Larry Brown Sports- In the midst of a 5-5 deadlock in the 7th inning, Buehrle approached Cooper, styrofoam cup in hand.
“I look in it, there’s a beer in there,” Cooper told SportsTalk Live. “It wasn’t uncommon for guys on the 2005 staff, the starters when they weren’t pitching, to enjoy a cocktail from time to time.”
Buehrle then asked if the team needed him to pitch, to which Cooper replied, “Heck no, we’re trying to win this game. We don’t want you in it.”
What Cooper didn’t envision was that the game would go 14 innings, leaving Buehrle as the last available pitcher for the White Sox. Nursing a two-run lead in the bottom of the 14th, Damaso Marte put the tying run on base and sure enough, Buehrle was summoned to record the final out.
“No telling how many beers he had before that,” quipped Cooper. Nevertheless, Buehrle got Adam Everett to pop out after throwing just three pitches, and he picked up the alcohol-fueled save. In a Game 3 of the World Series to boot. The White Sox would go onto complete the sweep in Game 4 to claim The Commissioner’s Trophy.
You know what I always find funny? When these billion dollar professional sports organizations fine or suspend players for smoking a little pot, or getting their nostrils dusty with a little bit of nose candy. Why don't we stick to punishing players that are ruining the integrity of the game? Players that are enhancing their performance through substance abuse. I'll tell you right now, if the scenario is pitching in the 14th inning of a World Series game, the guy that drank a couple of beers is going to be the one that performs the best. Shit, a couple of beers to the blood stream are basically instant steroids.
As my hockey 'career' 'progressed' into my mid-20's, I always had the same rule with my coach. I was always allowed to have two beers before a big game. Two beers don't get you drunk. They just ease your mind. They put you in a good place. They work the nerves out and loosen you up a bit. Can't go into a pressurized situation feeling tight and tense. Now sure, beer doesn't help you throw more accurately or actually enhance any of your 'tools', but I'll be damned if it doesn't give you the confidence to use the ones you do have more effectively. Hell, I bet you Buehrle wasn't throwing any slower after activating his beer muscles. He definitely wasn't overthinking any of his pitches. He just hit the rubber and did what he does best, and that is throw the damn baseball. It may just be a mental thing, but if my experiences are any indication, then it's a mental thing that is a sure fire way to get the best out of all athletes at any given time. Time tested theory. Science doesn't lie. Just ask World Series champion Mark Buehrle.