Sunday, February 3, 2008

#56 - Mark Buehrle

As we get closer to the end of the line, I'm running into a lot of lesser players that sneak in and claim the number simply for lack of a better player. This can't be further from the truth for number 56. Mark Buehrle owns number 56 and probably will for eternity.

I imagine the White Sox will eventually retire this number after Buehrle's career is over. I doubt they will retire his number before Mark actually retires. That would be embarrassing if he ever should land on another team like Harold Baines. That was painful to see, each time Harold came back, be it on another team or with the White Sox. If the White Sox are listening, please retire the number of a player AFTER he has officially retired.

What makes Mark so deserving of this number? From 2000 until 2007, he only had one season in which he had a losing record. It was in 2006 and he was 12-13. That had more to do with the lack of hitting than it did his pitching. He even posted a 10-9 record in the abysmal 2007 season.

He was selected to 3 All-Star games, so far, and won the game in 2005. He led the league in innings pitched in 2004 and 2005. Mark had a complete game in the 2005 ALCS, one of 4 straight complete games thrown that series by the White Sox. Besides getting a no decision in the World Series, he saved one of the games. He actually became the first pitcher in World Series history to start and save consecutive games.

In addition to all that, Mark threw a no-hitter facing the minimum amount of batters in 2007. His only blemish was a walk to Sammy Sosa, which he promptly picked off. He is a quick worker, usually finishing games in about 2 hours. His quickest game was 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Even when Mark is off, the team finds a way to win. Mark gave up 7 runs in the first inning of a 2006 game, which he ended up winning. Mark is a true throwback to the old school of baseball with his easy delivery and fun attitude on the field. Until he was banned recently by management, Mark used to entertain the crowd by using the tarp as a slip n' slide during rain delays.

Mark is always a presence at SoxFest every January. His allegiance lies with the fans. He may joke about wanting to play with the Cardinals, but his heart is with the White Sox.


Ellie said...

Mark is an amazing pitcher and he deserves every amount of praise that he will ever get.

White Sox Cards said...

Well said, ellie!

Uglee Card said...

Buehrle is the kind of person every team would want. He's fun to watch.

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