Feb 11, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT
I’ve never been there, but I’d imagine there are several trophies scattered through Mark Buehrle’s den. Of course there’s got to be something commemorating his no-hitter against the Rangers in 2007, and the eighteenth perfect game in baseball history versus Tampa Bay in July, ’09. And oh, look … there’s Michael Vick’s head, mounted on a plaque on the wall.
Buehrle bagged the Eagles quarterback on Wednesday, when he was quoted in an MLB.com story saying that he and his wife had “rooted for [Vick] to get injured” whenever they watched Eagles games. Buehrle: “I know it’s bad to say, but … everything you’ve done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys.”
In the media cannonade that followed, we learned that Buehrle indeed puts his money where his mutt is; having, along with his wife, Jamie, started a dog rescue organization; lent his name to the dog rescue cause via a large billboard campaign in Illinois; and even paid the veterinarian’s bill for a dog that was found in the woods near his hometown in Missouri, which had been shot with an arrow.
But in that last tidbit of feelgood news may lie a much larger lump of hypocrisy. For, alongside the Vick-head trophy in Buehrle’s den, there are likely many other stuffed woodland creatures; such as deer, assorted ducks and even a bear. And they didn’t all die of natural causes. From an MLB.com story in Sept., 2007:
Buehrle, Thome, Jermaine Dye and A.J. Pierzynski took a bear-hunting trip following Saturday’s victory, an excursion set up by Twins broadcaster Dan Gladden on the property of a friend. Buehrle made the only kill of the day, using a bow, but it turned into a memorable moment with Thome right beside him.
The quartet went hunting at about 6 p.m. CT, giving them about one hour before the sun set. The kill was made from about 20 yards away, and the bear ran about another 30 yards before going down. Buehrle plans to have the head stuffed and have a necklace made out of a bear claw.
I’m sure those last 30 yards were quite fun for the bear; maybe a bit like the pain that some of those dogs suffered at Vick’s Virginia Pit Bull Bed & No Breakfast.
“Ah!” you exclaim, stroking your Van Dyke beard thoughtfully, and adjusting your monocle. “But there’s a difference between torturing an animal, and killing one for sport.”
But is there? To further explore this point, we’ve invited a bear here to the column.
OFF THE BENCH: Thank you for stopping by, bear.
BEAR: “It’s my pleasure.” (Sips glass of water).
What are your thoughts on Mark Buehrle?
“Probably the most underrated pitcher in the game. I mean, he’s a four time all-star, he’s won a World Series and thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game, all within 11 years. Yet his name isn’t mentioned with the great pitchers of his era, like Glavine and Clemens, who never did that.”
I was thinking specifically of Buehrle’s quotes about Michael Vick, on how he ‘rooted’ for him ‘to get injured.’
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. We happen to live in a society where the media jumps on every little thing and makes a big deal out of it. Look at the Yogi Bear movie. Unmercifully attacked by people who never even saw it.”
So the Buehrle quotes didn’t bother you?
“Look, the man shouldn’t be pilloried for speaking his mind. Whether you want to believe it or not, a lot of people were rooting for Vick to get hurt. They just won’t admit it, or care to talk about it. No, the real crime was MLB.com cutting those quotes. That’s not exactly good journalism.”
What if I told you that Buehrle is an avid hunter? Would that change your opinion of him?
Not really; everyone has their hobbies. I collect buttons.
Bear, I couldn’t help but notice that you have an arrow stuck in you right now. Several, in fact.
“Yes, and if you’ll look down, that’s a bear trap clamped onto my foot.”
You must be in terrific pain.
“It hurts like a mother******. But it’s part of the territory. You live in the woods, and people with Timberlake pullovers are going to shoot at you.”
So is there any difference between the pain you’re feeling right now, and the pain that Vick and his pals inflicted on dogs?
“Well, technically, not a lot. Although I’ve never had electrodes clamped to my ears.”
So is Mark Buehrle a hypocrite?
“No, and here’s why he isn’t: Michael Vick was arrested and went to prison for torturing dogs. And while Buehrle could have used a rifle to inflict a less painful death to that bear, or not have gone hunting at all, there’s a big difference between the two.”
What is that?
“Buhrle had a license from Wal-Mart.”
We’d like to thank bear for being our guest today, and remind our readers that, while it is hunting season, this is private property. Animals should not be shot until they are clear of our parking lot.
Rick’s Cafe Americain appears each Thursday. Contact: Rickchand@gmail.com.
