Mark Buehrle last pitched in 2015, for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was still pretty effective and toyed with the idea of pitching last season, but he never signed anywhere and is, for all intents and purposes, retired.
Now at least his number will be retired officially. It will be done by the club for which he had the most success and with which he is, obviously, most associated:
Buehrle pitched for the White Sox for 12 years. He was the model of consistency and durability in Chicago, logging over 200 innings a season in every single season but his rookie year, when he was primarily a reliever. He was a solid defender, a multi-time All-Star, tossed a perfect game in 2009 and helped the Chisox to their first World Series title in 88 years in 2005.
He was also one of baseball’s fastest workers, so I’m going to assume that, in his honor, the number retirement ceremony will last, like, a minute 20, after which everyone can get on with their dang day.
Giants shortstop Jimmy Rollins spoke about his brief stint with the White Sox in 2016. As Craig recapped back in December, the White Sox had two of baseball’s biggest stories of the year and for the wrong reasons. Adam LaRoche abruptly retired when team president Ken Williams said he couldn’t bring his son Drake into the clubhouse. And Chris Sale shredded up his jersey in protest because he felt the throwback jerseys were uncomfortable and would have forced him to alter his mechanics. The White Sox traded Sale to the Red Sox in December.
Rollins had signed with the White Sox on February 22 last year but the veteran had a forgettable stint, hitting .221/.295/.329 with 11 extra-base hits and eight RBI in 166 plate appearances before being released on June 15.
Rollins is now with the Giants on a minor league deal. Unsurprisingly, Rollins was asked about his time with the White Sox and Courtney Cronin of Mercury News has video:
It was a clubhouse in disarray after that point. Although we did great. It’s always a little players versus the front office but I think just because of the way it was handled — a lot of the guys that were outspoken are no longer there. They’re in better places if you ask me, but they’re no longer there.
Maybe my third day there and the funny part was, when Adam came in, I had just went to the bathroom so I didn’t hear anything. And I came out and like, “He’s retiring.” I’m like, “Why is everybody so sad?” You celebrate a guy retiring. He had a great career and he made his decision. Then I found out why and then… chaos. Don’t have to worry about that here [with the Giants].
Rollins has never been one to mince his words as he was at times critical of the team during his 15-year stint with the Phillies. And Rollins’ criticism of the White Sox isn’t anything we haven’t already heard.
The rosters for all 16 teams participating in the World Baseball Classic were announced last night. Here is where to go for team-by-team breakdowns. Here are the highlights:
- There are 25 guys who made the 2016 All-Star team, including Jose Altuve (Venezuela), Nolan Arenado (USA), Xander Bogaerts (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Francisco Lindor (Puerto Rico) and Manny Machado (Dominican Republic). There are 63 players who have, at one time or another, been All-Stars;
- As far as past award winners go there’s two-time American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela), 2012 National League MVP Buster Posey (USA), 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen (USA), 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau (Canada), 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (Venezuela), 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colón (Dominican Republic) and 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne (Canada);
- The Dominican Republic is the defending WBC champ, and they look to be loaded again. Coming back from the 2013 team is Robinson Canó, Santiago Casilla, Nelson Cruz, Samuel Deduno, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Fernando Rodney, Carlos Santana and Edinson Volquez;
- The Detroit Tigers are the most-represented Major League team on WBC rosters, with 15 players from their organization in the WBC. The Mets (13), Cardinals (11), Indians (11), Mariners (11), Royals (11), Blue Jays (10), Braves (10), Dodgers (10), Phillies (10), Twins (10) and Yankees (10) are next on the list. As far as players who are on their team’s 40-man roster, the Mets lead with nine, followed by the Tigers and Phillies with eight.
The World Baseball Classic gets underway with pool play in four cities around the world on March 6. The final game will be March 22nd in Los Angeles.