” said Gore, who last postseason became known for the chaos he inflicted on the basepaths but may or may not be on the Royals’ 2015 postseason roster. “When you put it on, you don’t even feel it. You’re like, ‘Does it work?’ ”
As opposed to what he used before, a product he referred to as “icy-hot kind of stuff.”
“That activates immediately, so just sitting on the bench, I’m like, ‘OK, I can’t do this,’ ” said Gore, who apparently would sweat so much that teammates might be inclined to wonder, “What’s wrong with Gore today?’ ”
Speaking of rubbing it in, Gore has come to feel he cannot be caught stealing.
And why not after succeeding on 207 of 226 minor-league attempts (39 of 41 this season) and all 11 he’s tried with the Royals?
If he gets thrown out …
“I got myself out; you didn’t get me out,” he said, smiling and adding that the only way he can get erased is if he gets a bad jump, falls or “might drop my glove, might want to pick it up.”
Gore still is seeking his first big-league hit, but he batted .284 at Class AA Northwest Arkansas this season as he “freaked out” opponents by getting the ball in play more and adding bunts to his game.
But because the Royals are more multi-dimensional this season, adding a surge of power to their game, Gore may not be called on this postseason.
“If I’m not on it, I’ll be the biggest cheerleader ever,” he said.
And save the secret sauce for another day.