Crosstown debate: Wood or Buehrle?

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Crosstown debate: Wood or Buehrle?

By Luke Stuckmeyer
CSNChicago.com

They are two of Chicago's most popular pitchers over the last 20 years. Cubs fans love Kerry Wood. White Sox fans embrace Mark Buehrle. A flame-throwing righty and a crafty lefty. The comparison is an interesting one.

Buehrle's case is simple: One World Series ring, a perfect game and a no-hitter. He's been dependable and consistent while mastering the art of pitching. He won't leave you in awe, but he will leave you scratching your head.

Wood's case is more complicated: He has one of the single-greatest pitching performances in baseball history (20 strikeouts on May 6, 1998 vs. Houston), but no World Series ring. A starter and reliever with plenty of injuries and even more unfulfilled dreams.

Let's start by throwing out wins and losses. It doesn't work here and it's not the best way to determine a quality pitcher. Buehrle has more career wins (164 and counting to Wood's 86), but he's never been a reliever. Besides, both have a winning percentage hovering around the .500 mark (.534 Wood to .571 Buehrle).

So, ERA would be the next logical step, and once again it's extremely close: 3.67 in 1,380 innings for Wood to 3.81 in 2,530 23 for Buehrle. Wood has more strikeouts (1,582-1,425), while Buehrle has more All-Star games (4-2).

Winning is the ultimate goal, but you don't win a World Series by yourself. Wood had a chance to get his team there, but couldn't close the door in Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS against the Florida Marlins. Yes, I'm doing more flipping and flopping that a smallmouth bass on a pier.

Here's another question to ponder: would you take the 20-K game or Buehrle's no-hitter and perfect game? There have been 274 other no-hitters in baseball history and 20 other perfect games. Perfect, yes, but 20 others. Wood's one-hitter came in his fifth major-league start and 20 strikeouts in a game has only been done one other time. Ever. Oh, and he was 20-years-old.

One performance is perfect. The other one is dominant.

I give up.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls welcome Cavaliers to town

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls welcome Cavaliers to town

In the latest installment of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, the panel previews the Bulls' matchup against the Cavaliers. 

Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David Schuster (670 The Score) and Kendall Gill to break down the keys to a Bulls win. Later, Vincent Goodwill (CSNChicago.com) joins Luke to discuss the team's progress. 

Finally, LeBron James pays off his World Series bet and the entire media world is there to see it. 

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: 

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.