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

Buehrle St. Louis bound

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340x.jpgKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mark Buehrle is finally going to play in St. Louis.
Breath easy White Sox fans, he still has to return to the South Side for the second half of the season.
A life-long Cardinals fan, Buehrle was named the lone representative from the Sox to make the July 14 All-Star Game played in St. Louis' Busch Stadium.
Buehrle, who grew up in nearby St. Charles, Mo., was already discussing the ticket load that will have to be met, considering the number of family members that will want to take the short drive for the mid-Summer's Classic.
"Well, I had a head start on it early when the list came up in Chicago,'' Buehrle said. [Traveling secretary] Eddie [Cassin] helped me out with getting a lot. I think I had 26 previously. I talked to [former Sox pitcher Jon] Garland, and he got me 10 extra. I'm still trying to get stuff for the immediate family.''
Of course Buehrle was already hearing the jokes in the clubhouse about will he try on a Cardinals jersey while he's there, or would he start negotiating his next contract with St. Louis since he's in town. That was to be expected since he had been in the headlines numerous times telling St. Louis representatives in annual offseason award dinners that he eventually wanted to be a Cardinal.
Enough so that general manager Ken Williams even got angered by it after there was a picture of Buehrle in a Cardinals hat at the 2006 World Series.
Buehrle signed a contract extension through 2011, and then who knows what his future holds. That doesn't mean he won't be embracing the St. Louis experience come next week.
"It will be,'' Buehrle responded when asked if the entire homecoming would be surreal. "[His wife] Jamie just asked me if I wanted [son] Braden to go. I would like for him to be there because this could be the last time I go [to an All-Star Game] before I'm done with baseball. Hopefully I can get him down in the clubhouse and get some pictures with him so he can remember this moment.''
Buehrle leads all Sox pitchers with an 8-2 record, while his 3.09 ERA is also best among the starters. He anchors a pitching staff that was second in the American League in ERA with a 3.94, while the starting staff is also second with a 4.02 ERA.
Yes, that made the now four-time All-Star surprised that he was the only Sox player going.
"It seems we could have had at least one or two guys go, especially in pitching, and there are a couple of guys from the offense,'' Buehrle said. "But that's the way it happens.''
Buehrle mentioned Jermaine Dye and Bobby Jenks as several players that were worthy of the call, but also reliever Matt Thornton.
"Thornton is one of those guys, if anybody, I would like to see him go, just a middle reliever and those guys don't get recognized that much,'' Buehrle said. "Everyone else around the league hasn't really seen what he has done for this team.''
As far as the week leading up to the game, Buehrle is scheduled for two more starts, including the first-half finale game against Minnesota, but said that Tuesday would be his side day to throw anyway, so would be available to pitch for the AL Team.
"I think it will soak in more once I get there, being home, and tons of friends and family are going to be there,'' Buehrle added. "Just playing in Busch Stadium, it will all sink in more when I get there.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 5, 2009 1:42 PM.

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