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.

Comments (75)

  1. “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.”

    God’s work. You’re doing God’s work son.

    No really that’s a nice summary. Personally I’m terrified of Rottweilers. How are those legal and not Pit Bulls? I know you shouldn’t bend rules for millionaires… but this is a millionaire who can throw a baseball. I say grant him an exemption. Maybe Rob Ford could push it through as one of his last official acts…

    • Rob Ford can’t grant jack shit in regards to a provincial law. Only Queen’s Park has the jurisdiction. Besides, Ford’s goodwill level is pretty fucking low.

      On another note, I never thought that I would see the word prorogation in a DJF post. Well done Stoeten.

    • Rottweilers are amongst the most mellow of dog breeds. They are exceptionally loyal. It is only the image of the Rottweiler guard dog that you are scared of.

  2. If Munchonreindeer isn’t careful, Anthopoulos may hear him and steal Stanton too.

  3. The ‘Miami New Times’ blog is a ridiculously, angry blogpost…Kyle needs to chill.

  4. You know, Beeston keeps alluding to a deal they had set up last year, involving pitching, that required approval for $$$ which apparently they received but the deal fell thru for some reason.
    Given how poorly, but not terribly, Cliff Lee was pitching for Philly in the midle of last year I have always wondered if it was him. Afetr all Lee makes 24m/yr and has 3 years left on that humonguous contract. Anybody ever here anythinbg?

    • He wasn’t pitching poorly at all. Just because his team wasn’t winning doesn’t mean he wasn’t being the total badass that Cliff Lee always is..

  5. JJ mentioned that his last 10 starts he finally felt good and he had his mechanics down: His last 12 starts 77 innings, 1.10 WHIP, 3.01 ERA, 8 K/9 inn, 2.3 K/BB and .617 OPS against – yes, please.

    Also, I heard a lot of “non-Toronto” media talk about “which Johnson will you get, the good 2010 or the 2011 diminished version”. Last year was not so bad for Johnson if you look at his game log:

    31 starts, 20 of which were QS, 10 of which were 1 ER or less, another 7 were 2 runs or less. He had 9 bad starts all year I think. Yeah, yeah, AL East coming, but the Nationals would have had the 2nd best offense in the ALE last year (post-Boston trade) and went 2 for 3 in QS vs them and Atlanta and Philly were Jays/O’s/Rays comparable and he went 4 for 4 and 3 for 4 respectively vs those two.

    He struggled vs. the Padres (2 of his shortest outings – maybe he was giving them a gift for his FA year), Dodgers, Dbags, and Brewers and 1 bad outing vs Phaillies and Nats each.

    • I had Josh Johnson on, I believe, two fantasy baseball teams this year. He was an easy buy-low guy after he blew his arm up in ’11. At the beginning of the year he was shitty (and yes, also against SD and their bitch lineup, but the quality starts and K’s were always there – not to mention he was lights out down the stretch (Seemingly – simply an “eye-test”. But yeah, fucking bang-on on that comment.

    • KLaw rated Johnson’s stuff as being pretty nasty towards the second half of the 2012 season. FB velo was sitting at 93 and touching 97, with a nasty slider.

      Interesting that Johnson only started throwing a hook last year. Should be interesting to see how he develops.

      For one thing, Johnson will be fucking motivated to pitch well next season. A big year in the AL East will translate into many extra millions on his next deal.

      • AA is going to have tough decisions to make. I wouldn’t mind gambling on signing him long term before he has an amazing season, if that is possible.

        • maybe we can sign him to some sort of contract that guarantee’s he stays with us for cheap as long as he’s pitching at an elite level but instantly becomes void if he’s not good

        • Not much of a gamble if he has an amazing season and it will cost you more then if you do it during spring training.

      • Yeah he seems to be coming up to speed after the surgery, which sometimes takes awhile. I would expect JJ to have a strong 2013, unless some other different injury crops up.

  6. Shit, Stoets, where do you find these fuckall bloggers?

  7. > “but as you’re surely already aware, there’s a slight hiccup with that plan– the Buehrles’ ownership of pit bulls.”

    Pit bull. Singular.
    It’s just one dog, he’s named Slater, and he’s seen here, licking Buehrle’s wife:

  8. I want to lick Buehrle’s wife

  9. does marcum still come back to the t dot now?

  10. If Beuhrle was to live in NY State – how would he commute?

    It’s about 120km to the boarder – which is a long drive. But only 50-60km in a straight line by boat.

