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KoryMac5
03-27-2008, 12:45 AM
SURPRISE, Ariz. – Erik Bedard’s grace period ended Wednesday afternoon, amid the light desert air and beneath a high sky, a soft breeze angling toward right field, in a place where fat fastballs and imprecise curveballs hold no true significance.

Not, anyway, for a man expected to push the Seattle Mariners past the Los Angeles Angels and to the organization’s first AL West title in seven years. And not, perhaps, for a man with one of the terrific arms in the game.

Seven weeks ago, the Mariners ponied up five players for Bedard, a trade that cost them everybody’s favorite prospect (outfielder Adam Jones), a setup reliever (George Sherrill) who will be the Baltimore Orioles’ closer and three promising arms.

All that’s at stake now, five days from Bedard’s opening-day start against the Texas Rangers, is the club’s immediate future and its distant future, along with, possibly, the careers of some of its front-office staff. These are, after all, the kinds of trades that steer organizations and forge reputations, and this was an all-in move for GM Bill Bavasi and friends.

In the meanwhile, Bedard threw six more innings, these against the Kansas City Royals, and allowed four more runs.

In 24 spring innings – generally meaningless as long as Bedard carried a healthy arm from the mound after each of them – he allowed 23 earned runs. He allowed nine home runs. He had 10 strikeouts and eight walks.
That’s not very good, of course. But, as the fellas say, he was just getting his work in. And, as a bonus, he was contributing to his outfielders’ conditioning as well. It’s all about teamwork.

So far, there’s nothing to say Bedard’s arm isn’t sound. His fastball, thrown out of that familiar cross-body path, on Wednesday was in the low 90s. He threw more curveballs than he had in his previous spring starts, suggesting an area of emphasis. But, two more home runs (one was inside the park and misplayed by Jeremy Reed in center field, but still carried about 400 feet), not enough swings and misses (for the AL’s leader in strikeouts per nine innings) and plenty of hearty cuts from a Royals lineup that wouldn’t scare off too many pitchers.

All of which found Bedard reclined in a clubhouse folding chair, shoes kicked off, half-gnawed apple in his pitching hand. Already he’s earned a reputation among Seattle writers for being as minimally cooperative as possible while still technically responding to questions. He was aloof and dismissive again Wednesday, so difficult to read on the topics of his spring and summer. He stands on the brink of taking the ball for the first contending team he’ll play on, sporting a spring ERA of nearly 9, and the request was to describe his responsibility pitching from the top of the rotation when the expectations are so high.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t have any.”

No idea? Or no responsibility?

“No responsibility,” he said.

Presumably, he doesn’t believe that. Presumably, Bavasi won’t read that and have his head explode.

The Mariners’ season could turn on Bedard. The offense won’t be especially productive, not with Jose Guillen gone and replaced by Brad Wilkerson. The bullpen will miss Sherrill. If they are to overtake the broader-based Angels, made momentarily vulnerable by injuries to Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey and Scot Shields, the rotation will do much of the heavy lifting. That means Felix Hernandez, Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista and Carlos Silva, too, but there’s a reason manager John McLaren is giving the ball to Bedard first.

He once was a developing ace on a bad team in a hitters’ ballpark. Now he’s a full-bird ace on a good team in a pitchers’ park.

And, in his final tune-up before standing in front of all of Seattle and making the people believe again, Bedard revealed his preparatory plan.

“I didn’t have a plan,” he said. “Just went out there and threw strikes.”

Technically, that’s a plan.

“I feel good,” he said. “My arm feels good. That’s all I can ask for, to stay healthy.”

He was asked if this was the stuff he intended on carrying into his Monday night start.

“Four runs, six innings? No,” he said.

All right, then how does that get tidied up?

“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll see when the game starts. I’ll figure it out as we go.”

Probably, he’ll be the same pitcher as last season, maybe better, given the ballpark. Probably, he’ll take some of the focus off Hernandez, for whom Bedard will someday abdicate the designation of staff ace. And, probably, this is all very important to Bedard, meaning he’ll start locating his fastball and curveball better, maybe in time for the big game on Monday.

And, as reporters were turning to leave his locker Wednesday afternoon, having learned nothing about why he’d been hittable for a month, Bedard was heard to sigh and say, “That was painful.”

He had no idea. This was only the grace period.

I see Mr. Bedard is off to a rough spring both on the mound and off of it. I know it is just spring training but the honeymoon period may be over very quickly in Seattle. Which brings up a good question, how much influence do beat writers have on fan opinion in regards to a player?

My opinion is that if a player is playing well the message of the sports media may have a hard time getting through to fans. If he struggles like JR did it won't take long for the media to drive their message home.

I would imagine Marty and Bedard would have gotten along great.

