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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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March 26, 2008 3:57 PM

Lowe impressive as M's win

Posted by Geoff Baker


NOTE: 5:31 p.m.: One of you asked me for the context of one of Erik Bedard's quotes today. Why don't you just listen to his entire session with reporters right here on this audio clip. Enjoy.

Most interesting part of this 8-5 win by the Mariners, for me at least, was seeing Mark Lowe get up to 95 m.p.h. twice and then hit 96 m.p.h. on his final three pitches of the day. Gave up a leadoff double in the ninth, then settled down to get a flyout to center, a strikeout and a pop fly to right. I caught up with Lowe just as he was getting ready to board the team bus back to Peoria.

"That's kind of the whole idea of spring training,'' he said. "You want to work your way up and then kind of ease into the season if you can.''

Lowe told me he's felt stronger every time out and that today was the best he's felt. Mid-90s heat? This team could certainly use some of that heading into the season.

So, that was the Lowe story.

The Erik Bedard story? Not much to write home about. The Mariners certainly didn't give up five players for a guy who's going to serve up a 400-foot bomb every inning. Like I said, I'll stick with the Arizona air theory for now. I just can't believe a pitcher who was this good last season could be this bad so quickly. Something else is going on. I'll withold further judgement until we leave Arizona.

Mariners mananger John McLaren confided afterwards that Bedard's words to him upon leaving the game were that he's glad to be getting out of here. The thin air certainly was not kind. He finishes with a 8.63 earned run average and nine home runs allowed, compared to 10 strikeouts. How's that for a line?

Let's see if he can flip the switch by next Monday.

McLaren liked a couple of the hot-and-runs he saw. Also thought Willie Bloomquist could have caught up to the inside-the-park homer and a triple, both off the Bedard. Bloomquist is still rusty from that quad injury.

Most of the team leaves here at noon tomorrow. Felix Hernandez stays behind to pitch against the San Diego Padres. McLaren said he's working on his final roster. From what I saw today, Lowe will make this team. With Brandon Morrow's status somewhat shaky, another late-inning flamethrower won't hurt.

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Posted by scottM

4:12 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Morrow should be sent down to Tacoma, not to become a starter, but to fully heal. Baek, without options, should stay with the big squad at least for the month of April. Again, he is insurance in case Batista's back acts up, or any of the other starters have problems. Then, we don't lose him for nothing, and he might be legitimate trade fodder.

GEOFF, Glad to hear about the mini-interview with Bedard. Imagine a reserved guy with all these external expectations being asked in SPRING TRAINING whether he feels a "responsibility" to his team. If we listen to Ibanez's recent advice to Morse, then players, foremost, have a responsibility to themselves, by controlling the things they can control. Bedard is not going to be lured into some premature panic mode by a pack of journalists asking questions BEFORE the season has started. The guy strikes me as having plenty of of self-pride as a player. He'll figure it out.

GEOFF, like asking Seattle sports fans if they are somehow "different" than everywhere else, maybe you need to ask Bedard if his approach to being a big league player is different than other major leaguers. It's only one question. However, unlike yesterday, don't expect to get two hundred answers from him.

Posted by Adam

4:30 PM, Mar 26, 2008

If Lowe is healthy, why does Morrow need to be a reliever? A healthy Lowe is better than Morrow anyway, at least at this point in Morrow's career. If Lowe is healthy, there is NO reason to waste Morrow any longer.

And as I said earlier, the Arizona air theory really doesn't mean much considering the fact that Bedard has been a pretty consistent ground-ball pitcher the last two years. If he's on, he shouldn't be giving up line drives and fly balls. Let's hope this is all just a fluke, because he doesn't look very good right now. And considering he appears to be a pretty touchy guy, we had all better hope for a smooth start.

Posted by Zach C

4:42 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I agree about Lowe and Morrow, and I would like to see Rhodes brought along also...

hopefully hes getting so many fly balls because he doesnt get the same movement on his pitches; the batters are putting more bat on ball than normal

Posted by tedm

4:42 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Who else besides Rhodes is playing in SF tomorrow night?

Posted by PayClayBennett

5:24 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I'd like to see Rhodes retire, I like Scott's ideas on Baek and Morrow - either Wash or Batista will go down this year, Morrow could head to Tacoma and get healty and ready for that spot.

