Blown Perfect Game Call Costs Galarraga History, May Help Expansion of Instant Replay

jim joyce

We were robbed of an 80’s pop culture icon when actor Gary Coleman recently passed away. And in a blown call yesterday, which likely would’ve had Coleman saying: “Whatchu talking about Willis?” major league baseball fans were robbed of the greatest feat in baseball: The Perfect Game.

Detroit Tiger’s pitcher Armando Galarraga came within one foot (literally) of throwing the 21st perfect game in major league history, when a clearly blown call (as admitted by the umpire making it) had him settling for a one hit shut out instead.

Is umpire Jim Joyce really to blame for stealing history? Or is major league baseball to blame for ignoring the obvious?

By Soxman

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Sox Win over Royals Offers Preview of “What’s Meant to Be”

white sox '80s

By Soxman

Speed, Pitching and Defense was the Kenny Williams blueprint of success for the 2010 Chicago White Sox.  The plan seemed feasible.  After all it worked in 2005.

He started acquiring the parts for “the project” at the end of the 2009 season and through a busy winter he acquired the best “materials” available within his budget to build a winner.

[Read more…]

How are the White Sox this AWFUL?

SOXMAN AND BATBOY

By Soxman and Paul M. Banks

As we are now into week three of the 2010 MLB season, White Sox fans have to be asking at this point: “What the heck is going on?”

[Read more…]

Chicago White Sox News and Notes

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By Soxman

Yes Chicago baseball fans, I’m back from a long winter’s nap,
To talk Sox rumors, to dispel some of the flap.
Who will our teams trade, and who might they acquire?
Will we be buyers, or sellers by fire.
So grab your Sox Snuggie and drink some egg nog,
Soxman is here with an overdue blog.

The Bears stink.  The Bulls and Hawks?  Well that’s Paul M. Banks’ department.  Notice I didn’t even mention the Cubs. The most exciting news in Chicago sports the last couple of weeks has actually been the Chicago Fire, who lost for the third time after being one win away from the MLS cup on Saturday.  So after getting over my disappointment that the New York Monopoly (Yankees) bought, errr ah won another World Series, I can’t help but start paying closer attention to how our White Sox will look in 2010.

So without haste lets give a summary to date.soxmanbatboyhottie

Paul Konerko for Adrian Gonzales

The hottest rumor as of late is a three way trade where the White Sox send team captain Paul Konerko to the Angels, the Padres send Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox, and the Padres get a ton of prospects from both teams in return. While Konerko has full no-trade rights, he has indicated in the past he would accept a trade to Arizona or the Angels.

The gray area here is what prospects would also move in the deal.  I would think that the Angels would be offering the most as they are really giving nothing up in the deal. However critics are arguing that their assumption of Konerko’s $12 million salary would put the burden on the Sox.  The rumors have said the Sox would send cash to the Angels in the deal as well.

I have heard crazy speak of the Sox top three prospects- Jordan Danks, Daniel Hudson, and Tyler Flowers going to the Padres in the deal.

After we drank the “going young” Kool Aid from Kenny Williams last year, this would be a huge mistake. Kenny should hold his ground here.  The Angels have coveted Konerko since 2005.  At worst, if the Angels took on Konerko’s salary, the Sox would send one prospect to the Angels 2 or more in the deal.

Gonzales is a gold-glove caliber first baseman who has hit 130 home runs and driven in 400 runs the past four years.  He also hits the ball to all fields.  He would be under the Sox control for two years.

Free Agents Chone Figgins and Nick Johnson

Nothing brewing here at all despite both players being a good fit for the Sox in both the OBP and speed departments, not to mention Figgins is a switch hitter and Johnson hits lefty.

While Figgins appears set to command top dollar and most likely will either return to the Angels or sign with the Yankees, Mets or Phillies, Johnson does not have an active list of suitors at the moment.

Johnson has a career on-base percentage of .402 and is showing no signs of decline after posting a .426 OPB in 2009.  He could be a cheap source of run production.

