Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson each spoke on conference calls with the media today, and… there was nothing terribly earth-shattering to come out of it– so much so that I wasn’t going to bring myself to write a whole post on it, until I tried stuffing a bunch of notes into a link dump and deciding that I could probably hack together what I’ve got into… something.
Mike Cormack of Sportsnet (@MikeCormack) has as comprehensive a group of tweets from the calls as you’ll find, so I’d suggest checking his feed out now, if you want a preview of the transcripts– and audio highlights, he says– that will likely come later.
Until then, here’s what’s worth knowing:
Both Buehrle– who calls Toronto one of his favourite cities to go to– and Johnson said all the right things about being excited to be here. “You’ve got to like your chances to get to the playoffs,” Buehrle, according to John Lott’s recap in the National Post, adding that he’s taking the deal “with open arms and looking forward to moving my career. I’m liking what Alex is doing with the team and the guys he signed … It’s going to be an exciting team.”
Meanwhile, Johnson explained that as soon as he slept on it, he was excited, echoing comments he made on the radio this morning with Brady and Lang on the Fan 590, where he said he was “extremely excited,” and told the hosts he’d just got Ricky Romero’s phone number and was looking forward to texting him and getting to know the guys on his new club– and that he thought it would be a much easier process thanks to the fact that he’s moving over from the Marlins with so many others. Lott has a post on just Johnson’s comments, also in the Post.
Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail quotes Buehrle as explaining that the week following the trade was a whirlwind, and that “I think it will sink in a little bit more once it gets closer, maybe once I travel to Toronto, find a place to live.”
Indeed, Buehrle hopes to move to the area, being quoted in Lott’s piece as explaining that “if the family has to stay home [in Florida] because of the dog and I go to Toronto by myself, then that’s going to be tough on her.”
That’s not always the case for Toronto athletes, which is great, but as you’re surely already aware, there’s a slight hiccup with that plan– the Buehrles’ ownership of pit bulls. Most of the stuff to come out of the conference calls, in fact– including the bulk of the Lott piece linked above– concerned his dogs, and the province’s ban on the breed.
Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, for example, writes about the complications due to the law, the fact that Buehrle and his wife are already contacting advocacy groups and looking into their options– including possibly living in Western New York. And at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks into the issue, explaining that there was a private members bill introduced to Ontario’s parliament– before Dalton McGuinty did whatever nonsense he did with prorogation– which was sponsored by members of all three parties, and that both the NDP and the Tories are interested in repealing the ban.
Most hilariously, Kyle Munzenrieder of the Miami New Times adds some not-at-all-bitter perspective, explaining that “upstate New York is right across a lake from Toronto. So maybe that’s an option, but then we realized we don’t really care about Mark Buehrle and his stupid dog, because maybe, just maybe if he hadn’t played like shit during his time in Miami no one would be in this position to start with.”
Uh… really? The numbers look pretty close to par for the course. What the hell did they expect???
Image via With Leather.