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White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle not sure if it’s goodbye for him

Tyler Flowers

Tyler Flowers

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Updated: January 8, 2012 1:15AM

There might be tears in the stands Tuesday from his family, but left-hander Mark Buehrle is hoping to keep his emotions in check in what might be his last start for the White Sox.

‘‘To be honest, I’m not trying to blow it off, but I’m not trying to make a big deal of it,’’ said Buehrle, 32, who will become a free agent after a
12-year career with the Sox. ‘‘I know family and friends are. I’m getting a lot of text messages from friends, saying, ‘Enjoy it. Soak everything in.’

‘‘But there’s not a 100 percent chance that I’m not coming back, so I’m not going to do this big farewell tour. I might get emotional a little bit, but I’m not trying to because I could be back here next year.’’

Buehrle, who has a World Series ring, two no-hitters (one a perfect game) and 160 victories, will test the market for the first time after the Sox didn’t try to re-sign him during the season.

‘‘I think they have to sit down and see which way they want to go with the team — trade some guys and go younger or try to sign some guys back,’’ Buehrle said.

He said he hopes to play several more seasons and will seek a two- or three-year contract in free agency. And he repeated his desire to stay with the Sox.

‘‘But they have a business standpoint, and they spent money this year and we didn’t get to where we should have been,’’ he said.

Buehrle must pitch two innings tonight against the Blue Jays to reach 200 for an 11th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the majors.

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