After trading Chris Getz and all but promising Scott Podsednik will not return in 2010, the Sox need more speed.  Lets not forget that Kenny!

Curtis Granderson

The Chicago native, who hit 30 HRs last season with the Tigers is rumored to be on the trading block and is also a left-handed hitter.  However, the chances of the Tigers trading him to a central division rival are somewhere between slim and none. The Cubs are also rumored to be in hot pursuit if they can dump Milton Bradley.

ozzie-guillen-choke

Rookie of the Year Snub?

For those of you who believe Gordon Beckham was snubbed, think again.  He had a great rookie campaign, hitting .270, 14 HR, and 63 RBIs in just 378 ABs.  But he tailed off towards the end of the season, hitting just .221 over the last 21 games.

Oakland closer Andrew Bailey clearly deserved the honors as he was consistent all season long, breaking camp with the team.  Posting a 6-3 record with a 1.84 ERA, a miniscule 0.88 WHIP, 26 Saves, and 91 Ks in 83 innings was just sick. As a matter of fact, his wins and saves combined indicate that he played a key role in 43% of the team’s 75 victories on the year.

As avid sportsbank readers might know, he has had my vote since July.

Rookie Watch: Jordan Danks

So far in the Arizona fall league, Danks is the Sox farmhand with the greatest chance of starting 2009 on the active roster perhaps starting in RF. Danks is tearing up the fall league sporting a .329 average with two home runs and 17 RBIs through 21 games according to MLB.com.  Soxman’s favorite statistic is that his on-base percentage is a sweet .457.

His glove was major league ready last year according to many scouts and now his bat may be close.  As the Sox currently have a vacancy in RF, the job could be his to lose.

The Mark Teahen Trade

Before spring training began on the 2009 season, Kenny Williams was asked why he didn’t grab a marquee free agent second baseman like Orlando Hudson.  His answer was that he was building a young core of more athletic, quicker players who have earned their chance as a starter.  Chris Getz was specifically mentioned.  Battling several injuries all season long, Getz hit .261 and stole 25 bases in 375 Abs, being caught only twice. As Sox fans, we drank the “younger, faster, from within Kool Aid.”IMG_9701

So we trade a player who was a “core part of our future” and under control for at least five more seasons for a player who will be a free agent in a year.  Better yet?  He’s now our everyday third baseman moving Gordon Beckham to second base, a move Kenny Williams said was not in Beckham’s best development interests as a player. What flavor Kool Aid should we drink now?

Honestly, Teahen has a career slugging percentage over .500 at US Cellular field, which perhaps is alluring to him.  Given a choice between the two, I would have stayed with Getz and spent money on speed elsewhere. I do like Teahen’s versatility however.  He is a capable player at 3B, 2B, 1B, LF and RF. Now Mark, the ball is in your wheelhouse.  Knock it out of the park and prove me wrong.

Mark Buehrle’s OC Chopper

Tune into Orange County Choppers on the Learning Channel on December 19th to see Mark Buehrle’s wife surprise him with his own chopper commemorating his perfect game.  It should be fun to see what they come up with. That’s the closest we will ever come to allowing you to make a pitch in for anyone in the OC, Mark.

That’s the buzz for now Sox fans.

Keep your socks white, your cheers tight, and hopes of more speed in 2010 on the south side in sight.

What Clubs Would Be Cookoo for Carlos Zambrano?

PHILLIES  CUBS

By Soxman

As there is absolutely nothing else to talk about on either the North or South side of Chicago in terms of baseball this year, the focus of Chicago media has turned to “playa hatin” and speculation over off-season moves.

Aside from the phrase Alex Rios=bust being a popular topic of discussion, and the suspension of Milton Bradley for the season, there’s really only major topic of discussion- the Cubs shopping Big Z, Carlos Zambrano in the off-season. It’s been a popular topic to twitter or tweet, or whatever else it is the kids are doing nowadays.

