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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Mark Buehrle drank beer during 2005 World Series game he pitched in


Baseball players have been known to let themselves go in the clubhouse on occasion and pop open a cold one, especially on days when they’re not in the lineup. From the mythical stories of Babe Ruth hitting 714 home runs on a steady diet of hot dogs and beer to the more recent tales of players like Jon Lester and also Roger Clemens and Jason Giambi enjoying a brew, we have heard these for years. It is a practice that is purportedly most common amongst starting pitchers enjoying an off-day. Well apparently, Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle took the tradition and brought it to the World Series.

Chicago White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper shared the great anecdote with SportsTalk Live on Comcast SportsNet on Monday. Buehrle, then with the White Sox, was the ace of the staff in 2005 and played a key role in their championship run that year. He fired seven strong innings against the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the World Series as Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 series lead. Buehrle probably decided to reward himself on his day off during Game 3, and that’s where things got interesting according to Cooper.

In the midst of a 5-5 deadlock in the 7th inning, Buehrle approached Cooper, styrofoam cup in hand.

“I look in it, there’s a beer in there,” Cooper told SportsTalk Live. “It wasn’t uncommon for guys on the 2005 staff, the starters when they weren’t pitching, to enjoy a cocktail from time to time.”

Buehrle then asked if the team needed him to pitch, to which Cooper replied, “Heck no, we’re trying to win this game. We don’t want you in it.”

What Cooper didn’t envision was that the game would go 14 innings, leaving Buehrle as the last available pitcher for the White Sox. Nursing a two-run lead in the bottom of the 14th, Damaso Marte put the tying run on base and sure enough, Buehrle was summoned to record the final out.

“No telling how many beers he had before that,” quipped Cooper. Nevertheless, Buehrle got Adam Everett to pop out after throwing just three pitches, and he picked up the alcohol-fueled save. In a Game 3 of the World Series to boot. The White Sox would go onto complete the sweep in Game 4 to claim The Commissioner’s Trophy.

Buehrle still has nothing on Dock Ellis or even the infamous Barry Bonds pitcher. But even so, the image of Buehrle in the clubhouse, pants unbuckled, getting the call and telling Bobby Jenks “Hold my beer,” is a riot either way.

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