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updated: 6/10/2013 11:52 PM

Buehrle gets a taste of home

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  • Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle, former Chicago White Sox ace, sits in the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, June 10, 2013, in Chicago. Buehrle returned to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time after leaving the White Sox at the end of the 2011 season.

      Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle, former Chicago White Sox ace, sits in the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, June 10, 2013, in Chicago. Buehrle returned to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time after leaving the White Sox at the end of the 2011 season.
    Associated Press

  • Video: Buehrle on return

 
 

Mark Buehrle spent Sunday night in his old neighborhood in suburban Lemont.

On Monday, he ate lunch at a favorite haunt, made the familiar drive to work and everything seemed pretty much the same as he walked into U.S. Cellular Field.

"It felt normal," Buehrle said. "The only thing that was different was walking in that door, and walk past it to come in here (visitor's clubhouse). It's a little different, being on this side. Here I am."

Buehrle pitched for the White Sox from 2000-11 before exiting as a free agent and signing a four-year, $58 million contract with the Marlins.

But when Miami decided to fire former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and dump payroll after going 69-93 last season, Buehrle was traded to the Blue Jays.

Toronto is in town for a three-game series against the White Sox, but Buehrle isn't going to start.

The 34-year-old lefty ranks sixth in franchise history with 161 career wins, he pitched a no-hitter and a perfect game at the Cell and he was a key cog on the 2005 World Series championship team.

Given his success and immense popularity, Buehrle is a prime candidate to have his uniform No. 56 retired by the Sox when his playing days end.

"I've got two years left," Buehrle said. "After that, I don't know what holds. I could be done. I could keep on playing. But time will come. If it happens, it will be a great honor but I'm not looking forward to it or planning on something happening. If it happens, I'll be here and take it with pride and soak it in. Only time will tell."

After the top of the first inning, the White Sox welcomed Buehrle back with a video tribute.

"I was here for so long," said Buehrle, who is 2-4 with a 5.06 ERA for the Blue Jays this season. "That's something to reflect on whenever I come back and I'm retired. I can look back on memories and stuff that I've missed. Right now I'm concentrating on getting ready for Texas in a couple of days."

Buehrle said he plans to catch up with all of his old teammates and White Sox staff over the next few days.

"He was awesome from Day 1," Sox starter Chris Sale said of Buehrle. "He joked around actually the day that I came in, my signing day. He said, 'This is going to be the guy who takes my job one day.' He was great from Day 1."

Draft doings:

Tim Anderson, the White Sox' first-round draft pick (No. 17 overall) last week, tweeted he'll be flying to Chicago Tuesday and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

If he's coming to Chicago, Anderson is likely to get a physical and the Sox could announce a signing.

Anderson, a 19-year-old shortstop, batted .495 with 10 home runs, 11 triples, 18 doubles, 62 runs scored and 41 stolen bases for East Central (Miss.) Community College this season.

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