Update: After this story gained traction, the quotes pertaining to Buehrle wishing Vick would get hurt have been scrubbed from the story on MLB.com.
They were not, however, immediately scrubbed from the Twitter account of Scott Merkin, who wrote the story.
In an otherwise charming feature story posted on MLB.com about the charity work that he and his wife do for stray dogs, Buehrle's comments noticeably changed in tone when Vick's name came up.
"Even if you are not a dog lover, how can you sit there and make two dogs fight and one is going to die?" said [Buehrle]. "How could you do that if you are somewhat sane?
"[Vick] had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we watched the game and I know it's bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt. Everything you've done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys."
Buehrle is right when it comes to the following points:
• It's hard to imagine how anyone in his or her right mind could participate in dog fights.
• Vick had a great year on the field, as he was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
As for saying that he and his wife Jamie hoped that Vick got hurt?
Well, I was with him right up until that point.
Don't get me wrong here. I love animals. When I was a kid, I wanted to start a ranch where every stray dog in the world could live safely. I still feel about dogs much like Buehrle does. How could anyone harm a creature that can do this?
Buehrle's feelings are no doubt common as Vick remains one of the most controversial athletes in the world. But let's veer back into reality for a bit. It's not like Vick got away with it. He served 19 months in prison. He lost a lot of money. Everybody knows what an awful person he has been. (Vick might not care so much about the last part, but a lot of us won't forget.)
Nineteen months in prison was the best the judge could do. It's even over the top, to some legal eagles. As much as I love all creatures, great and small, Vick didn't kill any people. As much as a tortured dog's life might seem more valuable to me than the sorry excuse for an existence Vick has lived, it's just not realistic to expect our laws to agree.
And it's just bad policy, personally, to go publicly wishing another person would get hurt. There's karma, and even if you don't believe in that, it doesn't make you look like the better guy. It just makes you look like a vigilante.
Go ahead and read all of Scott Merkin's story: The Buehrles strike me as compassionate, loving folks, save for that one opinion about Vick.
Expressing such an attitude doesn't advance the cause for defending helpless animals — which is a noble one. In fact, coming to the aid of a distressed animal (like the Buehrles recently did) or donating to an animal shelter — such as this one —is worth a lot more of your money, time and energy.
That's how you get back at Michael Vick: By making the world a better place for man and beast.
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