Bedard was ugly this spring, let's hope some cool Safeco air can help this dude out.

Posted by drlo

5:31 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I've been somewhat skeptical of the Arizona air theory, or at least over-reliance on it, both with respect to Bedard and others in past, but I had the pleasure of speaking with two current (non-Mariners) GMs and one former GM the other day on the subject and they had other thoughts.

Firstly, all were extremely positive about the Bedard trade and while acknowledging that Seattle gave up a lot, all three said they too would have done the deal if in Seattle's shoes. Each recognized the abilities of Adam Jones and the others, but said the deal was the right one for Seattle. They also agreed that the trade, and now the Angels health issues, did indeed make Seattle the frontrunner, for now at least, in the division.

They also all agreed (they brought it up, not me) that it is simply impossible to judge pitching in Arizona. They said that some pitchers release points work well there (Baek?) and others don't (Bedard?), but you don't want to start changing release points just to suit spring training. They also noted that the hard ground not only lets grounders get through more easily and singles turn into doubles, but it also causes some pitchers to start throwing fly balls to compensate. They all agreed, though, that Arizona was still a preferred ST site because of the consistent weather, with the benefits of the overall camp outweighing the drawbacks of difficult pitching evaluation.

None of these are particularly new points, but I thought it of interest given who it came from and the relevance to the Bedard discussion.

Regarding Morrow, any chance that he might simply start the season on the DL? That was the move used last year on Weaver and HoRam, I think.

Posted by Pete

5:32 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I agree. If Lowe is truly ready to go -- we don't really know this because he is a huge injury risk -- then Morrow should be sent down to AAA to fully rehab and then become a starter. This is the perfect opportunity to do that.

Lowe and Green are the late inning righties. Why do they need Morrow?

Putz F
O'Flaherty L
Lowe R
Green R
Rowland-Smith L
Baek R
Dickey KN (filthy knuckler nastiness)

Rhodes replaces R-S or Baek when he is ready.

There is no need to mess with Morrow in the bullpen any longer.

...Something tells me the M's disagree. Haha.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

6:10 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Guys...Edwin Jackson > Baek. If the rumors are true what if we get Jackson for Reed? Baek is not a reliever and unless he can start I feel he's taking up space in the pen.

Rowland-Smith > Baek
Lowe > Baek
Dickey = Baek except RA can go daily if needed, Baek cannot.

Also, Baek is an injury waiting to happen. I like the guy, but if it means keeping him and jettisoning somebody of value or a bench player who can help, I say it's not worth it.

Posted by Pete

6:25 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Just listened to the Bedard audio...

While I can't really understand what it is like to talk to the media consistently, I just don't understand how he can be so unenthusiastic (to the point of boredom?!) about talking to people about baseball. It's like he doesn't even seem to like the game or enjoy being around his teammates.

He sounds like he quite literally hates his job. Just loathes being there at all -- pitching, talking, everything.

I just can't relate at all.

I take that back, I can relate -- I have had jobs where I would have given similarly monotone non-answers to similar questions because I just hated my job.

But come on... this is baseball, man! How could anyone possibly hate it that much?

Posted by Al

7:32 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Anybody hear Kelvim Escobar might be done for the Season or even career with the injury to his shoulder and rotator cuff?

Posted by scottM

7:50 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Thanks for the audio of Bedard's mini-interview, GEOFF. :=) So much for expectations of any Canadian camaraderie there; so much for him caring about your reporter's job or the M's PR duities to the fans; so much for Bedard caring about Bedard as a sport's celebrity.

If he's going to give something back to the M's community, we'll have to hope it comes via the mound.

So the burning question we're left with in Blogland is whether it will be more likely that the Seattle Mariners win the ALWest, or whether GEOFF gets us that probing, illuminating, in-depth interview feature article of Erik Bedard? After hearing this, I'm betting on GEOFF's reporter's prediction over his journalistic production. (That's okay. Seeing the M's win the West will suffice).

CAN'T WAIT FOR MONDAY! Go Sir Erikkkkkkkkkkkkk!

Posted by ricofoy

7:53 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Bedard reminds me of Gaear Grimsrud from the movie Fargo. Can you imagine being stuck in a car with him?