First, I know this may sound insane or even comical, but I like Carlos Zambrano. That’s right, I admit it.  His passion and insanity, his assault on a harmless Gatorade container, his admission that his abdominals will not get him an Abecrombie endorsement any time soon, his desire to be Babe Ruth.  Would I want him on my team?  Maybe.

While his strikeouts are way down, his ERA has remained consistent the last two seasons.  He also has a career ERA of 3.52 and is still under 30 years of age.  With a no-hitter on his resume, there is some semblance of appeal.  Sure there’s also a lot not to like, the laziness, the inconsistency from one outing to the next, and a contract that’s bulkier than his ever growing waistline.

On a team full of head cases, bloated contracts and underachievers, Carlos has become lost.  While his attitude is in need of adjustment, remember what a surprise he was in 2004?  Or how in 2005, he filled the shoes of both Prior and Wood while they battled injuries much of the year (and their entire Cubs careers for that matter), to emerge as the Cubs ace?

Allegedly, Big Z would only accept a trade to the White Sox, Red Sox, or the Dodgers.  Let’s start there, but remember that trade scenarios are pure speculation.

Carlos Zambrano to the White Sox

The key here is that the Cubs are looking to trim payroll,  Big Z has said on numerous occasions that he’d love to play for fellow Venezuelan, Ozzie Guillen.  What would it take to get this deal done?

If I were a Cubs fan:

Jake Peavy would be my hope.  Peavy could waive his no trade clause as the move would not uproot his family, and the Cubs were originally one of the teams on his wish list.

As a Sox fan: soxmanonfield

A Carlos Zambrano for Alex Rios, Gavin Floyd and cash would make sense.  We get rid of a bad contract and free up enough salary to sign Chone Figgins.  The Cubs would officially have the most overpaid outfield in all of baseball. The Sox 2010 rotation would be Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, Carlos Zambrano, John Danks, and Freddy Garcia. Having a rotation that consists of a Cy Young award winner, one perfect game hurler and two men with no hitters would be fine by me. Realistically, there is not a fit between these two teams.

Both the Dodgers and Red Sox are no fun to speculate over because they have such great payroll flexibility- making  anything possible.If Big Z were traded to either team, I’d be looking for youth in return and salary relief.  These are two things that both clubs could offer.

Other teams you can never rule out:

-The New York Mets have indicated they will be going after another consistent pitcher in the off-season.

-The Minnesota Twins who need an ace and could be looking to make a big splash in their new stadium in 2010.  Go ahead Twins fans, rip me a new one on how this would be a salary impossibility. 

-The New York Yankees.  Because they are like the Star Trek Borg.  Resistance is futile.

-The Los Angeles Angels.  They could lose Vladimir Guerrero’s contract this off season.  Could Ervin Santana and Brandon Wood bring the Angels a solid 2010 rotation of Zambrano, Lackey (pending FA), Kazmir and Weaver?

Ok baseball fans, if not the Cubs, or a heavy workload of anger management classes, where would Big Z have the best fit?

Jake Peavy’s Debut Offers Sox Taste of 2010

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By Soxman

Coming from a lower-middle working class family, I’m no stranger to having to wait in order to get something you really want. One October during my childhood, I remember feeling excitement as my mom took me to K-Mart and picked out a brand new bicycle.  Man it was loaded.  Mag rims, free wheel and made of alloy instead of metal, so it was very light.  I got it off the rack and was even able to take it for a spin- about fifty feet past the blue light special icon.  Then I was reminded how I wasn’t actually getting the bike now, we were putting it on layaway for next spring.  Dreams of cruising past my jealous friends and being the coolest kid on the block would have to wait until after winter came and thawed.

This is what Jake Peavy’s long awaited White Sox debut against the Kansas City Royals is like for me, and probably for most Sox fans.

As Peavy himself admits that he’s not 100%, and still pitching in a game that has about as much meaning as that 50-foot spin down the aisle in Kmart, I’m excited.  But like all Sox fans, is anyone really thrilled?  It would have much more meaning if we were in the thick of a pennant race, or at the very least if we were seeing the true Jake Peavy.

