Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 8, 2008 11:23 AM
Posted by Geoff Baker
A great morning here in San Francisco as I peer out my hotel window in the Nob Hill section of town. That water you see out there is the bay, where the Golden Gate bridge is off to the left, out of view of the camera. Beats downtown Oakland, which is a 20-minute train ride away. It's a million light years away from Marshalltown, Iowa. For those of you who keep writing in, please, stop. I know, I know. Jeff Clement is from Iowa and not Indiana, as I accidentally wrote in my newspaper notebook. My mistake. My apologies. That's what happens when you're trying to do 10 things at once with a deadline looming. The first casulaty, once in a while, can be the truth. But I do know Iowa from Indiana. Iowa has the potatoes, right? Kidding.
Erik Bedard went on Philadelphia radio with the local ESPN affiliate yesterday, as rumors continue to swirl about the Phillies now itching to land him in a deal. He didn't say anything overly inflammatory, other than blaming the media for his image troubles, insinuating it makes stuff up. Well, uh, only when we try to pass off Indiana for Iowa. Other than that, well, maybe if Bedard feels he's being unfairly portrayed, he can speak up and set the record straight before some potential misperceptions get out of hand? Just an idea. But he chose the path he now finds himself on. To imply otherwise seems a bit silly.
Anyhow, back to the interview. He didn't openly welcome a trade to Philadelphia, saying all the politically correct things. Then again, he didn't exactly turn it down either. I think if he gets criticized for this interview at all, it will be for actually going on the air in a city where the team is thinking of trading for him.
Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with players giving interviews. I think they should do it as often as possible and be far more open and honest than they usually are. But let's get real, here. Bedard usually puts total effort into steering as far clear of the media as he possibly can. He turned down the entire Toronto press corps during a visit to that city last month. Now, he's granting a radio interview in the city rumored to be his hottest landing point in a trade? I don't think it would be unfair for some to speculate that he may be greasing the skids for a deal out of town. Either that, or he's decided to turn over a new leaf. If it's the latter, good on him.
Anyhow, here are some of the interview snippets.
On whether he'd like to play for a contender: "Oh, yeah, definitely. Any time you're with a contending team, it's more exciting. (You're) more prepared. I don't know. It's just more fun.''
Problems with teammates and media?
"I never had a problem with teammates ever in my life. Maybe the media, yeah.''
"Just because they say what they want and stuff like that.''
How's he been pitching?
"Not bad, I'm just not going that deep into games.''
No, he's not. As we spent most of yesterday discussing, we'll have to see how that impacts his trade value.
ADDITIONAL NOTE (11:33 p.m.): For Chris from Bothell in the comments thread, yes, extremely jealous. We would have run off an extra edition yesterday had he given us those quotes. We had the Pulitzer committee on standby.
For Resin in the same comments thread, Bedard has been standoffish with the Seattle media since spring training, so no, that part didn't sway me on anything recently. What did is that this team fell off the map contention-wise, Bedard has become a five-or-six-inning pitcher and he will only be in Seattle one more year after this one. If a team wants to deal for him now, and offers real value, it makes sense to seriously look at a trade. Just like it makes sense to deal Jarrod Washburn, a guy who has been great with the media.
To fire_chuck, yes, a new GM might like to have Bedard around to build off. Or, he or she might want to be rid of any lingering contract/trade issues and start fresh.
For ScottM, about what you asked in the prior thread, we did ask Jim Riggleman about Cesar Jimenez going any deeper in Sunday's game. Turns out he hadn't been stretched out all that much in Tacoma. His highest pitch count had been in the 40s and he was well beyond that on Sunday. Also hadn't gone in back-to-back games, or pitched more than two innings. This time, he went four innings. So, there's the answer to your question. Hope it helps.
For MyMariner, try to stay on-topic, please. As one of you pointed out, we are linked to across the country every day, so there are tens of thousands of people who find this stuff interesting even if you don't. What would you like us to do, not link to the radio spot? Should we pretend it didn't happen and talk about something else? Like what? Mariner Moose? If you aren't interested, go someplace else.
No, killer_ewok (what kind of handle is that, anyway?). What I'm saying, in clear sentences, is that Jarrod Washburn's dealings with the media have zero impact on whether I think the team should trade him. Please read before commenting.