Saturday, June 24, 2017

EXTRA: Buehrle, a Sox loss, and now we wait for the Cubano rebuild

The Chicago White Sox drew what could wind up being their best crowd of 2017, what with the ceremonies paying tribute to Mark Buehrle – the one-time ace pitcher who on Saturday had his jersey number 56 retired.
From back when he was a Sox 'kid'

No one else playing for the White Sox will ever wear number 56, and Bryan Ward (whose lone victory as a major league pitcher came with the White Sox in 1998 while wearing “56” on his back) will now fade away into history,

YES, THE WHITE Sox’ game against the Oakland Athletics was a capacity crowd, with most of those fans eager to celebrate the memory of Buehrle – who pitched for the White Sox from 2000-11 and was a part of the division-winning Sox teams of ’00 and ’08 and also the ball club of ’05 that gave Chicago its first World Series victory of the 21st Century.
Many career highlights for Buehrle

White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf couldn’t help but joke about the crowd, quipping to Buehrle that he might not be aware Sox games don’t average 40,000-plus paying customers per game (actually 38,618, to be exact).

There also was the ball club’s gag after Buehrle’s daughter, Brooklyn, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the team pointed out that her toss was much faster and harder than what Buehrle himself threw at the peak of his pitching prowess.

Then again, Buehrle was always the evidence that successful pitching was not all about throwing balls in excess of 100 mph. Heck, Buehrle himself was the guy who got cut by his high school baseball team in the St. Louis suburbs, was a 38th round draft choice by the White Sox in 1998 and was supposed to be a “roster-filler type” guy who plays a couple of years in the minor leagues before returning home to get on with his life.
No longer White Sox' "No. 56"
LATER HE BECAME one of the "kids" whom White Sox marketing referred to in their "the Kids Can Play" advertising appeal, although he eventually became the reliable workhorse of a pitching staff who worked at a quick pace, making it possible for ballgames to be played cleanly and crisply in just over two hours per game.

As opposed to the just over three hours it took for the White Sox to get through their 10-2 loss to the Athletics on Saturday.
Will No. 79 someday be retired for Abreu?

One where starting pitcher James Shields and five other pitchers had to be used by the White Sox to get through a game to do the duty that Buehrle used to be capable of doing all by himself with regularity.

How far the ball club has fallen – and how rapidly we need the great rebuild and the White Sox’ version of a “Cuban revolution” to be led by current Sox slugger Jose Abreu to occur so as to restore baseball respectability to the Sout’ Side.


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