Posted by Phil

7:54 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Wow, Bedard better be good if he's gonna be that wierd and uncooperative in interviews. If he's good, I don't care if he avoids the press completely.

Thanks for the great blog Geoff. Its evident that there is one motivated professional blog journalist covering the Mariners, you would be it.

Posted by Bobby Ayala

8:02 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I also think, with Lowe healthy, we should put morrow down in AAA to start. He's struggling with his control -- which is something that is not going to be effected by Arizona's "thin air". Let him get healthy, and stronger. I'd love to see him spend the whole year down there and work on becoming a starter, but for some reason the M's disagree. It's not that our bullpen is elite, but we have the depth that we don't NEED to have Morrow go up north.

Hey Geoff, I didn't mention anything in the previous blogs about M's fans... but consider the Seahawks and soon-to-be OKC Sonics. Sure, the Hawks have won the NFC West the last five (?) seasons.. but as a whole, no Seattle franchise has ever amounted to anything. Other than Cleveland (poor guys), I don't think any city has had a more dissapointing group of franchises.

We have the Seahawks go to the super bowl, and "lose" in a heart breaking game. We have the Sonics (who won in 79, but that's before many of us vocal fans were born/aware of sports) who had a great shot at an NBA championship while Michael Jordan decided to play baseball -- and got upset in the first round by an 8 seed. Seattle fans are used to dissapointment, getting upset, and never being able to quite get over the hump. The '95 Mariners squad is the one exception, for me at least. At that point it was just assumed that the Mariners would continue to always suck.. and then came out of nowhere. Just a thought... albiet a couple days after the conversation has ended. :)

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:05 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Bedard is a perfect fit for the Northwest. I can see him feeding fragment sentences to Angie and Bill Kreuger on FSN after the game. Am I the only one that sees a potential Ryan Leaf melt down by Bedard after Brad Adams or Wong asks him a simple question about his performance? Honestly, the way Bedard acts it's not normal.

Posted by Rodeochihuahua

8:07 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Geoff, are the interviews with Erik as awkward for you (the media) as they sound?Do you you think you will get to a point where you give up and say why bother talking to him? I am sure you can get more interesting quotes from the Mariner Moose.

I am glad we got Erik and I hope he does well. His stance towards the media is just weird though. I would hope he treats general people better than the media folks.

Posted by drlo

8:08 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Chris from B in previous thread asked how air is different in Phoenix vs. other cities, and it struck me that maybe some facts might help.

Quick check on average year-round relative humidity in various cities (note year-round average, not specifically during ST period or baseball season) shows Seattle, Dallas, LA, SF, Miami, Chicago, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh (random selection) all are within the range of 77-84% mornings and 54-65% afternoons.

Denver and Phoenix are anomalies. Denver averages 67% in mornings and 40% afternoons. Phoenix averages 50% in mornings and 23% in afternoons.

Phoenix's elevation, at roughly 1100 feet, makes it the second-highest MLB city after Denver.

So it seems that between the elevation and humidity, it is a pretty unique environment.

To Chris's point, though, and also raised by AK, it does make you wonder why our own hitters don't seem to take advantage of it. Or on the other hand, maybe it does explain how Vidro came up with his warning track power today.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:31 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Glad to hear Rhodes has gone to Tacoma for more Rehab. He has great heart and IMHO will be an asset to the team this summer. If not, his contract cost is minimal.

The Bedard interview is spooky. I hope he has the pride to get it done on opening day. This man does not appear to be a happy camper. Introvert or no, something seems to be amiss.

Diversity is a good thing!

Let's Play Ball!!

Go M's!!!

Posted by oregongal

8:34 PM, Mar 26, 2008

DrLo, interesting numbers for baseball. The only thing that caught my attention was having all those places with similar numbers for humidity, which is not my experience from being in most of them. I'm pretty sure it's because you've got annualized data and we've got a fairly unique climate pattern in the NW because we get so little rain in the summer (which makes my research a pain, but I digress).

I couldn't find Seattle numbers (I understand why you went with annuals), but I think they're pretty comparable to those of the Portland area. Here's what our climate office says:

"Relative humidity is highest during early morning hours, and is generally 80-100 percent throughout the year. Humidity is generally lowest during the afternoon, ranging from 70-80 percent during January to 30-50 percent during summer. Annual pan evaporation is about 40 inches, mostly occurring during the period April - October."

