TUCSON, Ariz. – Sure, it looked and sounded like a scene from “Deliverance’’ on Sunday morning, as Mark Buehrle, Joe Crede and Scott Linebrink exchanged twangs and hunting stories in a huddle by their lockers.
But after the final photos of gunned-down Bambis were shown on the I-Phone, Buehrle took some time to discuss the departure of good friend Jon Garland.
Like only he can.
“You have to give up something to get something,’’ Buehrle said of the trade that sent Garland to the Angels for shortstop Orlando Cabrera. “We have a Gold Glove shortstop now, a quality shortstop. His offensive numbers are going to be better and he seems to be better than [Juan] Uribe, so you can’t get a steal on every trade. We had to give up something to get something.’’
Buehrle and Garland were close friends, and Buehrle said he knew something was up on that mid-November day when Garland’s name popped up on his caller ID.
“Neither of us are really talkers on the phone, so I send a text and three days later he’ll get back to me,’’ Buehrle explained. “But the day he got traded he called me, and that’s when I knew something was wrong because he never calls me in the offseason. I saw, ‘Jon Garland’ on my phone, and said, ‘Oh crap, something is wrong.’ ‘’
And even with the California-born Garland back in his element of skateboards and surfers, Buehrle said that he told Garland that he still owes him one trip to Missouri to do some hunting – a trip that the gun-shy Garland has avoided year after year.
“I told him, ‘I don’t care if we’re no longer teammates,’ ‘’ Buehrle added, “ ‘sometime before you die you’re coming out to my [hunting] property.’ ‘’