Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/28/14
Tampa_bay_rays_8e21

I’ll never forget October, 2005. The Chicago White Sox went 99-63, taking home the AL Central Title. After sweeping the Boston Red Sox, the pitching staff threw an impossible four complete games in a row to defeat the Angels and head to the World Series. One final sweep against the Houston Astros and the White Sox were World Champions.

As the White Sox plowed through their playoff opposition, it seemed like nothing could slow them down. They had been in first place all season long and winning the World Series seemed like a reality that I had never before experienced.

And then it happened.

The players of the 2005 World Champion White Sox remain burned in my memory and on many items of clothing that I still own. Great names like Konerko, Dye, Rowand, and of course, Buehrle, were all part of that memorable 11-1 postseason run. After the season, I was sad to see Rowand go and even more sad when no team picked up Jermaine Dye in 2009, just one year after he almost made the All Star game and 4 years after he was World Series MVP.

Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle are still the clubhouse leaders that they were in 2005. However, while Konerko looks forward to hopefully another productive season in 2012, southpaw ace Buehrle enters free agency for the first time in his career.

Buehrle after his perfect game

As much as I would like to say that picking up Buehrle for another season is a no-brainer, it isn’t that simple. The White Sox already have five starters for next year in Peavy, Floyd, Danks, Humber, and former relief pitcher Chris Sale. This isn’t counting the young Zach Stewart, who is looking like a very promising sixth man.

In addition to having starters aplenty, the White Sox simply can’t afford to resign the pitcher that has thrown two no-hitters (including a perfect game) and currently holds the record for consecutive batters retired at 45. With a record payroll of $127 million in 2011, general manager Kenny Williams will be looking to trim expenses, not hand out multi-year contracts to pitchers in their thirties.

You won’t hear it from him, but the modest Buehrle is one of the most successful active pitchers in the majors. He has gone ten consecutive seasons with ten wins and at least 200 innings pitched. He also became the first pitcher in history to start and save back-to-back games, which he accomplished during the World Series in 2005. He also has the distinction of having pitched a game that finished in only 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Buehrle has openly said that before his career is over, he would like to pitch in the National League, preferably for his favorite team growing up which was the St. Louis Cardinals. However, he isn’t letting this aspiration cloud his judgment. He will still give serious consideration to remain in the town that loves him if the phone rings and it is the White Sox asking him to continue his service in Chicago.

Buehrle closed out the 2011 season in classic fashion. He threw seven solid innings and took home the win while getting backed by two runs from the offense. In the eighth inning, Don Cooper let him go out onto the mound while his teammates stayed in the dugout. This allowed the crowd of 23,000 to show him their appreciation with a standing ovation.

To pitch like Buehrle is the dream for every pitcher who doesn’t throw a scorching fast ball. I used to (and still do) admire the way that he lets batters hit the ball while trusting his teammates behind him to back him up. His style always allowed him to push deep into games and his control meant that it was a rare batter that got a free walk to first base.

If the White Sox had played up to expectations this season, then maybe this would be an article about how White Sox ace Mark Buehrle led his team to another playoff appearance. However, it is an article about one of my favorite players leaving my favorite team which is an article I’ve never wanted to read, let alone write.

 

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.