So during baseball times, fitting nicely into the April-October season, it's a lot drier here than most places, but still heavier than Arizona. I have no idea how that affects play between here and AZ, but it sure makes a big difference between here and Texas. And, as far as I'm concerned, makes the PNW one of the easiest living places around.

Posted by markus

8:42 PM, Mar 26, 2008

We can all forget sending Morrow down to Tacoma to become a starter. As long as McVasi is in charge and trying to save their jobs they are going to press him into the bullpen and try to peg him as a reliever. They don't understand building for the future, they'd rather try to cover the holes with duct tape and Cairo then do things right and build a real team. Look, I'm not rooting for the M's to lose so that we can run Bavasi out of town, but I can understand fans who feel that way. I don't agree with them, but it's like being a fan in the AFC East and seeing how NE wins with so many role players and guys past their prime. You wish your team could be smart like that and anything below that level is frustrating. We have the Angels, who keep plugging in parts and playing kids and kicking our butts. We wish our manager was as savvy and Scoissia and our farm system was as efficient as theirs. But instead we get Wilkerson, a Canadian who hates Canadian beat writers who do a good job, and a veteran bench guy who couldn't hit off me trying to throw left handed. It's frustrating, that's for sure. I would love to see Bavasi and McLaren hoist the World Series trophy in October, but it scares me to dream. If you don't have any hopes, then you can't have them smashed.

Cut Cairo!! Stop the Madness!!

Posted by oregongal

8:46 PM, Mar 26, 2008

As far as Bedard, I feel bad for Geoff, just because I kinda, sorta know him from the blog, but I don't see anything wrong from Bedard's end. Some people have had bad experiences or know other people who have had bad experiences, or cover shyness with what looks likes arrogance, or don't like the press shoving mikes (or I guess, little tiny recorders now) in their faces, or a million other things.

How would you like it if you had people asking you the same questions time after time, day after day, when you got done with work (especially when he's got to be disappointed over this ST)? Or even doing it one day? Some people like it (some people will do revolting things just to get on TV), some don't.

All I care about is that he's a guy his other teammates can depend on, and that doesn't seem to have been a problem in Baltimore.

Posted by Chopper58

9:00 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I think we should give Bedard a break with his relationship with the media. Not everyone is a huge talker, some in fact dislike the limelight and these surrounds can make people appear cold.

A good example from Australia is about Wayne Bennett. Wayne is a coach of a successful Rugby team who gives one word answers and is very cold to the media in his press conferences. In Australia, coaches (and team captains) are obligated to appear in press conferences after each football match and give in depth analysis of there teams performance, comment on controversies, where to improve etc.

Wayne has been highly successful and has won many premierships and according to the clubhouse, he is great with the players. In interviews he looks cold, silly, ill informed etc.

A couple of years back there was a documentary about him that focused on his life and struggles rather than as a coach. It explained how he grew up with an abusive father and how he has been as a father with a disabled child. It showed that he has great respect from his players and a love of his job.

So, what I am trying to say, is just because someone does not like talking to the media and they seem awkward in front of it (despite of what they might actually say), this does not mean they dislike their job. This is something very much against Eric’s personality. I think we should cut Bedard some slack and allow him to be him and not put too much pressure on the guy. He is more likely to perform to his ability.

Posted by bikeman

9:01 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Wow, Boston must really be sweating. Their pythag this year projects to a 53 win season.

Posted by markh

9:32 PM, Mar 26, 2008


A couple questions. Does Bedard have a history of sucking in spring training and did he have a reputaion in Baltimore of being a jerk?

Posted by drlo

9:46 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Oregongal, you are absolutely right, there are seasonal differences in all those places. I originally thought to break it down by April-October, but it was just too much to put in the blog. There are a number of sites where you can check out the monthly averages. The relative movements, though, in most of those cities were similar, with Seattle being a little bit unique in drying out over the summer when most other places got more damp. But regardless of the season, the Phoenix gap was a big one, and I think that dryness combined with the relatively high elevation does make for a pretty unique place, to the point of there being something (though always debatable how much, and why it seems one-sided, at least to us M's fans) to the contention that Arizona air has some funkiness. As I wrote in an earlier note, I was a bit skeptical myself, but when three knowledgeable people claim otherwise, I thought it deserved some attention.