As the winds of fall have the Sox playoff candle trickling out, I question what Peavy’s debut really means at this point.  He could be awesome, he could get shelled.  Worse, he could get hurt…AGAIN.  If it does not get us anywhere, does it really matter?

I’m not the only one raising this question either.  If you read behind Ozzie Guillen’s interview on Friday, he might feel the same way.

“We’ve been waiting for him for seven months,” said Guillen.  “Hopefully, when I take this guy out or he takes himself out of the game, he’s healthy.  That’s what I want.”

So what should Sox fans take from his start?  Aside from getting a look at one of the anchors of the 2010 rotation, don’t expect much.  Barring a horrific injury or another Williams blockbuster trade, we already know our starting rotation for next year:

Mark Buehrle

Jake Peavy

John Danks

Gavin Floyd

Freddy Garcia

So as the former Cy-Young award winning pitcher, with a career ERA of 3.29, and all the tools to be called ace takes the mound for the first time, enjoy the test drive.  He’ll soon be put on layaway until the spring.  Only then will we truly get to enjoy the ride.

Stretch Run Sox Exchange

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By: Paul M Banks and Soxman

And then there were two. The AL Central pennant race -and I use that term loosely- is heating up as our hometown heroes are the only team left in the AL Central that could conceivably give the Detroit Tigers a run at the division crown. The Sox are currently in a holding pattern just two point five games off the division leading pace. But are they poised to take off and take control once their newly acquired ace, Jake Peavy gets here? Read on to find out…

(PMB) Well it looks like the two teams that are most hated by White Sox Nation, the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs (I listed the Twins first for a reason) are essentially out of their respective races, while the White Sox will fight on into late August, what are your thoughts on our chances down the stretch? Do you think the recent acquisitions of Alex Rios and Jake Peavy make them “favorites?” Peavy did look phenomenal in his first rehab start.

(SM)  Out of their races?  Even if the Twins are only 3.5 games in back of the Chicago White Sox, I never count them out of a race.  NO SOX FAN SHOULD.  Our record at the dome against them is horrible and despite our 13-12 record against American League East opponents, our toughest road trip of the year awaits us as we travel to Boston, New York and then back to Minnesota, where we were swept on our last visit.soxman

I think the AL Central race will come down to the wire, but the next week could make or break us.  The Tigers have an easier schedule then the Sox in the last six weeks of the season as well, so this will remain an uphill battle.

While almost no sports enthusiast agrees with me, I liked both deals.  Rios is going to be an excellent CF for years to come unlike Brian Anderson who is “proving” he’s an everyday player in Boston hitting .167 and making errors.

While I know many fans feel we need Jake Peavy to win, we should not rush him back.  Even if he’s healthy and his confidence is not where it needs to be, his return would hurt us more than help us.

(PMB) One thing the Sox have going for them is their winning record against baseball’s toughest division by far, the AL East. No other team in the Central can boast of that. However, the flip side is a losing record against both the West and Central. What does Chicago need to do to take care of business, in their own time zone? And what are we going to do about Scott Linebrink…before he degenerates into Mike MacDougal part two.
(SM) Well, maybe Linebrink needs to become Mike MacDougal right now!  He’s the Nationals closer, posting a 2.20 ERA with 13 saves in 32 IP.

The Sox have to close games and execute.  It’s very simple.  The White Sox are hitting .246 as team from the 7th inning on.  Players are swinging for the fences in bunt situations, making mental mistakes on the bases, and Alexei?  Let’s just say his mental mistakes warranted AJ shoving him in Minneapolis the last time the two met in the dome.

(PMB) Great point about MacDougal. Time to talk individual awards. Mark Buerhle has certainly got some national recognition for his achievements, although nowhere near enough as he should. As you like to point out, he’s vastly underrated. Any chance he wins the Cy Young? If not him, who should grab it in the AL? Zach Greinke, Roy Halladay?