Mar 31, 2013, 10:37 AM EDT
Since this will be the final post in the history of Off The Bench, I feel that this post can’t just be a simple post about an NFL player buying segways for his teammates or an improbable buzzer beater from a high school basketball game. I’d like to echo the sentiments that Rick featured in…
Mar 31, 2013, 7:13 AM EDT
As Opening Day of Major League Baseball is just around the corner, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels will be getting the starting nod against the Atlanta Braves. If you have been following the Phillies during spring training, you might have noticed that Hamels has been growing a rather impressive mustache. Below are just some photos…
Mar 30, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT
Back in 2012, Vanderbilt University’s baseball team pulled off a successful triple steal in a game against Florida in the SEC Tournament. Earlier this week, Vanderbilt pulled off that rare feat again in a non-conference game against Lipscomb University. With runners on first and second, Commodore manager Tim Corbin called for the steal and before…
Mar 30, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT
Back on Tuesday, the United States men’s soccer team traveled to Azteca Stadium to face Mexico in a World Cup Qualifying match. After the match ended in a draw, a group of happy United States fans celebrated the 0-0 score in the upper deck of the Azteca. As chants of USA got louder and louder,…
Mar 28, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
In case you haven’t heard, Easter Sunday is the final day of Off the Bench: this blog will cease operations as of 11:59 p.m. on that date. So the day after March 31, there will be no new posts on this blog. The timing is fine: I see no reason people would wake the next…
Mar 27, 2013, 3:19 PM EDT
So the Miami Heat have won 27 straight, and have an excellent chance of breaking the NBA record for consecutive wins, 33, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s a pretty good breakdown comparing the two teams. But if you’re like me, it’s not enough to know that Thor and Hercules were both very…
Mar 26, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT
Life as a lesser Belushi can be frustrating at times, I’d imagine: even though you occasionally get to be in films like Trading Places and be married to Courtney Thorne-Smith. Also you get to participate in Shoot-the-Puck contests at Chicago Blackhawks games. Jim Belushi was born in Chicago, so I sure hope he makes this…
Mar 25, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT
If you’re a fan of vintage tennis posters — or, you know, hot chicks — the you may be familiar with ‘Tennis Girl’. That’s the photo of 18-year-old Fiona Butler showing her mostly bare backside, shot by her boyfriend, Martin Elliott, and made into an iconic, best-selling poster in the 1970s. Lauren Davis of the…
Mar 25, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
But that’s not even the most incredible part of this story. Iram Leon, 32, won the 2013 Gusher Marathon in Beaumont, Texas on Saturday despite the fact that he has terminal brain cancer. He ran the entire race while pushing his 6-year-old daughter Kiana in a stroller, winning with a time of in 3:07:36. That’s…
Mar 24, 2013, 3:38 PM EDT
Honestly, I didn’t think that a statue of a horned frog would scare me but the latest edition to the TCU football stadium might cause me to look under my bed for the next couple of days. On Saturday, TCU unveiled the newest edition to Amon G. Carter Stadium as a bronzed horned frog will…
Mar 24, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT
There might not be a individual in sports known for his wacky fashion sense than Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager. Over the years, Craig has provided the world and a bunch of NBA players cannon-fodder for his strange color combinations and for those of you who think that Craig just wears those zany outfits…
Mar 24, 2013, 8:33 AM EDT
At almost every college/professional basketball game these days, one lucky fan is brought out onto the court to win some sort of cash or prize by making a number of shots or a half-court shot. For most, the pressure is pretty high but for one Serbian basketball fan attending an Adriatic League basketball game between KK Igokea…
Mar 23, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT
After playing together for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, it appears that Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips became fast friends with Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino. Back on Friday night, Phillips took to his Twitter account to show off a pair of size 6.5 Louboutin sneakers that he bought for…
Mar 23, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT
Over the last couple of years, it appears that college athletic programs have been trying to one up each other in trying to create the most creative-looking football field or basketball courts. Back on Wednesday, Florida International men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino revealed the latest possible crazy basketball court design on his Twitter account. The…
Mar 23, 2013, 10:09 AM EDT
Over in Atwood, IL, all systems are go for a fundraiser in which an AR-15 rifle — the same type used in two recent school massacres — will be raffled off to benefit the local youth baseball league. According to the people involved this is all perfectly kosher, and one lucky fan will be heavily…
Mar 23, 2013, 8:35 AM EDT
While it’s normal for soccer goalies to come up on corner kicks to create an extra attacker, it isn’t normal for them to take motorcycle rides back to their own goal. Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot of information about the below video except for the fact that it occurs during a soccer match on…
Mar 22, 2013, 6:46 PM EDT
Bigger gathering of villainy: the cantina in Mos Eisly spaceport, or Harvard University? The basketball team may be riding high right now, but things are not going so swell back on campus. This past August Harvard officials announced that 125 students were under investigation for allegedly cheating on a take-home test. And now, Harvard has…
Mar 22, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT
Don’t those dual hair parts kind of resemble devil horns? Isn’t his trash-talking style kind of evil? Is his shot selection from the pit of hell? Yes, yes and yes. Every good story needs an antagonist, and the NCAA Basketball Tournament has theirs in Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson. What we have here is not exactly…
Mar 21, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT
Anybody wondering what Andre the Giant would have been like as a college basketball player, look no further than Sim Bhullar — New Mexico State’s 7-foot-5, 360-pound freshman from Toronto. Bhullar, the tallest player in college basketball, has 85 blocked shots and led the WAC in field goal percentage at 63.2 percent. Hey, it’s not…
Mar 20, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
This video proves once again that great champions are made to order, not born. The Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League, a Double-A affiliate of the Dallas Stars, had their Fourth Annual McDonald’s Night at Allen Event Center in Allen, TX, recently. This of course called for McDonald’s-themed uniforms (later auctioned for charity), but…
- So long folks, it’s time for me to take off 18
- Man wins full marathon while pushing his daughter in a baby stroller (video) 14
- Lock and load, it’s youth baseball fundraising time: league raffling off AR-15 rifle (video) 8
- Sim Bhullar is a large basketball player, and I mean it. Anybody want a peanut? 0
- What’s with kids and all these death-defying stunts? 674
- Nothing to see here…just a 70-yard field goal by a high-schooler (video) 3
- None found
- LeBron stuns Pacers with OT winner in Game 1
- Pens overwhelm Sens, take 3-1 series lead
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement
- HBT: Canseco suspect in Vegas sexual assault
- Posnanski on Golf: Sergio shows disdain for Tiger
- OlyTalk: Coach K will lead Team USA in Rio Games