Always enjoy reading your comments. Thanks.

Posted by DR

9:59 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Does Bedard at least get along with his teammates? If he doesn't, then I'm not sure what to think of the guy.

Posted by oregongal

10:14 PM, Mar 26, 2008

DrLo, thanks for putting in the work to get the numbers. Having grown up in northwestern Oregon, I'm almost phobic about summer humidity. Wherever I go, I always end up back here and weather is a part of it. Glad you're on the blog.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

10:20 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Bedard got off to a slow start last season and turned it around. I expect he will work through his issues since he knows he'll need to let his game do the talking for him.

Posted by Lola

10:34 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I certainly hope the Arizona air is all it is, but stop me if I'm wrong: isn't there a rather successful major league team in Arizona? Granted, it's in the NL, but still. Games there are a possibility, and now that he's been there for a month, shouldn't he figure out how to pitch in a different climate? Wouldn't want him to completely change his pitching for circumstances he isn't likely to face much, but shouldn't a pitcher of his caliber be able to adjust to the climate? Seems to me that would be helpful during the season.

Posted by oregongal

10:38 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Lola, I think that's one of hardest parts about spring training, especially for fans. The teams literally aren't there to win. It's a place to try out new things, work on old problems, etc. As DrLo showed, Arizona is a pretty unique situation in the AL, and I think it would really screw up a pitcher to try to change his technique for the spring training site. I'm just keeping George Sherrill's lousy spring and fabulous season in mind. I think Bedard is going to be OK.

Posted by oregongal

10:45 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Here's a great column by Larry Stone about Bedard and how he gets along with others, including a possibility as to why he's distant with the media.

(BTW, Geoff, any idea why this is stored in the "high school sports" section? Not that it matters online.)

Posted by drlo

11:22 PM, Mar 26, 2008

Lola, I don't want to overstate the possible importance of the "air" factor, only to suggest that there is reason to believe that it may well be a factor. But as for the Diamondbacks, while I'm not sure of the details, I believe their ballpark has a retractable roof and the ballpark is airconditioned, and I believe they have a process whereby they can and do manipulate the temperature (and to a lesser degree relative humidity) of the ballpark prior to games. Not suggesting that this makes it feel like Seattle or anywhere else, but it is an environment very different from the open-air ballparks in spring training.

Posted by downinthegroove

11:23 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I am not buying the whole AZ air thing. I went to college for two years in Colorado Springs and then transferred to a Mountain College in AZ. Then I had the privilege of attending pilot training in MS......That my friends is humidity.

I used to get bloody noses coming home (SEA) after a semester in AZ as the humidity is not what we think. It is terribly dry there.


Now to making excuses.....How is it that the DBacks have a absolute stud pitcher who is the best sinker ball pitcher in baseball while tolerating that terrible AZ air? Their pitching staff is tough and they somehow manage...

Honestly Geoff. I heard you on with JClayton and it just seems like you are at a loss and making excuses. If a pitcher can win a CYoung in AZ you would think that good pitchers could do well down there. I can think of a 6-11 lefty that has had success in that desert air and we know that slider just doesn't bite in that dry air....

So really. Excuses?

Posted by Nat

11:41 PM, Mar 26, 2008

I really think the media and fans are making too much out of Bedard's reticence to chat after his outings - just let him be! I listened to his short, succinct responses from the sights and sounds and thought he sounded uncomfortable and a little defensive. Who cares? He's got enough to think about as he adjusts to being on a new team, new pitching coach, new surroundings, and probably, as an introvert who likes spending time alone, has very little time to sort it all out. As long as he pitches well in the regular season his reluctance to cozy up to the media doesn't bother me in the least.

BTW, oegongal and drlo, regarding your comments on the hunidity in different parks/cities - not something I've spent much time thinking about but it was interesting and adds to the discourse - thanks!

Posted by Saltherring

3:18 AM, Mar 27, 2008

I reserve comment on Bedard until mid-season, but if he doesn't pan out, I wouldn't want to be the executive that traded a significant portion of our minor league system's best talent for him. Or for that matter, I'd hate to be the blogger who pounded the bandwagon for this trade. I'm pulling for Bedard, but time indeed will tell.......