(SM) Buehrle is an awesome all-around player, but not outstanding in any one category therefore, he’s not likely to garner much Cy Young consideration.  He doesn’t even hit the top five in the American League in innings pitched, strikeouts, or ERA, yet he is capable of throwing a perfect game.

If the Sportsbank were given a vote on the Cy Young, my vote this year would go to Zack Greinke.  He’s first in the AL in ERA (2.44), 4th in innings pitched (173), and second in strikeouts (182), which translates to domination at his position.  Considering he was almost out of baseball two years ago with severe depression, his comeback is amazing.

(PMB) True. He’s “slowed down” over these last couple months, with an ERA of 3.51. Most pitchers would kill for those numbers. How about Rookie of the Year? Gordon Beckham may be my new man-crush. And Chris Getz is having himself a solid year as well. Who do you see as their chief competition?white_sox-old-school-logo

(SM) The things Gordon Beckham has done since getting called up have to make him a strong contender for Rookie of the Year.  In just 239 ABs, Beckham is hitting .297, 7 HR, 44 RBI and 5 SB.  He has more RBIs than Carlos Quentin.

In my opinion, is chief competition is Oakland’s Andrew Bailey.  He’s completely dominated as a closer, notching 22 saves and posting 2.01 ERA with 74Ks in just 67 IP.  Opponents are hitting just .173 against him.  He’s actually posted better numbers than Jonathan Papelbon.  Saves aside, he’s the third most dominating closer in the AL this season.  With 22 Saves and 5 wins, that means Bailey has factored into more than 50% of the A’s wins this season.

Even though Oakland is a horrible team, those numbers are hard to ignore.

(PMB) I agree. Good to see a former Kane County Cougar achieving big things. I was very glad to make it out to Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva last weekend.

Alright, let’s blare PODs, “BOOM” as we go to our “closer” feature, Maybe or Mirage, where we hit 5 quick points on the White Sox and offer our opinion whether it is a sign of things to come or something likely to fade quickly?  Remember, no answer can be longer than 20 words!  Let’s play ball…

The White Sox Will win the AL Central

(SM) Maybe.  What kind of Super hero would I be if I said no?

(PMB) Mirage. It’ll come down to the wire though

Freddy Garcia will stay in the Sox rotation.

(SM) Maybe, unless Bartolo Colon eats him.

(PMB) Mirage. But Ozzie said he’s a great golfer. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

Alex Rios will go 20/20 in 2009

(SM) Maybe.  Definitely if Bartolo Colon doesn’t eat him.

(PMB) Maybe. If Colon can take down 20 White Castle Sliders in 20 minutes…he probably can


Bartolo Colon will pitch for the White Sox again in 2009

(SM) Mirage.  He’s “Where’s Waldo” at 400lbs.

(PMB) Mirage. Unless the Sox structure a new variable based pay contract for him filled with pizza and incentives

DeWayne Wise will make the 2009 Play-off roster

(SM) Mirage. Bartolo Colon will eat him.

(PMB) LOL! No way. He had his Al Bundy glory moment in Buerhle’s perfect game.

11 Reasons Alex Rios is Good for the Chicago White Sox

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By Soxman

The fans’ chief complaint about Chicago White Sox ownership is officially being retired.  Those who love to criticize White Sox moves, or lack thereof by saying “Jerry Reinsdorf is to cheap to spend money on what we need to win,” need to get a new soapbox.

For those who disagree I have two words for you: Rios and Peavy.

Jake Peavy, who was acquired at the 2009 MLB trade deadline is owed $48 million between 2010 and 2012 and Alex Rios, acquired via waivers Tuesday,  is owed nearly $60 million between 2010 and 2014. So what does this spending spree mean to the White Sox future? Well, those who think they will be seeing the last games of Jermaine Dye in a White Sox uniform should not carve his goodbye card in stone yet.  Those who believe these moves ensure Mark Buehrle will be pitching for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals after 2012 might want to hold off on ordering a  #56 Cardinal jersey.

