Guillen recalls Buehrle's leadership, work ethic

June 24th, 2017

CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen had good relationships with numerous players during his eight years as White Sox manager and one year with the Marlins. So it's difficult for him to pick a favorite.

But he certainly wouldn't argue having a rotation full of pitchers such as Mark Buehrle, who pitched for Guillen during his first season at the helm and his last.

"Like I always say, you have four guys like him, go out and pitch and don't worry about anything. Just throw the ball, get people out and have fun," said Guillen before Saturday's ceremony to retire Buehrle's jersey No. 56 at a sold out Guaranteed Rate Field.

"I've never seen him upset. I never seen him overreact," Guillen added. "Day in and day out, he was the same guy. That's what makes him so special. His teammates loved him."

Guillen and Jerry Manuel, the managers during Buehrle's 12-year tenure with the White Sox, both were in attendance Saturday. Jim Thome, Joe Crede, Scott Podsednik, Jon Garland, Cliff Politte and were a few of Buehrle's former teammates who were part of the festivities. Hall of Famer Frank Thomas took the redeye from Los Angeles to Chicago and was one of four speakers before Buehrle.

"I could talk for two or three hours about this guy. I don't need paper," Thomas said. "When you look up a baseball player, there should be a picture of Mark Buehrle in the dictionary. I'm honored to be here on his behalf."

In explaining Buehrle's success, Guillen mentioned many different pitchers with better stuff than the southpaw, but said that there were not too many guys with the same heart. Guillen was equally happy to watch Buehrle's family share the moment.

"Their family is awesome. I know how tight Buehrle is with his family -- father and mom. They go with him everywhere," Guillen said. "It's nice for them, they got the opportunity to live this moment. That's awesome. To be part of my kid's number retired, not too many parents had the luxury and the luck they have. To see them watching this is outstanding.

"He always was positive. Buehrle was a very quiet leader. He didn't want to get involved in too many things. But when he got involved people listened to him. He was a regular guy, and it speaks very well for these fans, White Sox fans. Blue-collar guy."