Mandel’s Musings – Scott’s Take on Buerlhe, Trade Deadlines, and Brett

Published on: 29th July, 2009


Mandel's Musings - Scott's Take on Buerlhe, Trade Deadlines, and Brett  | read this item

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New York – Just one man’s opinion on this little diversion we call sports.

I don’t know about you but for my money, the 45 consecutive batters retired by White Sox pitcher Mark Buerlhe is one of the great records in baseball history. For the past 71 years, Johnny Vander Meer’s record of consecutive no-hitters has been viewed in baseball as virtually un-breakable. I mean, how can a major league pitcher possibly throw three no-hitters in a row, let alone two, to break Vander Meer’s record?


But, here came Buerlhe, pitching only the 18th perfect game in baseball history last July 24th against the Tampa Bay Rays then, astoundingly, going into the sixth inning last night against the Twins retiring the first 17 batters without a base runner. Buehrle (11-4) lost what would have been his second straight perfect game and his no-hitter with two outs in the sixth when he walked Alexi Casilla on a close call with two outs in the sixth. He then gave up a single to centerfield by Denard Spann and, as they say, that was the end of that. He wound up allowing five runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings, taking the loss in a 5-3 decision. The 45 in a row without allowing as much as a base runner will stand forever, in my opinion. The degree of difficulty is just too great for anyone to approach it. Vander Meer’s no-hit record has lasted for 71 years. This will go longer.


 The baseball trade deadline of July 31st is fast approaching and there are rumors galore spreading like wildfire among baseball’s brethren. Which players are going to be moving and which teams are buyers or sellers. The buyers believe they still have a chance at making the post-season playoffs while the sellers have decided to start getting ready for next season by shopping their high-salaried players to contenders, hoping to get younger, cheaper prospects in return.


The interesting thing about this years’ rumor mill has been the clear focus on pitching that encompasses most of the trade discussions. The names we’re hearing over the past few weeks are players like Jarrod Washburn, Scott Kazmir, Brian Bannister, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Ian Snell, Cliff Lee, and the uber-rumor of all, Roy Halladay. All pitchers with teams out of the race by July. How sad for fans of these teams but now, the opportunities are there to re-build their franchises with young players. 


Oh, there’ve been a few position guys talked about, guys like Jack Wilson of Pittsburgh but the focus on pitching shows the thinking within baseball’s front offices that pitching is always the key component to building a contending club. Yes, it’s great to have big-boppers like Adam Dunn (for whom the market has quieted) but you don’t win with 35 homer, .250 hitting, defensively-challenged first basemen. You win by having golden arms on the mound.  


Hey Brett, thanks for the great games, the championships, the sheer love of the sport you exhibited your entire career. Now, please go away.

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