Screwball
03-27-2008, 12:55 AM
If Fay calls Homer Bailey "terse," I wonder what he'd have to say about Bedard...

CTA513
03-27-2008, 01:00 AM
9 homeruns in 24 innings? Was he just throwing fastballs down the middle of the plate?

membengal
03-27-2008, 07:05 AM
"Really terse"

Johnny Footstool
03-27-2008, 09:21 AM
So the hatchet jobs have already begun.

Bedard usually starts the season with two or three mediocre outings. I'd love to see the bile spewed by the Seattle press two weeks from now.

lollipopcurve
03-27-2008, 09:43 AM
Weren't there reports Seattle was trying to get him signed long-term? The trade looks better if they can lock him up.

membengal
03-27-2008, 09:44 AM
If the Seattle press turns on him early, that is not going to help.

It is essential, given what Seattle gave up, to sign him long term. Otherwise, it was a truly awful deal for the Ms.

jojo
03-27-2008, 09:56 AM
9 homeruns in 24 innings? Was he just throwing fastballs down the middle of the plate?

Several of the homers hit against him were products of the environment that wouldn't have occurred in most major league stadiums.

I suspect the Seattle press will worship the ground Bedard walks upon....

lollipopcurve
03-27-2008, 10:03 AM
I suspect the Seattle press will worship the ground Bedard walks upon....

Even if he doesn't fill their notebooks with garrulous gab?

jojo
03-27-2008, 10:08 AM
Even if he doesn't fill their notebooks with garrulous gab?

They've got Raul and Bloomquist for that.....

Johnny Footstool
03-27-2008, 10:10 AM
I suspect the Seattle press will worship the ground Bedard walks upon....

Yes, by mid-May.

But I think mid-April will be the nadir.

Joseph
03-27-2008, 10:12 AM
I see Mr. Bedard is off to a rough spring both on the mound and off of it. I know it is just spring training but the honeymoon period may be over very quickly in Seattle. Which brings up a good question, how much influence do beat writers have on fan opinion in regards to a player?


Prime example is Chad Johnson of the Bengals.

Initially his antics were cute, enjoyable, harmless....now he wants traded and columnists are speaking harshly of him and there are a lot of fans clamoring for his departure.

Junior Griffey. Lots of stories come out about how hard he works to come back, and people love that. A few come out about how he's been a bust and people want to to dump him.

I'd say lots of fans are easily swayed by the medias opinion of a player or team.

Bedard better learn to suck up to the media a little if he cares how he is received in the great northwest.

Dom Heffner
03-27-2008, 11:10 AM
Spring training is not a large enough sample size to portend anything.

Screwball
03-27-2008, 11:16 AM
Spring training is not a large enough sample size to portend anything.

Except for terseness.

RedsManRick
03-27-2008, 11:28 AM
This just in: According to Josias Manzinillo and Danny Serafini, Spring Training stats are completely meaningless. Not the "take them with a grain of salt" kind of meaningless, "stop looking at them, they tell us absolutely nothing about what the guy is going to do during the season" kind of meaningless.

jojo
03-27-2008, 11:35 AM
Eric has actually been on good behavior this ST and has done nothing unprofessional. Tim Brown is a national sportswriter for Yahoo and this story is pretty much the easy one written by the "lazies"....basically it was written two months ago and filed in the "it's nice out today, don't want to work, wanna leave early" folder. I guess yesterday was that day.

Basically, Bedard answers questions but obviously doesn't enjoy it. He's not easy copy. Ohhhh, evil incarnate. :cool:

westofyou
03-27-2008, 11:36 AM
Basically, Bedard answers questions but obviously doesn't enjoy it. He's not easy copy. Ohhhh, evil incarnate.

Yeah the Oregonian was honing in on that attitude a week or so ago, he's not cuddly that's obvious.

jojo
03-27-2008, 11:36 AM
This just in: According to Josias Manzinillo and Danny Serafini, Spring Training stats are completely meaningless. Not the "take them with a grain of salt" kind of meaningless, "stop looking at them, they tell us absolutely nothing about what the guy is going to do during the season" kind of meaningless.

Spring training stats shouldn't even be recorded. It's one of the first changes I'd make if I was Bud for a day....

KoryMac5
03-27-2008, 12:02 PM
I don't think the article was meant to cover how meaningful or meaningless spring training stats are, it was an article meant to discuss Bedard's dismissive attitude with the press. Getting off to a bad start in spring, while having a rocky relationship with hometown papers gets the ball rolling for more articles like this. If Bedard starts the year 1-3 with a mid 4 ERA you will see plenty of articles out their like this one.

westofyou
03-27-2008, 12:03 PM
Spring training stats shouldn't even be recorded. It's one of the first changes I'd make if I was Bud for a day....

