CLEVELAND - The White Sox will face Mark Buehrle Monday night for the first time since he left the club as a free agent after the 2011 season. For Paul Konerko, the at-bats will be strange for "one of the best teammates I've ever had.''
"We'll go out there and we have a job to do but we won't mind when it's over, either,'' Konerko said.
"I'm sure he'll make it humorous. You got to be ready. He might throw an eefus pitch or something like that. He's not afraid to screw around out there.''
"I know Mark. He'll have fun with it. It will be tough to keep a straight face for I'm sure a pitch or two.''
Konerko said he's sure Buehrle still has feelings for the Sox, for whom he pitched 12 seasons and was a fan favorite.
"Most people when they play against their old team, they know it's something they got to do,'' Konerko said. "But it's not something they look forward to. They just want to kind of get it over with.''
Buehrle stayed with former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen by signing the Marlins, then was traded to Toronto on Nov. 19.
Buehrle hasn't lasted more than 5 1/3 innings in two starts, allowing six earned runs against Cleveland and five against Detroit. The Jays won both games, however.
Gavin Floyd will oppose Buehrle on the mound for the Sox.
"Regardless of what happens today, we have to make sure we go out and try to win that ballgame,'' Konerko said. "We've lost a few here so we got to, if we got on track today, let's try to keep on track tomorrow night. If we don't win today, then we really have to get going.''
Konerko said Buehrle was one of the best teammates he's had in his career.
"Just one of those guys that kind of rallies the whole team,'' he said. "As a starting pitcher, sometimes you only see those guys on the days they pitch. They are there but they are not totally involved with everything going on with the team all the time. It's kind of the nature of that job.
"With Mark, he was like one of the position players there every day. On the bench, and with guys constantly. Pulling for guys. And off the field stuff, constantly setting up dinners and outings with guys and that kind of stuff. So really a good team guy, a good clubhouse guy.''