Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/23/12

Those who know Mark Buehrle or those who follow the White Sox would not be alarmed to hear that the left-hander skipped a start earlier this week. It’s just something Buehrle does as part of his preparation for the regular season. However, any missed time is a cause for concern for reporters — especially ones who are not accustomed to to newly-acquired Buehrle’s preseason habits. Naturally, Mark took their inquisition as an opportunity to have some fun.

“I’m hurting… They said I have Dutch Elm Disease,” Buehrle told reporters Friday morning according to the Palm Beach Post.

Unfortunately, Buehrle is not a great actor and was unable to keep a straight face. The gag, he says, started in Chicago when reporters would rush over to him assuming he was injured when he missed a start in spring training.

“I told them, ‘They say I have Dutch Elm Disease. Don’t know much about it,’” he said. “I had to be dead serious. I’m trying to hold back. One day I came in and I had a bag of fertilizer in my locker. One of the reporters got it for me as a joke back at me and said, ‘It treats Dutch Elm disease.”’

As Eye on Baseball pointed out, Dutch Elm Disease does in fact exist and is harmful to elm trees when spread sexually by beetles. Who knew Mark Buehrle was such a prankster? No wonder he and Ozzie get along so handsomely.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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