Buehrle bids to be Cardinals manager

Buehrle bids to be Cardinals manager

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mark Buehrle's strong support of the St. Louis Cardinals has been one of the worst-kept secrets in Chicago since he began pitching for the White Sox in 2000.

But the hurler's latest attachment to his favorite team comes with an altruistic motive in mind.

At an offseason auction to benefit Albert Pujols' foundation, Buehrle put in the winning bid to be the "Cardinals Manager for a Day" for a Spring Training contest in Florida. Buehrle bid $10,000, and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa matched Buehrle's offer.

The intent of this bid all along was for Buehrle and his wife, Jamie, to present this prize to Mickey Cunningham, a girl with Down's syndrome, and her mother, Karen. White Sox general manager Ken Williams originally seemed stunned by the news when apprised of the situation during his Tuesday session with the media, but before realizing Buehrle already had presented the prize to the Cunningham family, Williams seemed all for the native of St. Charles, Mo., taking over the Cardinals' managerial reins for one day.

"We have to make that happen. That would be hilarious," said Williams, after first checking with assistant general manager Rick Hahn to make sure there would be no tampering concerns. "I would give him the day off in Spring Training to go out and do it."

Williams didn't seem quite as excited about the Orange County Chopper custom made for Buehrle in honor of his perfect game thrown against the Rays. Although Buehrle told MLB.com before Thanksgiving that he had not heard from the White Sox about the motorcycle gift commissioned by his wife, Williams will be placing a call to him soon.

"I'm not so much in a good mood anymore," said Williams, who claimed he had heard nothing about the motorcycle previously.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.