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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 12, 2008 9:01 AM

Video tour of trip, Kauffman Stadium

Posted by Geoff Baker

So, I thought we'd get away from baseball talk just a bit this morning. Here's our latest video. I took it on the trip to Kansas City, from Houston, Texas, where I'd bunked over at the airport hotel after barely catching that harried flight out of San Francisco right after the game in Oakland on Thursday. It was the best way to make it here on-time, with the time difference, instead of having to wake up at 4 a.m. and fight rush hour traffic to be at yesterday's game. And you thought this job was just sitting in a chair, crunching some numbers and trying to sound like an expert? Hah. Anyhow, you'll see the drive in to KC, to the Country Club Plaza section of town, then back off to the ballpark, Kauffman Stadium, which is right next to Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL Chiefs. Then, we take a tour of Kauffman Stadium, which opened in 1973 and is presently undergoing a $250 million renovation. Most of it will be done by Opening Day 2009. But they've already installed an HD video scoreboard, one of the largest in the country. They plan to build a concourse with restaurants all along the back of the stadium, behind the outfield fence. And they'll put seats atop those famed waterfalls behind the fance as well. Hope you enjoy it!

OK, I lied, we will talk a little baseball. Been reading from a lot of you (and not specifically Brian L., there have been plenty, he was just the latest to raise the issue) that Erik Bedard, when he's actually in games, is performing exactly the way he did in Baltimore, so none of us should be surprised. Sorry, I just can't stand to listen to that any longer. Those of you who want to make this into a pitch count thing, well, I'm sure you know better. It's not about the pitch counts. It's about the innings Bedard is throwing with those pitch counts. The guy Seattle traded five players for had 14 starts last season of at least seven innings. This season, he has only three. None since May.

He had only five starts last season in which he didn't go at least six innings. This year, he's already had eight starts of fewer than six frames.

That's the beef in a nutshell. Anyone with ace pretensions has to be able to go seven innings on a regular basis and let the bullpen be set up in the best possible way. Bedard is not doing what he did last season. Not even close. So please, let's stop saying otherwise. Maybe he's hurt, true. But the bottom line is, he has not produced what was expected. Has not delivered the innings of a top-of-the-rotation starter.

As for Luke Hochevar, I'm well aware of who he is. Know all about his stuff, his potential. So far, though, he's been mediocre. Had given up 13 runs over 10 innings in his last two starts. Had gone more than six innings against only one other AL team, that being the Baltimore Orioles, and that start came back in early May. Make that two teams. The M's have a habit out of making any young pitcher with potential look good lately. Which was kind of the point being made. Yes, he'd look good in Seattle's rotation right now.

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