Meet Buehrle in St. Louis
Mark Buehrle wants to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The All-Star left-hander is not saying the move has to happen today or at the end of his four-year, $56 million contract after the 2011 campaign. But the native of St. Charles, Missouri, who grew up a diehard Cardinals fan, has a desire to work for his hometown team before he retires with his family to their Missouri property.
After picking up his ninth win in 11 decisions this season on Tuesday night, Buehrle couldn’t avoid bringing up the topic. Actually, he could avoid it, but with the 2009 All-Star Game to be played in St. Louis, Buehrle was having too much fun tweaking all the people who get fired up when he speaks about this issue.
“I want to play for the Cardinals one day. Oops. I shouldn’t have said that,” said Buehrle with a broad grin, knowing exactly what he had just said. “People can rip me and say whatever they want to say. Eventually, one day, I would like to put a Cardinals uniform on and pitch for them.”
This particular topic came up when Buehrle once again talked about what a thrill it will be to pitch in front of all his hometown friends and family. As of this past Sunday afternoon, Buehrle already had rounded up 36 tickets to the Midsummer Classic.
In playing along with Buehrle’s playful jabs, one of the reporters asked Buehrle about a story at the start of Spring Training addressing how the left-hander might retire at the end of his current contract. Buehrle had an answer ready for this question.
“I’ll just sign a one day contract,” Buehrle said. “Stand on the mound, throw one pitch and have them take me out.
“I would love to put a jersey on and pitch. It’s a dream come true. I’m from St. Louis. Born and raised a Cardinals fan. A lot of people won’t be happy, but a lot of people in our clubhouse want to play for their hometown team. I’m the one saying it and getting in trouble.”
Before White Sox fans make too much of Buehrle’s comments, remember how much he brings to each season, each start, in Chicago. Also remember how much fun Buehrle has within the game and how he loves to press the issue with this hot-button topic.
Also, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Buehrle wanting to finish what figures to be a historic career with the team he grew up following.
But here’s one last comment that should make White Sox fans happy, which is Buehrle’s response to facing the Cubs as part of the Cardinals someday.
“As long as it’s at Busch,” Buehrle said. “I don’t care to come to Wrigley to face them.”