Paulie: It will be weird to face Buehrle
April, 15, 2013
By Scott Sargent | ESPNChicago.com
Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SportsPaul Konerko said despite his familiarity with Mark Buehrle, there's no book on the veteran.CLEVELAND -- The Chicago White Sox will be greeted by a familiar face today as former teammate Mark Buehrle will take the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Buehrle is one of the most celebrated pitchers in Sox history with a World Series ring, perfect game and another no-hitters on his resume.
"It will be weird," said Paul Konerko, Buehrle's teammate for 12 seasons. "You face ex-teammates the more you play the game -- it's the nature of the business.
"Mark, obviously, was a teammate for a long time. He was a special player with the White Sox. It's always weird seeing him in a different uniform, period, let alone facing him. I have the same feeling that I bet he does that we will go out and compete because that's our job, but I don't think we will mind when it's over because we have done a lot of things together in games. Playing against each other is kind of weird, but I have a job to do, he has a job to do so we'll just go out and see what happens."
Buehrle signed a four-year, $58 million deal with the free-spending Miami Marlins before last season. He was a part of the blockbuster trade that sent he and several teammates to Toronto.
The former ace has struggled through his two starts thus far in 2013, allowing 11 earned runs in just 9 2/3 innings.
Regardless of Buehrle's struggles, Konerko says that there really is no "book" on Buehrle and that the White Sox will be in for a battle.
"There is not as much of a book as you would think," said Konerko. "You would think you would, but with Mark, it just goes by what he wants to do that day. He's got enough command to throw all of his pitches for strikes. If one day he goes out there and his change-up is his second pitch, it's that. If it's his curveball, it's that. The only book I have on Mark is that there isn't a book. You have to be ready for anything and go out there and compete because I know that's what he's going to do."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura did not have the chance to coach Buehrle during his time in Chicago, but expects that both he and his team are looking forward to the contest. Most importantly, both parties also want to come out with a victory.
"I think the guys know him, but you want to win." said Ventura. "It's one of those where you respect what he has done and what he has meant to this organization, but you definitely want to win the game."