Posted by ricofoy

6:27 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Bedard needs a signature sound everytime he strikes someone out. I propose the sound of a wood chipper firing up. Appropriate as I'm sure he would like to toss a few reporters in one when they start asking questions.

Posted by Seth Cotner

7:54 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Ok... the only thing I want to bring up is the 'Arizona Air' theory. If memory serves me correctly, the Diamondback play in Arizona year round (including the hottest months of the year). Yet, I seem to remember their pitching staff being among the best in NL last year.

Therefore, how is it possible that the 'air' affects one player (or one team for that matter) but not others. I believe this is the like saying there is somethine mysterious going on in the Bermuda triangle... show me the data to prove it and only then will I believe it. Until then... it will remain only a 'theory'.

Posted by thewyrm

8:09 AM, Mar 27, 2008

I think the reason why your comment does not apply to professional athletes is because they chose to enter a profession where intense ammounts of contact with the media is not only common, but expected. That is why they get paid the big bucks, to put up with that sort of stuff. I have no sympathy for Mr. Bedard at all, and I really wish he would grow up. When you make it to the show, it is time to put on your big boy pants and suck it up. Face the media. It's your job.

Posted by Donovan

8:31 AM, Mar 27, 2008

I think people may be misconstruing the "dry air theory" business a little. This isn't just a physical effect on a pitched ball that affects all pitches equally. My understanding is that the main problem with central AZ air (which is extremely dry in Spring) is that it makes it very tough to grip and feel the ball, especially for pitchers who are not acclimated to it. This screws up their release point, which can lead to control problems, elevated pitches (and dingers), lack of break, etc. The effect seems to be highly variable, and probably depends on how much a given pitcher relies on fingertip feel for his go-to pitches.

None of us know if Bedard would be a lot better pitching in Seattle in March. We know he's a great pitcher with a history of success in the AL. There is no reason to think he will do anything but get better. I'm not sweating yet. Give him a month of real games.

Posted by dave

8:33 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Bedard is freaking garbage and a jerk. Wow. We traded for this guy? He had half a good season. good job Bill BaRetard. Felix and a bunch of scrubs. This bedard guy gets 10+ mill a year to be a jerk, not care about pitching and says he has no responsibility to play well for his team. Unbelievable. I thought the Mariners were about character guys? Not this Canadian Terrel Owens wannabe.

Posted by kennyb

8:40 AM, Mar 27, 2008

When you make it to the show it's time to PLAY. These guys are being paid to play baseball, if they are a good interview, it's a bonus. I mean what do you want. We already know the answer to the questions anyway.
Erik, what are you trying to accomplish on the mound?
Well, I want to keep the hitter off balance.
Why is that?
Well, this game is about scoring runs. If I heard Ron Fairly say it once I heard it twice an inning, "I think the team that scores the most runs is going to win." So I guess you could say that my job is to limit the other teams runs.
What are your expectations for the year?
I just want to help the team.
How will you do that?
I just want to take it one day at a time, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.

I mean is this really an improvement? Haven't you guys heard this stuff before?

Posted by scrapiron

8:44 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Thought Geoff would get a kick out of this:

Crash Davis: It's time to work on your interviews.
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: My interviews? What do I gotta do?
Crash Davis: You're gonna have to learn your clichés. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends. Write this down: "We gotta play it one day at a time."
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Got to play... it's pretty boring.
Crash Davis: 'Course it's boring, that's the point. Write it down.

Posted by Chuck

8:48 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Eric Bedard has a responsibility to pitch the best he can every pitch, every inning that he is on the mound. If he is a bad interview, that has no effect on his playing. His team mates don't seem to have a problem with him. His manager doesn't either. He came here with high expectations and his stats in the spring are bad. Personally I think inside he is disappointed, but he "doesn't want to let them see me sweat." Look at his past--he has done fine in Baltimore and the reporters there didn't jump for joy to interview him. But he threw the ball when he was healthy.

