DUNEDIN, Fla. — Mark Buehrle won’t be experiencing the dog days of summer. While the pitcher is headed to Toronto, his family will split the season between Broward County in Florida and their home in St. Louis. One of their four dogs, Slater, is a mix of bulldog and American Staffordshire Terrier — which is of pit bull lineage. Pit bulls are banned in the province of Ontario. “He’s an awesome dog,” Buehrle said Saturday. “That’s what’s a shame; just the way he looks is why we have to get separated.” Sent to Toronto as part of the Miami Marlins’ payroll purge, Buehrle had a few options. He could have left Slater with friends or placed him in a kennel. The Buehrle family also could have moved to Buffalo or somewhere else on the U.S. side of the border, forcing the pitcher to commute 90 minutes each way to Toronto. Buehrle’s wife, Jamie, 5-year-old Braden and 3-year-old daughter Brooklyn will spend time with the 33-year-old left-hander during spring training, as will Slater and their three vizslas. “It’s something we’re going to deal with,” Buehrle said. “It’s going to be tough at the beginning, not seeing your kids, but people deal with it and we’ll make it work.” Buehrle concluded responsible pet owners should not delegate to others the task of caring for a dog. And he said he wouldn’t break a law by taking a dog where it is prohibited.

None of the Marlins’ players had contractual provisions allowing them to block trades. Buehrle issued a statement in November, saying “I was lied to on multiple occasions” by the Marlins.“I let it be known how I felt, and I wasn’t happy,” he said. “I felt like we took a leap of faith there, coming there without a no-trade clause, and we felt like we’d be there a long time.”

 

Mark Buehrle can pitch for me anyday. I mean what do you think John Lackey would do here? Probably pour some mustard on poor Slater and eat him. Not Mark Buehrle though. This is first class all the way. Anybody who truly loves dogs would do the same thing. A dog is part of the family. The best part. If Slater can’t come to Toronto than nobody goes. Amen brother. I think Buehrle may be my new favorite player in the league. And if Toronto had an ounce of pride they’d trade him back to a team in the United States. This isn’t about baseball. This is about family. This is about life. This is about dogs.

PS – If this was a cat it would probably load Buehrle’s car up with drugs and guns and shit so he got arrested when he crossed the border and then spend all his money while he rotted away in jail.