Chicago P Mark Buerhle threw the first no hitter of 2007 and the 16th in White Sox history last night, facing the minimum 27 batters in blanking the Rangers, 6-0. Aside from a leadoff walk to Sammy Sosa to start the 5th inning (Sosa was subsequently picked off), Buerhle was perfect on the evening — aside from crashing out of the White Sox’ “American Idol” pool.

Phil Rogers correctly surmises that Buerhle — a free agent next autumn — just saw his price tag go up. And while that wasn’t much of a stretch, I do wonder if the lefthander’s dominant performance last night against one of the league’s most potent offenses lends any creedence to his claim last summer that the Rangers were stealing signs in their own park.

On this Thursday morning, I’ll shed a tear for the good people of Seattle. Not only must the residents of one of American’s finest cities face the probable departure of their basketball team, along with having to cope with a deluge of self important pop pundits arriving in town this week…but most importantly, Felix Hernandez is once again suffering elbow pain. King Felix bailed after facing just 5 hitters in the Mariners’ 5-4 loss to the Twins Wednesday night.

If Ryan Howard misses any significant playing time, it’s pretty safe to say Jimmy Rollins might want to revise his preseason predictions.

The Brewers and Braves have charged Jose Capellan and Willy Aybar, respectively, with desertion. Without knowing either player’s side of the story, there are a few folks working under worse conditions.