White Sox

Poetry in Pros: Buehrle's future career


Poetry in Pros: Buehrle's future career

Saturday, July 24, 2010
3:00 PM
By Brett Ballantini

OAKLAND The only way for Mark Buehrle to better celebrate his first career win in Oaklandaside from the beer shower he was half-anticipating after the game to mark the accomplishmentwas with a little open-mic work after the game.

The veteran lefthander celebrated the one-year anniversary of his perfect game with another masterful effort, defeating the As, 5-1, in front of a sparse Friday night crowd in Oakland. And afterward, he held court and had the comedy cracking.

Everything was down in the zone, sinkers were working, Buehrle said. They were swinging early, and I dont know if that was their game plan, but when they were swinging early, the ball was down and they were hitting ground balls.

Dont you want opponents to swing early?

Yeah, when they make outs.

It took a mere 101 pitches for Buehrle to finish his second straight complete game, which was scarred by just four hits and one earned run. It was the third time in Buehrles career hes thrown back-to-back complete games, also having achieved the feat in 2001 and 2004.

The accomplishment allowed Buehrle to poke some fun at his feisty catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, who was mocking his pitcher one out short of the complete game.

A.J. was shaking his hands like I was nervous about throwing a complete game, Buehrle said. I was like, Its my second one in a row! He forgot about the last one.

As a result, Pierzynski jogged up to Buehrle after the last out, a Kevin Kouzmanoff fly out to center fielder Alex Rios, and acted like he wanted to jump in Buehrles arms or give him a hug.

This was one of those games that was fun, he said. The whole starting staff is on a good roll; lets keep it going.

Buehrle was asked whether hed petition pitching coach Don Cooper to be sure to throw on every July 23 from now on, and the southpaw pointed out that hell just have one more July 23 to pitch in 2011 before his contract runs out. (Recall that Buehrle has threatened to retire after that contract runs out, although hell be just 32 years old.

But in a nod to how much fun it is to pitch when the team performs as well as it has for nearly two months now, Buehrle offered up a tantalizer sure to fire up Sox fans of all ilks.

If I keep pitching like this, I might not be able to retire.

Buehrle was also the butt of some jokes early in the game, when the McAfee Coliseum radar gun was malfunctioning. Oakland starter Trevor Cahill hit 200 mph on the gun. His teammates on the bench, before Buehrle even had thrown a single pitch, estimated that with such a malfunction you might be able to hit 88 today.

When informed that indeed he hit 88, and in fact 800, on the malfunctioning gun, Buehrle had his response ready:

Is that some sort of record?
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Will Ozzie Guillen ever manage again? 'I think my time's going to come up, maybe'

Will Ozzie Guillen ever manage again? 'I think my time's going to come up, maybe'

Will Ozzie Guillen ever manage again?

He was the guy who helped bring a World Series championship to the South Side in 2005 hasn't been a big league skipper since 2012, in his one ill-fated season managing the Miami Marlins. But his name has come up as a social-media suggestion for open jobs for years, including just two winters ago when the White Sox needed to replace Robin Ventura.

But Guillen, who spent eight seasons as the White Sox manager, said on the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast that he hasn't interviewed for any jobs since leaving the Marlins and discussed the trend of hiring young managers who just recently finished their playing careers.

"A couple tried, not to interview me but say, 'Can we talk to you about it?' And I knew I'm not going to be the manager of that team," Guillen told NBC Sports Chicago's Chuck Garfien. "When you look at the manager list, you're going to interview me and you have kid, kid, kid, kid, kid, Ozzie. What's the chance I'm going to manage that team? None. 'Thank you for thinking about me,' and it's cool.

"I've known I'm not going to be the guy because the list. Before, they interview you for a managing job, it's two or three or four guys. Now they've got 30. Nowadays, it's harder to become a manager than win the World Series. Because there are so many interviews.

But does that mean he'll never manage again?

"I think my time's going to come up, maybe," Guillen said. "I always think about (former Florida Marlins manager) Jack McKeon. Jack McKeon was out of baseball for 30 years and all of a sudden came out and won the World Series (in 2003). ... I hope I don't die before that. Jack was 70-plus when he was managing. But we'll see."

Guillen talked about his hopes to be more involved in the White Sox organization after the way his tenure ended back in 2011, saying he hopes to be at spring training with the team one day.

"I'd like to go to spring training with them, that's the first time I'm going to say that, just because I see everybody in baseball, they're bringing former players to the field," he said. "But the problem is, I go there, here we go. 'Why is it ... you're coming here?'

"I don't (want to be a distraction), and I never will be."

Hear more of Garfien's interview with Guillen on the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Eighteen White Sox questions for 2018: Will Avisail Garcia be on the White Sox by season's end?


Eighteen White Sox questions for 2018: Will Avisail Garcia be on the White Sox by season's end?

White Sox fans might have their eyes on the future, but the 2018 season has plenty of intrigue all its own. As Opening Day nears, let's take a look at the 18 most pressing questions for the 2018 edition of the South Side baseball team.

Avisail Garcia was great last year for the White Sox.

But does that mean he's a long-term part of this rebuilding team or a potential trade piece?

How Garcia follows things up in 2018 will go a long way in determining the answer to that question, as well as a perhaps more pressing one: Will Garcia still be on the White Sox when the 2018 campaign comes to a close?

Whatever your scouting-eye impressions might have been, statistically, Garcia was one of baseball's best hitters last season. He ranked second in the American League with a .346 batting average. Only league MVP Jose Altuve ranked above Garcia. The White Sox right fielder also ranked sixth in the AL with a .380 on-base percentage. His .885 OPS ranked in the top 10 in the Junior Circuit.

It was the much-anticipated breakout for a guy who's had big expectations ever since he hit the bigs as a 21-year-old in 2012, when he carried a pressure-packed comparison to Detroit Tigers teammate and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. After coming to the South Side in a mid-2013 trade, his first three seasons were impacted by injuries and featured an unimpressive .250/.308/.380 slash line with only 32 homers in 314 games.

But last season, that all changed. He had a career year, slashing .330/.380/.506 with 18 homers, 80 RBIs, 27 doubles and 171 hits. Garcia was named to the AL All-Star team and established himself as the second best hitter on a team where the best hitter, Jose Abreu, is one of baseball's most productive and most consistent.

So can he do it again? That remains to be seen, of course. The scale of the improvements in so many statistical categories make one think that Garcia being able to do it two years in a row would almost be as surprising or more surprising than him doing it just once.

But if Garcia can repeat his performance, at least in the season's first few months, he could potentially draw the eyes of numerous contending teams looking for a bat to add to their lineups. One season of production perhaps wasn't enough to demand the kind of return package Rick Hahn's front office got in return for Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Jose Quintana. But a few good months at the outset of 2018 could draw plenty of interest, making the question of whether Garcia will stay in a White Sox uniform for the entirety of the season a valid one.

All that being said, Garcia's situation — he's under team control for two more seasons — allows the White Sox to be flexible. Garcia's still young, entering his age-27 season. The White Sox could opt to keep a talented hitter, extend him and make him a part of the rebuilding effort, penciling him into the lineup of the future alongside younger hitters like Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Or they could wait to move him, perhaps next offseason or at the 2019 trade deadline.

But Garcia's performance will dictate how viable each of those options ends up being. He finally put it all together in 2017. In 2018, he'll have to keep it all together.