David Ortiz is not the only Sox player who will see his number retired this week. In Chicago, retired White Sox starter Mark Buehrle will have his 56 retired as well.
He definitely earned it. He won 161 games in 12 seasons with the White Sox, defining what it meant to be a workhorse starter in the 21st century, tossing 200+ innings in every full season he pitched on the South Side. And, of course, he helped lead the White Sox to a World Series victory in 2005, starting the Chisox’ Game 2 victory, tossing seven innings.
He also got a save in that series. That came in Game 3, which went 14 innings, thus necessitating Buehrle’s services after Ozzie Guillen went through eight other pitchers. Buehrle only had to toss three pitches in a third of an inning to get that save, but he got it.
And, as he writes in The Players’ Tribune today, he did it with a slight handicap:
The thing a lot of people talk about with that one is this rumor that I drank a few beers before I got the save in our Game 3 victory.
There’s been some stuff that’s come out on that topic, but I feel like you all should really hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. So, here goes….
In short: Yeah, sure, O.K. fine, so I had a few. I can admit to that.
But you gotta let me explain.
He explains that he didn’t think he’d be pitching that night, which was a fair guess at the time. And that he got his drinking done pretty early, checking in with the coaches a lot. So, fine. But how many beers did he have?
And it was just like one or two beers . . .
. . . It was only like three beers….
Definitely no more than three, though.
All of this, of course, makes one think about the whole Chicken and Beer incident in Boston. And how that became so overblown that it cost people their jobs and stuff. The only difference there is that (a) the guys drinking the beer were in no way coming into any games; and (b) the Red Sox lost. Change (b) and Josh Beckett and company become legends.
Anyway, congratulations on your honor, Mark. You earned it. Have a beer on us.