Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 18, 2008 4:58 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
NOTE: To Joey, I've answered your questions lower down in the post.
You can pretty much scratch Erik Bedard off any remaining trade scenarios. Just got done talking with Mariners manager Jim Riggleman and he said Bedard did not throw over the All-Star Break -- after being told not to if he felt discomfort in his shoulder -- and has been shut down for the next few days. That means, at the earliest, he may start playing catch again on Monday, then on Tuesday if that goes well.
A bullpen session? Likely not until a few days after that. So, at this rate, the most he'll make in terms of starts before the July 31 trade deadline would likely be one. That's not going to get a deal done. Not the kind that brings you back anything in returns.
Riggleman didn't sound overly optimistic about getting Bedard back on a mound before the deadline.
"He didn't come out of the break feeling significantly better,'' he said. "Hopefully by Monday he's ready to play some firm catch and we'll go from there. If he's not...''
Riggleman didn't finish. He didn't have to.
"We're not looking at trying to pitch him before the 31st,'' he said. "It's really all going to be based on how he feels. The 31st is kind of irrelevant when a guy's got a tender arm.''
Remember, Bedard hasn't pitched since July 4.
So, anyway, there you go. By the way, speaking of guys who missed yesterday's workout, I was wrong in telling you Arthur Rhodes also got delayed because of a flight. In fact, Rhodes had permission from the team to skip yesterday's workout. The only guy with such permission. He was not delayed. So, I gave you the wrong info about that. My apologies.
Good debate in the comments section today over the Ichiro conundrum. As you can see, there are no easy answers (under the assumption, of course, that he's not moving back to CF next year, since the team has already said the physical toll impacted his offensive production and Ichiro himself has made clear he prefers RF. That won't change by 2009). Just one thing I'd like to clear up, based on comments I've seen: Ichiro is the furthest thing from being a problem for the media. He's the first guy out in the clubhouse talking after every game. Says he feels it's his responsibility. Interpreter or not, who cares? He talks to everyone. I can't personally remember him turning me down for an interview, including last week's comments over his decision to skip the Home Run Derby. Don't know of a media member who has a problem with him for issues like that, or his use of an interpreter. The idea being spread about, that the media has it in for Ichiro because he's not a good quote, or makes life difficult for reporters, is laughably out-of-touch with present-day goings-on within the team's realm and being a tad unfair, to both the player and the media.
On with the team, it looks like those Jose Vidro critics out there -- pretty much all of you -- will be getting their wish. Riggleman confirmed today that Vidro's playing time is going to be vastly reduced now that Bryan LaHair is up with the team.
Miguel Cairo plays first base tonight. The M's have four lefty starters in a row facing them, so LaHair won't get much early playing time. Kenji Johjima is going to see more time at DH, with Jeff Clement doing the bulk of the catching from here on in. Jamie Burke catches tonight, the first time he's handled Hernandez since early April.
But Burke won't be doing much catching from here on in. And Vidro? I'd say he's gone after the trade deadline.
Not sure why he's still here, unless the team feels he'll get hot and convince a trade partner he's a worthy pinch-hitter. But it's tough to do that without getting a lot of ABs. If teams go off what he's shown to-date, there isn't much in terms of production -- as we've noted ad nauseum all week.
"He's kind of like Burke,'' Riggleman said. "He's getting the short end of the stick right now.''
For Joey in the comments thread, there are several answers to your questions that tend to tie-in with one another. Number one, it was up to the Mariners to figure out Bedard's health status before trading for him. Not up to the Orioles to disclose every and all detail (not that I have evidence they hid anything). The Mike Sirotka case involving the Blue Jays and White Sox in 2001 clearly reaffirmed the precedent of caveat emptor, or "buyer beware" in baseball. Sirotka was traded to Toronto for David Wells and a bunch of secondary guys going both ways. The Blue Jays tried to nullify the trade when they found Sirotka had a bad elbow (he never pitched again). But the commissioner's office upheld the deal and vindicated Chicago GM Kenny Williams, saying it was up to the team trading for Sirotka to do its due dilligence beforehand.
Same thing applies here with Bedard.