Posted by scrapiron

8:52 AM, Mar 27, 2008

I think I figured out why Erik Bedard is giving up so many ST home runs:

Kenji Johjima: Well, he really hit the snot outta that one, didn't he?
Erik Bedard: [softly, infuriated] I held it like an egg.
Kenji Johjima: Yeah, and he scrambled the son of a gun. Look at that, he hit the frickin' bull! Guy gets a free steak!
Kenji Johjima: You having fun yet?
Erik Bedard: Oh, yeah. Havin' a blast.
Kenji Johjima: Good.
Erik Bedard: God, that sucker teed off on that like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball!
Kenji Johjima: He did know.
Erik Bedard: How?
Kenji Johjima: I told him.

Posted by Donovan

8:58 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Interesting how different people's reactions to Bedard's interview style are. When I listen to the audio, I instinctively like him, whereas some think he's rude or even a jerk. Now, I'm a pretty verbal person, and I like to think I'm polite and professional, but I've learned that quiet people often have more going on inside than talking heads. It is foolish to discount someone because they are quiet or shy.

Bedard clearly has a sense of humor (as Geoff has confirmed). He was liked and appreciated by his Baltimore teammates (read Larry Stone's piece that Oregongal posted for quotes). He obviously isn't very comfortable talking about himself or being the object of intense scrutiny. While I agree with the poster who said that's life for a star pro athlete, there isn't anything that requires them to be extroverts off the field. I actually find him refreshing. I have zero tolerance for celebrity hero worship, especially of athletes, and I'm really sick of sports stars with a sense of entitlement who want or even need constant attention to feed their monstrous egos. Worse yet are the guys who are walking marketing departments for their personal brand. Every interview becomes an image sales pitch. In Bedard, I see a proud but introverted guy who doesn't just fill up space with canned words (a la Nuke LaLoosh) when he doesn't really have anything to say. Maybe it's because I'm surrounded by over-communicators in my daily life, but I admire someone who is good at what they do and isn't a blowhard.

Ultimately, all that really matters is that he's good at what he does, which is pitch. At least in baseball, that's something easy to assess over time.

Posted by Mark Trail

9:19 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Kenny B: brilliant!

I don't know why anyone makes anything at all out of post-game interviews. The professional athlete who can string together two sentences without idiotic cliches and bromides ("We're just taking it one game at a time," "I like the way he goes about his business," etc.) is a rare commodity.

Frankly, most post-game interviews are painful to listen to even when the athlete is willing to talk. Nobody's ever going to confuse a pro sports team with the local Toastmasters club.

Posted by msb

10:43 AM, Mar 27, 2008

and he's been speaking English for, what, all of 5 years?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:15 AM, Mar 27, 2008

Re: Bedard's non-chattiness - I'll say it again, it would be nice to return to the days of having a dominating TOR pitcher who doesn't have much patience for the press. Because last time we had someone like that around, the Ms went to the postseason.

Perhaps someone needs to make the effort to try to interview him 1:1, in a quiet corner, in French?

And speaking of his heritage - am I the only one cringing in anticipation of what the M's P.R. department and SafeCo video / scoreboard guys will cook up? I anticipate a lot of "ooh la la!" on the video screens. (He's Quebecois, not French!) Or little Parisian-sounding organ riffs when he strikes someone out. (He's Quebecois, not French!) And I'm sure people won't have to bring the "ERI" and a dozen "K" signs with them, as we'll see some variation of that on the bullpen scoreboard.

Although, I do regret him not batting due to being an A.L. park, b/c it would have been interesting to see how they'd translate "funk blast".

And since I'm rambling - may I say I like the funk blast? It's quirky, absurd and catchy. And it's unique to us. I hope they keep that around again for this year. My 4-year-old occasionally sings "weee want da funk / hafta get dat funk" when hitting an imaginary home run in the back yard. :)

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:17 AM, Mar 27, 2008

ARGH - correction, he's Ottawan, not Quebecois. Maudite!

Posted by AKMarinersFan

11:31 AM, Mar 27, 2008

If he is from Ottawa he has spoke English all his life. That is BS. Listen to the guy he has almost no accent. Not understanding English is not his excuse. Of course Ichiro speaks and understand English too but pretends not to so I guess we have to be consistant.

Posted by msb

1:08 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Bedard is a francophone who (as he put it) spoke "horrible" English until he went to junior college. No one (esp. Bedard) is using language as an excuse; it is just one more thing that has affected his interactions with others in the early years. Obviously he has worked hard at improving it, based on his lack of accent these days...

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