Why?  Kenny Williams has a plan.  Develop a core group of talent from within, while staying competitive for years to come.  He’s doing it.  Besides DeWayne Wise, who will likely get his walking papers from this move, there aren’t many in Sox Nation who dislike this move. With that, I offer 11 reasons why the Alex Rios acquisition is good for the White Sox in both the short and long-term.  Why 11?  Well let’s break it down:

11- Represents the number of players who have patrolled CF since Aaron Rowand was traded to the Phillies: Brian Anderson, Jerry Owens, Rob Mackowiak, Ryan Sweeney, Luis Terrero, Darin Erstad, Alexei Ramirez, Nick Swisher, DeWayne Wise, Ken Griffey Jr., and Scott Podsednik.  Rios is a natural CF with exceptional range, an above-average arm, and a solid .285 career batting average.

10- The future is not compromised.  We gave up nothing in the process and at age 28, Rios should be entering his prime, bridging the outfield to the next generation of sluggers like Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks.

9- It is like an early free-agent signing.  Picture it as the White Sox signing Alex Rios to a 5-year, $60 million contract.  No other CF free agents available this winter are of Rio’s caliber or age: Rick Ankiel (30), Rocco Baldelli (28) Marlon Byrd (32),  Mike Cameron (37) Reed Johnson (33), Andruw Jones (33).

8- While the move undoubtedly means we say goodbye to one fan favorite after the 2009 season, we still should have flexibility to add more pieces.  Theoretically, Rios can take the salary slot of designated hitter Jim Thome, who is earning $13 million. Peavy can take the slots of right-handers Jose Contreras and Octavio Dotel, who are earning a combined $16 million and are both free agents after this season.  If the fit is right, Dye could return as a DH.

7- Note to Ozzie: BREAK UP THE DOUBLE PLAY and hit him between base plodders  Thome, Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.  Rios stole 30 bases last season and already has 19 in 2009.

6- Sure it’s a headache for Ozzie to juggle egos, but the Sox have a great insurance policy for the lingering foot injury of Carlos Quentin, and to rest aging stars.  Jermaine Dye is hitting .151 over his last 19 games and could use some rest.

5- He’s better than Brian Anderson!

4-  Lets Go Go Go White Sox can now be sung with meaning.  Assuming Rios plays everyday, only three players in any given line-up will not be a base-stealing threat.

3-  Rios comes with some risk.  His batting average has dropped in each of the last two seasons.  However, U.S. Cellular’s launching pad should offer him every chance to realize the 30-30 potential he’s had since entering the league in 2004.soxman-boys-small

2-  Rios offers flexibility; he’s capable of playing any OF position.  If Dye, Pods, and Thome do depart after the 2009 season, Williams could make a serious run at signing his last remaining obsession in speedster Chone Figgins, who is a free agent after this season.  He has is capable of playing any position besides catcher and first base and has stolen at least 33 bases a year since 2004.  Ozzie ball could return.

1-  Last verse is same as the first.  11 different players have patrolled CF since the start of the 2006 season.  When in doubt, go with fantasy baseball.  Rios was ranked the 6th best outfielder in most leagues going into the 2009 season.

So for now we will ignore the negatives: the .317 OBP in 2009, the likely 100+ Ks per season, and bask in the fact that our search for a true CF has finally come to an end.

The push to October just got a little more interesting.

Game on!

Mark Buerhle Breaks MLB Record- Retires 45 Straight!

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By Paul M. Banks

Mark Buerhle is not done yet. Following a perfect game last Thursday afternoon over the Tampa Bay Rays, supplementing his no-hitter he threw two years ago against Texas no less, Buerhle pitched a “perfect game” for the first 5 2/3 innings of his next start. In doing so, he broke a Major League Baseball record by retiring 45 straight batters.