Not me.

I'd change my hair.

KoryMac5
03-27-2008, 12:17 PM
Bedard has always had a cold relationship with not just the media but with coaches as well. This article was written by Amy Nelson for Espn last year while Bedard was with Baltimore.


"He's very, very private," O's manager Dave Trembley says. "He's not a guy. He just doesn't like people asking him obvious, stupid questions."

What has made Bedard so successful, Mazzone says, is his talent and consistency. He has made every single start the last two seasons. Bedard had reconstructive elbow surgery five years ago, and takes pride in his ability to do his job. In fact, Bedard says that's part of the reason he dislikes the press: He just wants to do his job and be left alone.

"He doesn't have time for meaningless conversation," Mazzone says, then laughs. "He doesn't like to play many games. He can weed out who he thinks can help him a little. He can weed out the ones who he thinks are full of it."

[B]Trust is important, and it seems to affect the way Bedard interacts with teammates and coaches, in particular. It took Mazzone until midway last season to finally feel as though he and Bedard had a rapport. Prior to that, Bedard's stubbornness would take over, and those he did not trust became white noise.

I hope the coaches in Seattle have good people skills.

KronoRed
03-27-2008, 02:21 PM
Still wish he were in our rotation.

OnBaseMachine
03-27-2008, 02:22 PM
Still wish he were in our rotation.

I would have loved to have him in our rotation but not for the price the Orioles were asking.

jojo
03-27-2008, 02:55 PM
Not me.

I'd change my hair.

:D

blumj
03-27-2008, 05:58 PM
Spring training stats shouldn't even be recorded. It's one of the first changes I'd make if I was Bud for a day....
While you're doing that, could you also have them replace all of those useless ST stats with lists of who has options and who doesn't? Thanks.

jojo
03-27-2008, 06:01 PM
While you're doing that, could you also have them replace all of those useless ST stats with lists of who has options and who doesn't? Thanks.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/02/out-of-options.html

gm
03-27-2008, 06:05 PM
Can you imagine the drama around here if WK had traded Bruce or Cueto for Bedard and he produced those meaningless spring stats to go along with that terse attitude?

(My, oh my)

blumj
03-27-2008, 06:23 PM
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/02/out-of-options.html

That easy, huh? I should have asked sooner. Thank you.

camisadelgolf
03-27-2008, 06:27 PM
While we're at it, can someone show me where I can find accurate service time numbers for every current MLB player? mlbcontracts.blogspot.com has most of them but not quite all of them.

WMR
03-27-2008, 06:28 PM
Can you imagine the drama around here if WK had traded Bruce or Cueto for Bedard and he produced those meaningless spring stats to go along with that terse attitude?

(My, oh my)

The sky wouldn't have just fallen, it would have crashed and burned with the fierceness of 1000 suns.

Reds Nd2
03-27-2008, 06:45 PM
While we're at it, can someone show me where I can find accurate service time numbers for every current MLB player? mlbcontracts.blogspot.com has most of them but not quite all of them.

NM

KronoRed
03-28-2008, 01:43 AM
Can you imagine the drama around here if WK had traded Bruce or Cueto for Bedard and he produced those meaningless spring stats to go along with that terse attitude?

(My, oh my)

It would be glorious :D

membengal
03-28-2008, 07:57 AM
Can you imagine the drama around here if WK had traded Bruce or Cueto for Bedard and he produced those meaningless spring stats to go along with that terse attitude?

(My, oh my)

I believe the board would have been "uber-terse".

lollipopcurve
03-28-2008, 09:03 AM
Can you imagine the drama around here if WK had traded Bruce or Cueto for Bedard and he produced those meaningless spring stats to go along with that terse attitude?

terse in reverse

remdog
03-28-2008, 09:19 AM
"Bedard...takes pride in his ability to do his job. In fact, Bedard says that's part of the reason he dislikes the press: He just wants to do his job and be left alone.
"

I can identify with that. I like this guy more and more.

Rem

KoryMac5
03-28-2008, 12:22 PM
"Bedard...takes pride in his ability to do his job. In fact, Bedard says that's part of the reason he dislikes the press: He just wants to do his job and be left alone.
"

I can identify with that. I like this guy more and more.

Rem

I don't have a problem with a guy who wants to be left alone, but when you take pride in going out of your way to be rude I think that goes along way in talking about his character. I guess I can't identify with all the hardships playing a game for large amounts of money causes you. Just think if he is rude to the press who else does he give a hard time to.

jojo
03-28-2008, 12:55 PM
I don't have a problem with a guy who wants to be left alone, but when you take pride in going out of your way to be rude I think that goes along way in talking about his character. I guess I can't identify with all the hardships playing a game for large amounts of money causes you. Just think if he is rude to the press who else does he give a hard time to.

