Buehrle has a ball on Late Show
Fresh off perfecto, lefty joined by mates during Top 10 list
MINNEAPOLIS -- Clearly, the trappings of fame have changed the affable and laid-back Mark Buehrle.
Known as one of the most unassuming, unaffected superstars in the game of baseball, Buehrle showed off a slightly altered attitude following his network television debut prior to Monday's game at the Metrodome.
"You guys want to talk to me?" said Buehrle, addressing a couple of Chicago media members as they approached his locker. "Sorry, I only talk to David Letterman now."
With that comment, the sardonic Buehrle flashed a broad smile and began to talk about what could be his once-in-a-lifetime experience. Buehrle was the special guest for the Late Show with David Letterman's Top 10 list, an entertainment staple for close to three decades.
Buehrle read nine of the 10 entries in the Letterman comedy bit, with the subject, of course, centering on the White Sox left-hander hurling the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history against the Rays on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field. The Top 10 list was scheduled to air during Monday's show and met with Buehrle's approval.
"I think when I first got them, I was like, 'These aren't really that funny,'" said Buehrle of the Top 10 entries. "But it helps with the crowd laughing and Letterman saying stuff in between. They really could have been dying-laughing funny, and I wouldn't have thought that because I had to read them."
Although Buehrle was the focus, he was joined for that one remaining response by Dewayne Wise and Josh Fields. Wise arguably made the most famous catch in franchise history, taking away Gabe Kapler's bid for a home run leading off the ninth inning with a leaping grab over the left-center-field wall on the dead run, while Fields' grand slam provided Buehrle all the run support he would need in that historic effort.
Wise admitted that he had a bit of a misstep in his first taste of true fame, but that mistake will never be seen on the show.
"That's good because it was ugly," said a laughing Wise of the re-take. "We blew it. I blew it today. The lady, during rehearsal, she was telling us when to come in and when to say it. I was a little quicker than Josh, and I left before Josh did, so that's why we had to re-do it."
With the Letterman appearance now behind them, Fields returned his focus to Glen Perkins and the Twins on Monday as the White Sox starting designated hitter. Buehrle, meanwhile, takes the mound against the Twins on Tuesday night.
As memorable as Thursday's effort was for Buehrle, everyone in the White Sox organization and really the entire game of baseball, his last start at the Metrodome on the day before the All-Star break stuck in the All-Star's mind for a different reason. Buehrle allowed eight runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings during the 13-7 loss to the Twins on July 12.
But where Buehrle's demeanor is concerned, it's hard to tell the difference between making history and a rare disaster. Truth be told, fame hasn't changed Buehrle one bit, or for that matter, how he goes about his business. He simply has a Letterman appearance to add to a pair of no-hitters on the list of surprises he never expected to achieve during his accomplished career.
"I wasn't as nervous leading up to it," Buehrle said. "I only screwed up one word, so it's not too bad."
"It was fun, and we'll see how it turns out," Fields said. "I did some SportsCenter stuff on ESPN [as a quarterback for Oklahoma State], but I don't think anything is David Letterman. He's known, I have no idea how far he's known, at least in our nation; most everyone watches most nights. So, I would say that's probably the coolest thing."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.