Friday, July 24, 2009

Wise Guy

This morning sports fans are all talking about Mark Buehrle. They’re probably not as familiar with DeWayne Wise. And that’s too bad.

The White Sox pitcher achieved perfection yesterday. He retired 27 straight Tampa Bay Rays. No runs, no hits, no errors. Hell, no baserunners.

But it wouldn’t have happened without Wise. Or, I suppose, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

Guillen inserted Wise in center field in the ninth inning for defensive purposes. It didn’t take long for Guillen to look like a genius, and Wise to win the award for best performance in a supporting role.

Wise likely wasn’t even warmed up when the Rays’ Gabe Kapler led off the ninth with a rocket to left-center. This one had home run written all over it. That’s when Wise got involved. On a dead sprint, he leaped at the wall, extended his glove over the 8-foot expanse, and snared the shot. He turned a home run into an out, and preserved Buehrle’s date with history.

But he was not done. On the way down, Wise actually juggled the ball before snaring it with his bare hand.

Buehrle retired the final two batters easily.

It was the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, and the first since Randy Johnson uncorked one back in 2004.

And it was made possible by a perfect defensive play. “Wise” decision by that Ozzie Guillen.

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