Baseball

Rivals bow to perfection

Mark Buehrle admits he’s a bad client for the national television hosts who want him on their talk shows, because he doesn’t like cameras in his face.

But Buehrle relishes the support he has received from opponents – from the Philadelphia players who cheered for him while watching his perfect game on television Thursday to the Tampa Bay players who were the victims of his perfect game.

(Rays pitcher) “David Price wrote me a note and said, ‘Hey, it was an awesome game to watch and to be a part of history. It was an awesome game, congrats,’” Buehrle said. “Just all that kind of stuff, it makes you feel good that guys recognize it.”

Buehrle said he wouldn’t have consented to participating on “Late Night with David Letterman” on Monday night unless teammates Dewayne Wise and Josh Fields participated in reading the host’s Top 10 list. Wise made a perfect game-saving catch and Fields had a grand slam in the 5-0 victory.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to because I don’t like reading that much stuff,” said Buehrle, who said he declined an invitation to fly to Southern California for the “Tonight Show” with Conan O’Brien because “that’s just too much national television stuff, the camera getting in front of my face. I’m not into all that.”

Left fielders set for Hall

Rickey Henderson knew what was expected every time he batted. So, too, did Jim Rice.

“Some way, I was going to scratch to get on base to steal that base,” Henderson said. “I steal that base, my day was good. My pride and joy was coming across the plate.”

Said Rice: “Believe me, I wasn’t paid to walk. I was paid to try to do some damage.”

Each player – Henderson, the quintessential leadoff man with an infectious smile, and Rice, the consummate power hitter with an icy glare – inflicted more than his share of damage on opponents, and they will be duly recognized for their considerable career accomplishments today when they are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The pair will be the first inductees to primarily play left field since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski went into the Hall in 1989.

Former Yankees and Indians second baseman Joe Gordon, elected posthumously by the Veterans Committee, also will be inducted.

Cubs’ Lilly on DL

The Chicago Cubs placed left-hander Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

Lilly also expects to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday to repair an injury he thinks is unrelated to the shoulder problem. The Cubs hope their All-Star will miss only four or five starts and return in mid-August.

With Lilly out, Chicago called up right-handed reliever Justin Berg from Triple-A Iowa before Saturday’s game against Cincinnati. Kevin Hart was scheduled to start Saturday and Thursday in Lilly’s place.

“One of the most frustrating things is we’re right there,” said Lilly, who’s 9-7 with a 3.59 ERA. “We’ve got a chance to move into the lead in this division.”

Lilly is going on the DL just as Ryan Dempster is scheduled to be activated in time to start Tuesday.

Short hops

Gary Sheffield is headed to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, adding to the rash of substantial injuries that has wrecked the New York Mets’ season. The Mets placed Sheffield on the 15-day DL and recalled left-hander Jonathan Niese from Triple-A Buffalo to start Saturday night against Houston. Sheffield was placed on the DL retroactive to July 18. The 40-year-old Sheffield leads the team with 10 homers and is batting .286 with 36 RBI in 75 games. … The Milwaukee Brewers have placed Seth McClung on the 15-day disabled list after the right-hander felt discomfort in his right elbow. The Brewers called the injury a sprain and didn’t provide a timetable for his return. … The Philadelphia Phillies placed reliever Clay Condrey on the disabled list Saturday, further depleting a bullpen racked by injuries. Condrey is the third reliever to land on the DL this week, joining J.C. Romero (forearm) and Chad Durbin (back). Condrey has a strained muscle on his left side, the same injury that sidelined him for a month. … Former Mariners pitcher Freddy Garcia will make his first minor-league rehabilitation start Monday for Chicago White Sox Class-A affiliate Kannapolis, N.C., against Rome, Ga.

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