11 a.m., Feb. 6)
Bédard ripped in Seattle media after signing new deal
note: The following was recently published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
After writing a number of stories about Erik Bédard and having interviewed him
I can state that in my own opinion he is good guy, although painfully introverted.
He does not like to toot his own horn and would prefer to just play baseball rather
than have to deal with the media who I will admit tend to ask the same cliched
questions after every game. Calling him a jerk because he doesn't like to talk
to the media is a bit harsh.
is also true that Bédard has only been able to complete one season injury free
in the past five years and the jury is still out on his durability. In other words
the pressure is on this season to prove that he should be considered among the
elite pitchers in baseball and therefore deserving of the type of contract he
Bedard's new beginning have a happy ending?
ISN'T IT, that Erik Bedard won't be at the Mariners FanFest this weekend at Safeco
should be thanking the fans who help pay for his salary. The Mariners avoided
arbitration on Tuesday by giving the moody lefty a one-year, $7.75 million contract,
a raise of $750,000.
29, went 6-4 with a 3.67 ERA and did not pitch the final three months of last
season because of a shoulder injury. For most of the year, he was criticized for
not talking to the media, not being durable and not toughing it out more than
has to be the most-gifted and least-liked Mariner of all-time. But the mantra
in this space remains the same -- he's a jerk worth keeping.
players are arbitration-eligible, their years of service are more important than
their performance, thus the rationale for his ridiculous raise.
the reality of baseball in this day and age," said Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik.
"The rules are in place, and it's the way the process is structured. The
numbers become the numbers. In the world of professional baseball, it is what
this is the world in which Horacio Ramirez, with his 7.16 ERA, got a $100,000
raise last year, and Willie Bloomquist just got a two-year, $3.1 million deal
from the Royals.
couldn't have gotten more from Kansas City if he went in there with a machine
gun," someone told me Wednesday.
as crazy, Bedard has $600,000 worth of incentives in his contract -- $75,000 if
he pitches 150 innings, another $100,000 for 165 innings, an extra $150,000 for
180 innings and an additional $150,000 for 205 innings.
take the under.
with a guy coming off September shoulder surgery to remove a cyst and tissue from
his labrum. At the time, it was said that it typically takes six months to recover
from this kind of surgery, but apparently Bedard is ahead of schedule.
excited about where he is physically, and he's feeling good about himself,"
Zduriencik said. "(Aside from) any unseen setback, I expect him to roll into
spring training ready to tee it up."
that happens and until he proves himself over the course of a full season, skeptics
will skewer him like they always have.
guy barely plays, and we're in a stinkin' recession, and he gets a $750,000 raise,
for doing nothing and having the worst attitude in baseball?" wondered KJR
sports-talk show host Dave Mahler. "Where's the sense in that? It drives
me crazy. I'd almost have rather had the Mariners cut him and be done with his
attitude and nonsense.
can't stand the guy. I think he's a bum. He complains when he has a hangnail,
complains when it's too hot. You need a bulldog in that spot, and he's more puppy
Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner (ussmariner.com) said the feelings about Bedard are
split on his site.
good portion are pissed off at him -- he won't talk, won't try," he said.
"The perception is that he's a wimp. But the other portion says that pitching
through pain is ridiculously stupid, and who cares if he talks to the press --
he's a good pitcher who's misunderstood.
have sympathy for him. The same ones who like Barry Bonds will like Bedard."
with the other players, Zduriencik is giving Bedard a clean slate. Zduriencik
wasn't here so he doesn't know what Bedard was like last year. You can tell him
-- and I tried -- but he politely declined to listen, preferring to look ahead.
met Bedard last month and said he was very upbeat.
conversation wasn't lengthy," Zduriencik said, "but I didn't think it
needed to be."
me guess, I'll bet Bedard didn't think it needed to be either.
asked if he wants Bedard to be more accessible to the media, Zduriencik spoke
in general terms about the entire team.
a Seattle Mariner, you're part of this community and organization, and we want
them to be stand-up guys and represent this community and franchise in a very
professional manner," Zduriencik said. "The best thing we could ask
our players to do is to be professional and respectful to everyone they come in
with Bedard, he's a sit-down guy who's equally aloof with players and reporters.
In a telling quote from Jamie Burke last year, Bedard's personal catcher said:
"You probably know him as well as I do."
than likely, the Mariners will peddle him at the trade deadline and not risk his
departure as a free agent after the season. In the meantime, if healthy, the jerk's
a hell of a pitcher, and that's what's most important.
couple years ago, this guy was real good," Zduriencik said. "Even last
year, his performances were pretty good. The issue is: we need him to be good."
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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