The old record of 41 consecutive batters retired was held by two men. One is a teammate: currently embattled closer Bobby Jenks in 2007; the second was Jim Parr of the 1972 San Francisco Giants. When Jenks tied the record in ’07, it was one of the most under-publicized records in baseball history. Only the seamheads and most die hard of Sox die-hards celebrated it. This was partially due to the fact that the Sox were practically eliminated from playoff contention by Memorial Day that season. This time, however the lights will shine brighter. Buerhle’s feat comes the night after he appeared on David Letterman to deliver a Top Ten list in his honor (in case you missed it, the vid is below).

This accomplishment comes in the thick of a pennant race, at the stadium of the Sox most hated rival, the Minnesota Twins, who are right there with them in the standings. Despite the Twins being to the Sox what the Giants are to the Dodgers, or what the Yankees are to the Red Sox, the Twins fans gave Buerhle a standing ovation twice: when he broke the record and also when upon exiting the game. Sure, the wheels came off after Buerhle’s re-Mark-able streak ended, as the Twins took the lead the next inning. And then the Sox bullpen pitched like a bunch of bushers making things even worse. However, the Twins fans appreciating Buerhle’s record as much as us Sox fans do was 1.) very classy 2.) shows they like baseball in general as much as they like their team.

Mark Buehrle is Perfect

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By Soxman

No hits, no walks, no runs- and I’m not talking about the White Sox offense earlier this year either.  Without a doubt, the most underrated pitcher in major league baseball, Mark Buehrle just pitched the first perfect game in the major leagues in five years.

One word to describe number 56: PERFECT.  One much more important word to describe what this means for the southsiders:  MOMENTUM.

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Yes there sure are some things money can’t buy and this is it.  The rarest of all baseball feats, the most special of special moments, from a guy who outside of Chicago, does not get a lot of fanfare, whose childlike love of the game just makes you feel good inside.  Mark Buehrle does not have an overpowering fastball, or even an insane contract behind him.  Yet he ranks among the game’s best, and has always done it like a true gamer…never making it about him.

So perhaps it is fitting that he needed a spectacular play from a most unlikely fellow teammate to get the job done.

Those who argued Brian Anderson should still be in the major leagues were instantly silenced as DeWayne Wise validated his existence for the entire 2009 season, robbing Gabe Kapler of a homerun, and becoming the hero of the day’s super hero.

wise

Even more fitting on the credit Buehrle gives to others: Josh Fields, who many argued also has no place on the Sox active roster, belted a grand slam to put the Sox ahead in the second inning.  Fields had entered the game hitless in his last 12 at bats, posting a .221 average on the season.

“I don’t know if it’s really sunk in yet. We have a short flight to Detroit. I’m sure it will be a little hectic later,” Buehrle said after the game.

Buehrle pitched his second no-hitter. In a 6-0 win over Texas on April 18, 2007, he also faced the minimum 27 batters.

Superman needed 116 pitches (76 were strikes) to mow down 27 straight Rays hitters. He posted six Ks in hurling his second no hitter, becoming just the 24th player in Major League history with multiple no-nos.

It was the 18th perfect game in major league history and the first since Arizona’s Randy Johnson, another lefty, against Atlanta on May 18, 2004.

Those who think that Buehrle does not deserve the label of being one of baseballs best should think again.

On December 18, 2008, C.C. Sabathia, praised by most sports writers as the best left handed pitcher in the game, signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the New York Yankees. It is the largest contract for a pitcher in MLB history.

C.C. Sabathia’s career numbers?  126-79, 3.65 ERA, and a 1.24 WHIP in 1656 inning pitched.  No hitters?  ZERO.  Perfect Games?  Zero.  World Championships?  Zero.

Mark Buehrle’s career numbers?  132-90, 3.76 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP, in 1974 innings pitched.  No hitters? Two.  Perfect Games? One.  World Championships? One.

Any questions?

What does this mean to the Sox  2009 season?  Well, there’s a freight train coming Detroit Tigers, so you might want to step off the tracks.  We are now in first place!