    Could you conceivably commute to work with a fast powerboat? How would that work for customs? That would be way better than being suck in traffic on the QEW.

  11. I love how people keep referring to his dogs as stupid and mangy and so on. Do any of you morons own animals? seriously, the love for an animal, most notably the bond between a dog and it’s owner is something that would concern the owner. He’s not a baseball robot that wakes up and cares about nothing but baseball.

    The guy said hes excited about coming to Toronto, what he does with his dog now is up to him and doesnt concern any of us. Maybe he has it live with a family member i:e his parents, a brother or sister or something and then visits in the off season, who the hell knows but insulting the man for having a love for his animals is retarded. Players have lives outside of baseball and now that its clear that he’s happily going to pitch for Toronto, everyone should leave it alone and mind their own business.

  12. FYI – Someone already tried to get the Ontario pit bull ban overturned through the courts. Didn’t work (link below to the Ontario Court of Appeal judgment).

    Basically Buerhle’s options are:

    1) find a good lawyer who can find a loophole in the law
    2) live elsewhere,
    3) change the law through the legislature (hard to do when they are prorogued and there’s a new election coming up).

  13. I believe this, or some derivation of this, is the real answer:


  14. Lights, camera, booze, ACTION!

  15. Beeston’s probably hella connected politically and will find some loophole. I hope. I’d want MB to be happy here.

    The guy’s a multi millionaire and he’ll probably end up buying property here. His family will be spending his obscene amounts of cash. Makes no sense to have them living in WNY.

    This province sucks.

  16. Sorry guys, Cox is adding his two cents into this issue and i clicked the link.–pit-bull-ban-blue-jays-pitcher-mark-buehrle-should-spend-time-here-first-before-advocating-law-change-cox

    his conclusion:
    “But perhaps a little respect for the country that is welcoming you to work and live might go a long way here. Just spend a little time in Canada first before advocating legislative change. Fair enough”

    respect? what a tool.

    • um I hate Cox, but I acutally agreed with 90% of his argument.

      Buehrle can’t advocate change on an issue when he doesn’t even live here. This isn’t an issue like genocide in Africa, slave labour or the ethical treatment of animals. There are no innocoent people or animals being harmed by the ban. No right for a Non-Ontarion to advocate.

      I also hate it when Canadians get too wrapped up in the American election. Yes we are impacted by the US, but it is not our country, not our vote.

      • What argument? “Silence Mark Buehrle?”, other arguements are all over the map.
        It’s pure pejorative when painting Buehrle as American and rich.
        Just cause one doesn’t live here doesn’t mean they are they are uninformed.

        “I can’t keep a cow on my front lawn, either. Or walk a tiger in the neighborhood. I’m not sure if I can keep a shark in my swimming pool or not. It’s probably good I don’t have a pool.”
        Great reduction of the topic Damien.

      • But even more than that, the title is just awful:
        ‘Raining dogs and lefties’

      • He will soon have to have a residence in Ontario and now works for an Ontario employer, so he’s entitled to a view on our policies. I think it’s fair that Cox attacks his view on pitbulls, but not fair that he attacks Buerhle for have a position on Ontario’s pitbull laws.

        Also, there are prominent pitbull owners out there who advocate for the breed. It’s perfectly fair for Buerhle to try to raise awareness about the positive characteristics of the breed. I’m a dog-owner and libertarian so naturally I am on his side.

        • That Cox article is pure shit. That is like telling people back in the day that they should shut up about apartheid unless they reside in south africa. a dumb law is a dumb law regardless of the intention or the locale in which it is instituted. Im sure that he spoke against the ban in miami before he moved there. should he have had more respect for miami?

          this article is something he wrote because he had nothing else.

  17. Well if you want to bring a pit bull into Ontario, you go through either Quebec or Manitoba because once you already bring the pit bull into Ontario there is not much they can do other than tell you to put a muzzle on it.

    • No.

      ’5. What if I am just passing through Ontario with my pit bull?

      You will be in contravention of the law if you are found to have imported a pit bull into the province. Your pit bull may be subject to seizure and you may be subject to a fine and/or jail time. Please note that exceptions exist for Ontario residents who are out of the province with their pit bulls for less than three months. Limited exceptions also exist for individuals coming to Ontario for purposes of participating in recognized dog shows and flyball tournaments.’

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