White Sox

Mark Buehrle's 99-minute performance stands out as one of 2005's top moments

USA Today

Mark Buehrle's 99-minute performance stands out as one of 2005's top moments

If you were late to your seat at U.S. Cellular Field on April 16, 2005, there’s a good chance you missed the first inning.

And if you lollygagged any more than usual on that gorgeous spring day, you may have missed the first three innings.

You should have known better, because Mark Buehrle was on the mound.

But even Buehrle out-did Buehrle on that day. I remember it well. It was my 19th birthday and I was in section 142 with friends. Buehrle didn’t care that it was 70 degrees out and the type of day you didn’t mind a long baseball game. The beer vendors must have hated it. And unless you’re skilled enough to time your bathroom breaks perfectly to the clock in between innings (hardcore baseball fans know what I’m talking about) then you just had to hold it.

Buehrle dispatched the Seattle Mariners in 99 minutes. The game started at 1:05 p.m. It was over by 2:44. White Sox 2, Mariners 1. Just ridiculous.

The amazing thing was that Buehrle struck out a career-high 12 in the complete-game effort, so it’s not like he did it all on first-pitch groundouts. And Ichiro Suzuki – who hit .409 off Buehrle in his career – managed all three Mariners’ hits in the game, including a ninth inning triple that led to Seattle’s only run. 

The White Sox’s offense did its part to make it a quick game, too. Mariners starter Ryan Franklin only allowed four hits and pitched all eight innings, meaning only two pitchers were on the mound all day. The problem for Franklin was that he gave up two solo home runs to Paul Konerko. That’s all Buehrle needed.

I wasn’t in attendance for Buehrle’s perfect game or no-hitter, which is why the 99-minute game will always be my favorite Buehrle start. Konerko’s two home runs help it stand out in the memory bank, too. Most White Sox fans will agree that Buehrle and Konerko are the faces of organization in the 2000s, so to have such a short, simple game decided by the two of them was special.

As he often did, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen delivered the perfect quote to reporters after the game: “I didn’t have to manage today.”

Unfortunately, because the game didn’t air on what was then CSN, it is not part of NBC Sports Chicago’s “White Sox Rewind,” but you can watch the entire game here. Without commercials, it will only take you an hour and 10 minutes to get through it.

The next White Sox Rewind game on deck is from Apr. 19, 2005 against the Minnesota Twins. Already off to a 9-4 start, the White Sox improved to 3-1 against the Twins with a 5-4 victory on April 18. That game turned out to be important because the two teams were tied for first place and the win allowed the White Sox to keep the wire-to-wire division lead that they kept in 2005.

The pitching matchup the following day was Orlando Hernandez (1-1, 2.75) against Brad Radke (1-2, 5.59). Here’s what Guillen’s lineup looked like:

LF Scott Podsednik
2B Tadahito Iguchi
DH Carl Everett
1B Paul Konerko
RF Timo Perez
CF Aaron Roward
C A.J. Pierzynski
3B Joe Crede
SS Juan Uribe

The White Sox-Twins game from April 19, 2005, will air Monday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago. For the full White Sox Rewind schedule from the 2005 season, click here.

SprtsTalk Live Podcast: Is MLB about to strike out forever?


SprtsTalk Live Podcast: Is MLB about to strike out forever?

David Haugh, Chuck Garfien and JJ Stankevitz join Kap on a Friday edition of STL. 

The MLB owners and players appear to be farther apart then ever with the union saying they will not take a further pay cut. Is the sport about to strike out forever?

Meanwhile, the Bulls season is over. Will a nine-month lay-off help or hurt them? Plus, the Bears may not get together as a team until training camp. Will that hurt them at all?

Finally, Jean Lenti Ponsetto will retire as DePaul athletic director this summer. Can a new AD get the men’s basketball team back to national prominence?

0:00 - There’s still no baseball and the two sides don’t even appear to be in the same ballpark. Are the owners and players heading for a mutually assured destruction? Does one side need to give in first for the good of the game?

11:00 - The NBA is returning but the Bulls won’t take part. Is it better for them to have a 9-month lay-off?

15:00 - The Bears and other NFL teams may not get to work out together until training camp. Does the hurt the Bears?

19:00 - Jean Lenti Ponsetto will retire as DePaul AD this summer. Can a new AD bring the Blue Demons men’s basketball team back to national prominence?


Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast


Report: 2020 MLB season will happen, how many baseball games is unclear

Report: 2020 MLB season will happen, how many baseball games is unclear

Fans looking for good news during the financial fight between baseball’s owners and players are getting it from SNY’s Andy Martino. He says there will be a baseball season in 2020.

No, there’s no imminent agreement between the two warring sides. But the worst-case scenario, no season at all, seems as if it will be avoided, per Martino, who reported Friday that players will play even if Major League Baseball sidesteps further negotiations and imposes a season of perhaps fewer than 50 games.

The league’s ability to do that was reported on earlier in the week, included as part of the March agreement between the two parties. The parsing of that agreement is at the center of these contentious money talks. The players agreed to prorated salaries based on the number of games played, but the owners believe they’re able to ask for further pay cuts now that they’ve deemed it economically impossible to play even half a season without fans in the stands and pay players half their salaries. Players, distrustful of that claim, say the owners should prove it by opening their books.

The players are standing firm in not accepting further pay cuts, with union chief Tony Clark saying Thursday any proposal of further cuts would be rejected. While there was some confusion over whether the owners would stop making proposals altogether, Martino reported that the league could make another financial offer to the union.

Here’s another wrinkle: The governor of Texas recently said that fans would be allowed to attend sporting events in that state. Thursday brought a report that Major League Baseball is likely to allow the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros to have fans in the stands, signaling that governors in the 17 different states where major league teams play would have the final say on whether they could sell tickets. That could mean more revenue, a significant variable thrown into this whole thing.

RELATED: Return-to-play negotiations: How Rob Manfred and Adam Silver's roles differ

So how many games are going to be played? That remains a question without an answer.

If the players refuse further pay cuts, as they’ve said they will, then perhaps a roughly 50-game season would be in the cards. If there are concessions as negotiations continue, that number could grow. Martino outlined that if the owners agree to pay those full prorated salaries for more than 50 games, perhaps we’ll see expanded playoffs, which was part of the players’ last proposal the league rejected. Perhaps we’d see players mic’d up during games. Perhaps we’d see the union stop demanding full financial transparency from ownership.

But no budging from either side and the league’s 50-game plan seems more realistic, despite the frustration it could spark among fans. While a 50-game schedule would mean a lot more off days, creating health benefits for players related to both typical baseball maladies and the coronavirus, it could be argued it would be an illegitimate way to crown a champion. However, there’s an argument to be made that a 50-game sprint would be a fascinating contrast to baseball’s typical 162-game marathon, often criticized for its at times glacial pace.

If the two sides can come to an agreement, perhaps that wished-for July 4 Opening Day would still be possible, though teams would have to hustle to start a second round of spring training, which was originally pitched to begin next week. If they can’t, then the league’s mandated 50-game season might start closer to the end of July, with the postseason played as usual, during the month of October.

But with the league adamant about the playoffs wrapping up no later than early November, fearing an increase in COVID-19 infections come fall, time is of the essence. And that’s what makes Martino say that next week is when we’ll find out how much baseball will be played in 2020.

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