The second part of your question, about Bill Bavasi finding a GM job. I think he goes the route of the Toronto GM who botched the Sirotka deal, Gord Ash. Like Bavasi, Ash made several questionable trades and signings and ultimately lost his job because of Sirotka. He never found a GM job again, but has worked happily for years as the assistant GM of the Milwaukee Brewers. I think Bavasi has the skills, both people and baseball-wise, to hold a high-level front office job again. His GM days might very well be done. He's had two chances in two cities. But I don't see why he would not find work.
As for Bedard ranking up there with Barry Zito, or Chan Ho Park, no way. At worst, he's only in Seattle for two years at an average salary cost for pitchers. Zito will cost over $100 million. Yes, Seattle gave up some good players for him, but it's gotten some good pitching so far (limited good pitching, but good pitching nonetheless). Not even close to the Zito or Park scale.
24 Grady Sizemore CF
1 Casey Blake 1B
12 Ben Francisco LF
2 Jhonny Peralta SS
17 Shin-soo Choo RF
10 Kelly Shoppach C
20 David Dellucci DH
30 Andy Marte 3B
13 Asdrubal Cabrera 2B
32 Aaron Laffey LHP
51 Ichiro RF
16 Willie Bloomquist CF
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
4 Jose Lopez 2B
13 Miguel Cairo 1B
2 Kenji Johjima DH
15 Jamie Burke C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
Posted by BrianL
5:17 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Part of me was afraid this would happen. When Bedard suffered that initial hip injury in April, I wondered if he would compensate with his shoulder/arm/elbow to alleviate the pain. I have no idea if that's true or not, but it wouldn't surprise me.
It also wouldn't surprise me if Bedard came back from that hip injury too soon.
Posted by LaHair39rock
5:28 PM, Jul 18, 2008
No LaHair? To hell with this game! At least Felix is pitching!
Posted by ethan
5:34 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Bedard - IRON MAN
Posted by joebbaseball
5:38 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Where do we start! What a shock that Bedard went back home and did nothing! Why start to give a s#@t now. What a clown. Just watching the Blue Jays game, and the announcers were saying the Jays had a mandatory practice yesterday. Gaston told Haliday not to show up though since he pitched in the AS game and it wasn't even his throwday. He said its a mandatory practice, so as a teamate he felt he had to be there,which he was. Talk about the opposite of Bedard. Hell, talk about the opposite of this whole selfish team! Anyway, on to the lineup... So the m's call up a new kid, and start by starting Cairo? Excellent choice! Now again with Willie. He's a fine back up, but he's not an everyday player. I think the jury is still out on Reed though. So why the hell doesn't he start every game for the rest of this lost season to prove himself. (or not) This lineup they are going with tonight is a joke. But then again, so is this team.
Posted by BrianL
5:40 PM, Jul 18, 2008
joebbaseball - Clearly the correct thing to do during the all-star break is to throw on the side despite shoulder pain. Miguel Batista would have done that...
Posted by Jared
5:41 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Seems like Bedard pansies out at the right times... he didn't pitch in Baltimore because he was hurt, he wouldn't pitch in Toronto because of the media and now maybe he doesn't want to pitch because he doesn't feel like being traded and he knows that lowers his chances. hmmm... what do you think Geoff?
Posted by BrianL
5:46 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Geoff, I don't think the argument was that the media has it out for Ichiro (although I can name a few national media personalities in which this seems to be the case). The local media (you, Hickey, Street, Stone et all) generally handle him well and treat him fairly. It's the national guys who they take issue with.
I think the point Dave and Derek made earlier today is that the media unfairly pigeonholes Ichiro and faults him for not fitting a stereotypical role. That's a more fair assessment. Ichiro doesn't fit any normal player type, mostly because we haven't seen a player of his skillset in forty to fifty years.
Posted by joey
5:49 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Geoff: What an unmitigated disaster! Have any more MRIís been applied or taken lately. What is the official medical diagnosis? I thought there was no structural damage. Is this normal for a tight shoulder? Please give us some more medical analysis. How much is physical? How much is mental? How much is that the player we received is merely fragile and prone to minor (but lengthy) melt-downs? Can we sue Baltimore for hiding any pertinent documents and/or data that contributed to this travesty? Hip, back, shoulder. What is next? What is really scary is that Baltimore had the nerve to ask for more. Baltimore even tried to challenge the medical soundness of Adam Jonesí hip. We are being laughed at by the baseball world. I thought that the definition of a good trade is when both parties make out well. When the trade results are so one-sided, it is difficult to negotiate with the winning-side team again because there is a credibility and fear gap. Did Baltimore disclose all pertinent information and deal in an honest and forthright manner?
