Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

A true look in the mirror

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mark_buehrle_white_sox_baby.jpgCLEVELAND - Mark Buehrle's one and only job is to take the baseball and go to the mound every fifth day.
He was thankful on Wednesday about that being his only job description.
"We're playing good right now and that's always good,'' the face of the starting rotation insisted, when asked about the pulse of his team. "It's fun when you come to the park, and we feel like we're going to win every game. But I still can't forget that we've gone back and forth. We've had a good week or two and then it seems like we can't win a game and nothing goes right. I really don't know.''
Yes, the Sox had fun beating up on the sinking Indians, but Buehrle isn't stupid. He's glanced at the schedule, and knows that post All-Star Break is when pretenders and contenders will be separated.
That means six more games up in Minnesota after the Break, as well as eight games with Boston, three in New York, four with the Rays, and two West Coast trips which have always been dream killers for the South Siders.
The one week that caught Buehrle's eye, however? Hell week, starting Aug. 24. The Sox travel to Fenway for four, three at the new Yankee Stadium and then three in the House of Horrors that is the Metrodome, only to come home and play a Sept. 3 make-up game with the Cubs, and their rat friends, at Wrigley Field.
"You look ahead and see the schedule, yes, it's not in our favor,'' Buehrle admitted. "We've got a tough schedule ahead of us, but we have to figure out what we're going to do by the [July 31] trade deadline, before the schedule gets tough like that. I don't know if [general manager Ken Williams] will put that in the picture when he decides what we're going to do.
"It's every other week with us. We play good and we're buyers, we play bad and we're sellers. I still think, I mean I don't know what Kenny is going to do, but it still seems like it will come down to how we play here the next couple weeks before the trade deadline and that will dictate what he's doing.''
What would Buehrle do?
"Well,'' he responded, "that's why I pitch every five days and let Kenny deal with that.''
His manager's take on the ballclub and where it is, well, that isn't much different. Ozzie Guillen isn't ready to go out and start printing playoff tickets just yet.
"When Kenny asked me about it, I was honest about it,'' Guillen said. "I said, 'Well Kenny, you got to give me another week to be honest with you because right now I'm confused.' And I told you guys in the media, I'm confused. I don't hide anything, that's my problem. I'm confused. One day we play good, three days we play bad. Of course I have to be confused, we were like 10 games under .500, that's not a good team. Or we a good team playing real bad.
"Little by little, we've started to hit better, the kids start contributing a little bit more, and they take the heat away from the big boys when they start doing more. Then [John] Danks and Gavin [Floyd] and [Clayton] Richard are starting to contribute by pitching well. To have Jose [Contreras] come back and pitch the way he has, it's like we traded for somebody. The ballclub right now is great. How long are we going to be great? Hopefully from now until November. That's my goal.
"My goal is to convince those guys we can win. My goal is to make those guys believe every day there's nobody better than us, even if they are.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 1, 2009 8:26 PM.

Ozzie to the Cubs? was the previous entry in this blog.

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