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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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February 18, 2008 9:10 AM

Put this under your tree

Posted by Geoff Baker

Bedard 092.jpg

Got to be careful what you order on those online sports merchandise sites. Sure, that $1.99 baseball looked great in the Web photo, but that fine print specifying that delivery charges would be extra? Be sure to read the whole thing next time.

In case you were wondering, the ball is being mounted near the front of the Peoria Sports Complex. Gives it more of a baseball look, I guess. You never know. The locals may have thought this was a hockey rink.

Bedard 085.jpg

What's Yuniesky Betancourt doing? My guess is, he's asking his bat if the aforementioned ball is big enough to make contact on the next time he swings at a pitch two feet over his head. Well, maybe not. Hey, it's Monday. Let me indulge you with some humor. All kidding aside, Betancourt gaining more discipline at the plate will be key to this offense maintaining what it did last season. I'm looking for plenty of development from him in that area. The players are just starting their workouts this morning, so I don't have any great photos for you yet. I know some of you like to log in early on Mondays, so I wanted to get this post up quickly for you.

Anything interesting going on today? Well, let's see. has been going pretty heavy on the Mariners the past few days.

This piece, from Peter Gammons, is pretty complimentary.

"Bill Bavasi deserves a lot of credit for evaluating the Mariners and the fact no team won more games than Seattle's 88 without making the playoffs and realizing their negative run differential meant they had to do something to go after the Angels," Gammons writes. "So he started with the Mariners' weakness, starting pitching, which was 59-62, 5.16 in 2007. There is no question Erik Bedard is going make a huge difference, whether or not he's ever thrown 200 innings."

That comes on top of this item, by Jerry Crasnick, that some of you have already talked about in the comments thread.

Adding to the debate about whether or not it was worth it for Bavasi to take a near-term risk, this little bit of news out of Angels camp that closer Francisco Rodriguez might not be around beyond this year. Would that change the dynamic of the AL West at all? As I've been saying the past few months, a lot can happen over a two-year span.

I know this next bit will generate some attention and commentary. Bret Boone coming our of retirement? Maybe that's why the M's didn't hire him as a coach?

Off to gather video for our "Sights and Sounds" feature. You've all been clamoring for it. Be back with some more blog updates in a bit.

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