Here is a separate question. When Bill Bavasi was terminated, he said he was interested in getting another baseball job as soon as possible. In your opinion, would any owner or president ever again hire Bavasi as general manager with his terrible track record with respect to trading and/or free-agent signings?
Is the damage done with the Bedard trade worse than what San Fancisco Giants did with Barry Zito acquisiton? In that case, money was ear marked for many years without the associated performance.
Or what Texas did with an Asian pitcher a few years ago (long free-agent contract for a player who subsequently could not physically perform)?
Posted by Late for Work
5:51 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Bedard has never come back from anything too early, including the All Star break.
Posted by MS13
5:56 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Posted by J in Montana
6:01 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Man, I'm tired of all these people calling Bedard a pansy. He may be injury-prone, but that doesn't make him soft. He may be rude to the media and fans, but that doesn't make him a waste. Just because Bavasi made a horrible trade, people shouldn't take it out on Bedard. This guy would be having all these problems if he was still in Baltimore, Boston or Atlanta.
Clearly, he doesn't want to be in Seattle. But can you blame him? I wouldn't want to be on this team either. He has his entire career to think about, and he knows as well as anyone that his best and quickest ticket out of here was to pitch well and get himself traded. If he wasn't truly hurting, I'm sure he'd be pitching.
At this point he just needs to be shut down until he's feeling fully healthy. Bring him back next year and hope he gives you three good months then trade him for some quality. Then, at least you'll have made something of a really bad situation.
Posted by Sexson Update
6:21 PM, Jul 18, 2008
1st: RBI single
3rd: SO w/2 on base
6th: Grounded into DP
Same ol' same ol'
Posted by Batter Up!!!
6:24 PM, Jul 18, 2008
"The idea being spread about, that the media has it in for Ichiro because he's not a good quote, or makes life difficult for reporters, is laughably out-of-touch with present-day goings-on within the team's realm and being a tad unfair, to both the player and the media." Geoff Baker
I am so glad you said that. Thank you! I lost a ton of respect for that ship today. Sad Really...
Posted by The Cleaning Lady
6:30 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Dont' forget to take a break once in awhile and go to the bathroom.
Posted by tomtom
7:40 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Brian L... nice comment.
Who gave that Sexon update? Headlines: Sexon, look who he is dragging down now"
His move to NYY was in the bank before his "bad body language" episode. His Coach's quote, "I'm certain he will do better somewhere else" was the tip off... The FO gave him a thumbs up on leaving before the second half, quite a while ago.
chuckle.. Sexon hit a $15M single already. Wow... a single wasn't marked on his Mariner calendar for three more games... chuckle. Keeping all $7M of the "I'd give it all back just to win" Mariner money must have left him with some extra confidence... which ran out after one Inning, as usual.
I bet he even showed up for batting practice and kept his left foot on the ground... He can thank Pertland for that much style,,, the clueless mug,,,, and I bet he will reflect back on his ignorance about 60 times in the second half. I realize, for a player like him, keeping that left foot down and out of his ballet dancer mode is a lot of mental effort; and I am certain it tired him enough that he had to avoid the press after the game leaving him just enough energy to load up on free clubhouse gifts, and... yadda yadda yadda.. beer in his hotel.....as if the Yankee fans could give a hoot about a West Coast once a month home run hitter.
There are plenty of guys in their AAA league that make more Yankee money than Sexon will.
Posted by Full Count
10:17 PM, Jul 18, 2008
Why no MRI?
Posted by jeff928
6:22 AM, Jul 19, 2008
Erica has become the poster girl for the underachieving 2008 Mariners.
Jul 18, 08 - 11:17 PM
M's cruise on early homers
Jul 18, 08 - 09:42 PM
Cleveland Indians at Mariners: 07/18 game thread
Jul 18, 08 - 04:58 PM
Bedard may not pitch until August
Jul 18, 08 - 10:32 AM
The Ichiro conundrum
Jul 17, 08 - 04:25 PM
LaHair up, Hulett down