I see your point. But there are sooooooo many things to write about concerning baseball-really who cares about his character? At least, why is being a jerk to a reporter a story?

Nugget
03-28-2008, 01:14 PM
I'm sure Junior will be happy that every REDS fan has that attitude.

blumj
03-28-2008, 01:19 PM
I see your point. But there are sooooooo many things to write about concerning baseball-really who cares about his character? At least, why is being a jerk to a reporter a story?
Because it's what reporters care about, and they get to decide what's a story. It would be nice if the fans wouldn't let themselves get played that way, but they usually do.

KoryMac5
03-28-2008, 01:39 PM
I think Jim Rice is wishing he would have had a better relationship with the media.

vaticanplum
03-28-2008, 08:05 PM
I don't have a problem with a guy who wants to be left alone, but when you take pride in going out of your way to be rude I think that goes along way in talking about his character. I guess I can't identify with all the hardships playing a game for large amounts of money causes you. Just think if he is rude to the press who else does he give a hard time to.

Attitude with the press is not necessarily indicative of how one treats the people he cares about. And I woudn't say he's come across as rude. He does his job and just isn't garrulous with the press. Answers their questions but doesn't elaborate. Nothing wrong with that. I don't remember Bedard having image problems in Baltimore -- seems the Seattle press may be looking for something to pick on in the off-season.

Also, don't forget that Bedard is Canadian. ie., he hates freedom and thus freedom of speech.

(That is a joke.)

KoryMac5
03-29-2008, 12:01 AM
Bedard has had a bad attitude with the media in both Baltimore and now Seattle, I don't think he will ever change his tune in that regard. I know in Baltimore it used to drive the front office crazy when he would insult reporters.


Bedard insists his formal interaction with the media -- which is horrible at best, and nonexistent at worst -- will never change, much to the chagrin of team officials, who have begged him to be more available.

"It's not acceptable" to avoid the media, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette says, "but for some reason he thinks it is."

Erik Bedard has developed into one of the most dominating pitchers in the major leagues.
Bedard is at times rude, standoffish and disinterested, and perversely takes pride in his attitude. "Stupid question, next," is a frequent answer from the 28-year-old.

If you don't want to answer questions that's cool, but to answer questions with such an attitude is not professional. I know he has his reasons but this will come back to bite him someday.

OnBaseMachine
03-29-2008, 12:21 AM
I remember reading a while back after one of his starts he told reporters that he would only answer four questions. When one of the reporters ask him why only four, he said, "you just used one, you have three left". He's a great pitcher but at the same time he's an ass.

edabbs44
04-06-2008, 08:51 AM
Bedard is a little banged up.


The Mariners have scratched Erik Bedard and will go with Felix Hernandez against the Orioles on Sunday.

Bedard is out with what the Mariners are calling hip inflammation. The hope is that he'll be ready to pitch on Tuesday after Carlos Silva starts Monday. If he can't go then, the team will likely turn to Cha-Seung Baek. Apr. 5 - 11:30 pm et

Sea Ray
04-06-2008, 09:28 PM
Bedard is a little banged up.

Maybe this is premature but I don't think an ace pulls himself out of the rotation for a little hip inflammation. Don't you think most pitchers have a little hip inflammation? Apparently Josh Hamilton was criticized by his teammates last year for not playing enough through injuries. I wonder how long 'till Bedard gets the same rep?

If it's really a serious hip injury then that's bad news for Seattle as well. Stay tuned...

Always Red
04-06-2008, 09:47 PM
I wonder how long 'till Bedard gets the same rep?



stupid question, next! :D

blumj
04-06-2008, 10:26 PM
Maybe this is premature but I don't think an ace pulls himself out of the rotation for a little hip inflammation.
Well, this early in the season, I'd sure hope he would. That's how a lot of pitchers get more serious injuries, by altering their mechanics to compensate for minor ones. It's one thing to pitch through that kind of thing later in the season, but it's not worth the risk in April.

reds44
04-06-2008, 10:28 PM
Bedard? Hurt?

Never.......

WebScorpion
04-07-2008, 10:27 PM
Sounds like Bedard's hero is Randy Johnson. In his younger years, Johnson was gruff at best...he's mellowed a bit with age though.

To think we could have had Bedard skipping starts instead of the start we got from Johnny Cueto... not to mention the additional prospects we would have lost. :eek: I'm really glad they demanded Jay Bruce and I'm glad Krivsky knows when to walk away. I'm really enjoying watching the Dominican Duo throw some Red cheese, and looking forward to seeing them hook up with Bailey in the years to come. The future's so bright, we gotta wear :cool: