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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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July 7, 2008 6:01 PM

Hernandez to start Friday

Posted by Geoff Baker

oak0707 003.jpg

Greetings from Oakland. The travel here would have made a good video. My Alaska Airlines flight was over an hour late, forcing me to go from the San Francisco Airport directly to the ballpark, suitcase and all. I'm staying in San Francisco this time and had hoped to fly in there, drop the bags off at the hotel, then hop the rapid transit train to here. But nope. This is what flying in the U.S. has come to these days. The system just isn't reliable. Not if you need to be somewhere at a precise time, without several hours of flexibility. Good job everyone, keep up the splendid work.

On the positive side, I had a nice conversation with my cabbie as he sped at 85 mph up the freeway towards Oakland, trying to avoid getting caught in rush-hour traffic. He asked me what Seattle was doing for power and whether Jay Buhner was still with the M's. Told him nothing and no. But I had a good laugh.

On to baseball, Felix Hernandez is to start on Friday in Kansas City. You can see Hernandez, above, getting set to audition as an extra in Pirates of the Caribbean IV. No, no, he's just finished a workout with trainer Rick Griffin. Anyhow, he goes Friday, Carlos Silva tomorrow, then Miguel Batista, then R.A. Dickey. Erik Bedard could go on Saturday or Sunday depending on how his shoulder feels. If not, Ryan Rowland-Smith will start in his place. Read Rowland-Smith's latest blog post on right here.

I asked Mariners manager Jim Riggleman whether he's tempted to just rest Bedard until after the All-Star Break.

"That's certainly a possibility,'' he said. "But it's going to be determined by how he feels and the doctor.''

Riggleman and the team will keep apprised of how Bedard's shoulder feels.

"If it's a little achy, I think we'll probably end up doing that,'' he said of skipping Bedard in favor of Rowland-Smith.

By the way, if Jarrod Washburn goes out and gets lit up for seven runs over three innings tonight, I don't want to hear from any of you. The question isn't whether Washburn can sustain this pace the rest of the year. I don't care if he does or doesn't. This team's biggest trade deadline question is whether a team out there feels Bedard can do better than this pace (of the past six weeks) moving forward for the final two months of 2008. If they feel he can't do it, or might not, then the trade returns likely won't be substantial. If the M's do get something significant back, it will be because a team is either desperate, or actually does think he can turn things up a notch this season. Simple as that. The Washburn comparison was made to show that Bedard's actual results have been no better over a six-week span. Not to advocate Washburn as the better choice. To show what the M's are up against in perhaps needing to change some perceptions if they wish to deal Bedard and get some returns back.

Anyhow, Jeff Clement is back in at DH tonight, so many of you will be happy about that. Richie Sexson is in there as well, batting fifth. I know many of you -- most of you -- won't like that.

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The lineups:

MARINERS (35-53)

51 Ichiro RF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
9 Jeff Clement DH
16 Willie Bloomquist CF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

56 Jarrod Washburn LHP

OAKLAND (47-41)

14 Mark Ellis 2B
15 Ryan Sweeney RF
32 Jack Cust DH
8 Emil Brown LF
24 Kurt Suzuki C
28 Carlos Gonzalez RF
45 Wes Bankston 1B
22 Jack Hannahan 3B
2 Gregorio Petit SS

30 Dana Eveland RHP

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