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Guillen, Buehrle have good memories of Tucson
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/26/2010 12:01 AM

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PEORIA, Ariz. - Ozzie Guillen couldn't wait to get back to where it all started.

So instead of heading to Tucson, Ariz., on Friday morning for Cactus League games against the Diamondbacks and Rockies on Saturday, Guillen made the trip down I-10 right after the White Sox lost to the Padres in an exhibition game Thursday.

"I love the city of Tucson, I do," Guillen said. "It has special memories."

Before moving camp to Glendale last spring, the Sox trained in Tucson from 1998-2008. Guillen took over as the Sox' manager in 2004.

"The city was great for us and for spring training," Guillen said. "Believe me, I had a great time there. Unfortunately, there are only two teams staying there. It's hard for them to travel (up) here."

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are still training in Tucson, but both teams are moving up to the Phoenix area next spring.

Mark Buehrle remembers his first major-league camp with the White Sox. It was in 2000 in Tucson.

"I had a great couple years down there and can't say anything bad about being down there," Buehrle said. "At the same time, being up here is so much nicer with the travel and the facility. It's not like we went from a good place to a worse place. We went from a good place to a better place."

Quick reflexes: Mark Buehrle won his first Gold Glove last season and he showed why during Thursday's Cactus League start against the Padres.

In the first inning, San Diego's Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a hard liner up the middle and Buehrle's life appeared to be in jeopardy. But the 31-year-old lefty snared the drive for the out.

"It was one of those where I didn't see it at first," Buehrle said. "I mean I saw it but didn't see it. It was one of those reaction plays."

Buehrle worked 5 innings against the Padres and allowed 2 unearned runs on 5 hits while throwing just 68 pitches. Afterward, he went to the bullpen for more work.

"Coop (pitching coach Don Cooper) said there were four guys to throw two or three innings, so I went down and threw another 20 or 25 pitches, got up to 90," Buehrle said. "The next (start) is a back-off five (innings), 75ish (pitches) and be ready for Opening Day."

Sox sign Elarton: The Kansas City Star reported the White Sox agreed to a minor-league contract with 34-year-old pitcher Scott Elarton.

The 6-foot-7 right-hander last pitched in 2008, when he was 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in 8 games with the Indians. On July 8 of that season, Elarton was placed on the disabled list for non-baseball issues.

Elarton's best season came in 2000 when he was 17-7 (4.81 ERA) with the Astros.