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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 27, 2008 7:57 PM

Signing off from Peoria

Posted by Geoff Baker

Lots of questions from all of you. I'll provide a handful of answers for you in this video, shot from our Seattle Times condominium in Peoria, Ariz. I'm packing the condo up as we speak, ready to fly back to the Emerald City first thing tomorrow morning. I'll spend the weekend preparing for the team's season-opener. The first two questions you'll see me answer on the video come from Lola and DR in the comments thread. Lola asks what it is about the Arizona air that would impact Erik Bedard as a pitcher and cause him to give up so many home runs this spring. Many of you have asked that question, as well as why someone like Randy Johnson could have success as a strikeout arm down here.

Two different things. Johnson is more of a power pitcher than Bedard. The pitchers most impacted down here are those who rely on a lot of movement to their pitches. A curveball guy like Bedard fits that description. The thing most impacted by the dry air is a pitcher's grip on the ball. If you can't grip it properly, or release it when you want, it's going to be tough to generate the movement needed.

DR's question was about whether Bedard gets along with his teammates in the clubhouse. Yes, he does. From what I've seen and the people I've talked to, he can be a very funny guy. He may not share any jokes with the media, or offer anything in regards to insight into what he does, but as far as any clubhouse problems, absolutely none. Let's clear that one up.

Many of you have asked me about R.A. Dickey. As I say in the video, I saw a report on a website citing an anonymous source that says the M's offered him back to the Minnesota Twins -- which they'd have to do if he wasn't going to make the roster, since he's a Rule 5 draft pick. I've heard nothing that confirms that. From what I've heard, the team is high on Dickey. They like the idea of having a rubber-armed long reliever, especially with the bullpen health concerns. John McLaren has compared Dickey to Tim Wakefield. Unless he's just blowing hot air, you keep Tim Wakefield if you think you've got him on your club. That's a no-brainer. Unless, as I've said, the Wakefield reference was mere hyperbole. If it was, then it probably should stop.

Hopefully, we can make these video Q&A's a regular feature as the season progresses. Looking forward to it.

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