Mark Buehrle, the comedian
Here’s a perfect example as to why Mark Buehrle is so good for baseball.
Well here’s a second example, because his victory in 2 hours, 25 minutes on Thursday in Kansas City speaks for itself.
Simply put, Buehrle enjoys the game.
For starters, I asked him after the 4-1 win if this was a perfect sort of game for the southpaw–low pitch count, making the Royals put the ball in play and only one strikeout with no walks. Buehrle smiled and quickly disagreed in self-deprecating fashion
“That’s kind of embarrassing, one strikeout,” said Buehrle, who just as quickly added that making the opposition hit the ball early in the count is the perfect way to last deep into games.
But here’s an even funnier moment.
In the eighth inning, after Mark Teahen grounded out to second for the first out, Buehrle rolled the ball toward the Royals’ dugout. I’ve seen him do this before with Jacque Jones, who got a hit off of Buehrle in Minnesota after he was about 1-for-1,000 previously, and Buehrle comically offered him the keepsake. In this instance, though, it was Buehrle who had retired one of his arch-nemeses.
With two hits earlier in the game, Teahen entered this at-bat with 22 hits in 49 at-bats against Buehrle.
“I asked him if he would sign it,” said Buehrle as to why he rolled the ball toward the Royals dugout. “I have it right there in my locker. I finally got him out. Last time here, I had (Willie) Bloomquist sign a bat for me because I finally got him out. I have a little collection of guys that own me.”
Bloomquist, who finished 1-for-3 against Buehrle Thursday, is 12-for-25 lifetime when facing the White Sox ace. Buehrle wondered aloud how one-time Royals outfielder Brandon Berger hadn’t caught on with another team just to face him, with four home runs and seven hits in 21 career at-bats against the southpaw.
Buehrle certainly doesn’t have the superstar attitude of a pitcher with a 130-89 career record. I know Zack Greinke has been lights-out this year and pitches for neighboring Kansas City, but it would seem appropriate for Buehrle to start the Midsummer Classic for the American League in front of the home faithful.