Everyone else is talking about it, and I’m putting off homework today so…
Seriously, is there any other player that has been on this team in recent years that is quite as polarizing as Erik Bedard? Either you really like him or you just hate him. I’m in the first camp, and some of the reasons for that stem from the fact that I’ve been told so often that I should be in the second. I’m stubborn that way.
But the fact of the matter is, Erik Bedard -when healthy and active- is one of the best pitchers in the game. Unfortunately for us, he hasn’t been healthy and active for the majority of his time here in Seattle. A lot of people choose to hold that against him, and I think those people are silly. Blame the guy who signed him to a multi-million dollar deal without thoroughly checking into his health records (ask an Orioles fan, they’ll tell you he had issues before he got here); don’t hate the player, hate the game. But people will choose to be angry at him because they need something to be angry about, even with all the other improvements that have been made thus far – it completely stuns me, but it’s absolutely true. Fans are funny that way.
I find myself torn with all the recent discussion about signing him to a high-incentive one year deal. I like Erik Bedard – there is little that will change that; but I am absolutely terrified that he will break again, and I don’t know if it’s worth it, for lack of a better phrase. I mean, I know he’s “worth it”, but it seems like a massive risk to me; we’ve gone through this twice now, I don’t know if the third time is necessarily a charm. If Bedard was healthy, a Felix/Lee/Bedard/Rowland-Smith punch would be absolutely unstoppable – and I would love every minute of it – and from what I understand, we’re responsible for his rehab until he’s shiny and new anyway, so he’s ours until May/June whether anyone likes it or not. I find myself wondering if there is anything that our staff could do (ala’ Ian Snell’s foot) that might help him throw differently or hold himself differently to avoid some of the strain he’s been putting on himself to wind up injured to begin with. It seems like our pitching staff has a knack for correcting the wrongs (getting Jarrod Washburn to, as he said on Brock & Salk, stick his butt out a little in the windup to improve his throw), and I’d like to see what they can do with him in addition to the giant pile of awesome that he already is when he’s feeling good.
Well, look at that…I think I may have just talked myself into a ‘yay’ for this idea.