From Magglio Ordonez to Jim Thome, the White Sox don't have the best track record of letting popular players go with grace.
But in the Post-Ozzie Guillen Era, the White Sox are 1-for-1. Mark Buehrle and the White Sox part ways without either side feeling slighted.
Even though Jerry Reinsdorf sort of got in his own way by pointing out that Buehrle "is not a Hall of Fame pitcher by any means" while attempting to lavish praise on Buehrle, he and Kenny Williams ultimately wished their stalwart lefty well. Apparently, the feelings are mutual. Chuck Garfien (who fared well on the Buehrle beat from start to finish) talked to Buehrle, and it was all warm and fuzzy:
"I think I’ll always be a Chicago White Sox no matter what happens from here on out," Buehrle said Sunday in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. "I kind of told some people, I said, ‘It’s just a 4-year break. I’ll be back before you know it.’ Maybe I’ll be playing, maybe just bugging people in the clubhouse, just coming through getting fat and drinking a beer, having fun and watching the game as a fan. It’s just a 4-year break, and I’ll be back before you know it." [...]
"I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to retire after these 4 years, or that I’m looking for another 4-year contract, or a 1-year deal, because you know where that got me. If I’m feeling healthy in the end, I’ll come back and maybe play 1 more year and finish out in Chicago."
It's also funny to hear Buehrle acknowledge that he probably overdid it with the early retirement talk. But hey, new dads are awfully sentimental.
You can lump in Brooks Boyer with the rest of the White Sox organization, as they all appear unsure how to proceed into next season. They have cut some season-ticket prices (although the Pick 14 plan may not reflect real savings), and he has a slogan in mind, but as for the overall approach, Boyer told Mark Gonzales, "From Feburary to April, we'll have a good idea where we want to go."
After all the advertising talk, I thought Gonzales' last two paragraphs were the most interesting part:
The reason [for rebuilding] stems largely from a collection of underachieving performances that resulted in the Sox's third consecutive non-playoff season and a shortfall of 500,000 in projected 2011 home attendance that was needed to support a $127 million payroll.
Therefore, if any veteran requests a trade, it would behoove him to play to the level Williams, the organization and the fans anticipated last season, instead of staying in the abyss of mediocrity that put the Sox in this back-of-the-class situation.
If this pertains to the mystery veteran from last week, then my guess is still good.
Even though he's off the White Sox beat for Baseball America, Phil Rogers still gets attached to his crafty pitching prospects:
It's hard to argue that the Sox have enough minor league pitching depth to risk losing an overachiever like Terry Doyle for $50,000. The Twins landed the 26-year-old right-hander with the second pick in the Rule 5 draft and will give him a chance to win a job on their staff next season, possibly even in the rotation.
Somewhere, the ghosts of Lance Broadway and Heath Phillips stir.