CLEVELAND -- Mark Buehrle's franchise-record ninth Opening Day start with the White Sox also could be his last one thrown for the South Siders. The talented southpaw is playing in the final season of a four-year, $56 million extension.
This current deal was agreed upon during the 2007 season. But Buehrle isn't concerned as to whether history can repeat itself contractually with a multiyear extension during the 2011 campaign.
"I have no idea. I don't know which route the team's going," said Buehrle, who will throw the first pitch of the White Sox season some time after 2:05 p.m. CT on Friday against the Indians. "I don't know if they have some young guys they want to bring up instead of bringing me back, I have no clue.
"I'm not too concerned about it. I'm going to go out there every five days, and if talks do happen, I'm sure my agent will let me know or the White Sox will let me know, and we'll go from there."
Buehrle got on White Sox captain Paul Konerko quite a bit last year as he was playing in his final season of a five-year, $60 million deal. Konerko agreed upon a new three-year, $37.5 million deal to return during this past offseason and joked at SoxFest about how Buehrle was now the center of free-agent attention. But Buehrle doesn't expect to get much grief from Konerko on this matter.
"No. I told you, I have something on him so he can't get on me too much," said Buehrle with a mischievous smile. "And if he ever does, I'll let it leak, and we'll have a nice story."
Snow cancels Thursday's workout in Cleveland
CLEVELAND -- There was supposed to be a White Sox workout held at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday in preparation for Friday's 2011 season opener against the Indians.
Snow covering Progressive Field altered those plans. Instead, the White Sox did their work inside the stadium, while still taking some time to engage in a few snowball fights and -- for Mark Buehrle, Alex Rios, Ramon Castro and third-base coach Jeff Cox -- to build an on-field snowman.
Manager Ozzie Guillen bristled at the idea of two Midwest teams playing against each other to start the season. But he quickly pointed out how the chilly climate cannot be used as an excuse.
"You want to play in nice weather? Sign with the NBA -- you play indoors and you are fine," Guillen said. "You play baseball, you will play in rain, snow, hot and humid. I don't expect my players making any excuses or complaining about it. We know it's cold. We all know that. That's two teams out there battling."
Omar Vizquel, who played 11 seasons as the Indians' shortstop, said the snow and cold are nothing new for April in Cleveland.
"I remember a few years in a row where it was getting hard to get to the ballpark because of the snow," Vizquel said. "There were trucks moving snow around right before the game. That's the baseball in Cleveland in April."
Friday's forecast calls for 46 degrees and sunny skies, with a 30 percent chance for rain or snow showers on Saturday. Sunday's forecast is also clear.
Opener in Cleveland special for Vizquel
CLEVELAND -- When Omar Vizquel took an early look at the 2011 regular-season schedule, the opening three-game set at Progressive Field immediately caught his eye.
"I said, 'Oh, wow. Opening Day in Cleveland. That will be a special thing for me in particular,'" Vizquel said. "Everybody knows my best years were here in Cleveland and how special everything went when we had those teams."
Vizquel turns 44 on April 24 and sits just 201 hits short of 3,000 for his illustrious career entering his 23rd big league season. Eleven of those years were spent with the dominant Cleveland squads of the '90s.
"It's going to be a really, really great, emotional moment for me," Vizquel said. "I'm going to start remembering all those years, all the banners around the ballpark. It's going to be great."
Third to first
Alexei Ramirez's sore lower back will not keep him out of Friday's action, according to manager Ozzie Guillen. "Ramirez is fine," Guillen said. ... Friday's opening White Sox lineup features Juan Pierre in left, Gordon Beckham at second, Adam Dunn as the designated hitter, Paul Konerko at first base, Alex Rios in center, Carlos Quentin in right, A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate, Ramirez at shortstop and rookie Brent Morel at third base behind Mark Buehrle.