DISCLAIMER: This is a purely opinionated article. If you disagree with me, I won’t be offended. I have no stats to back this up nor any insider who is telling me this is how the Mariners want to proceed.
So about a week ago I referred to a new devastating disease that has the possibility of infecting new players acquired by the Mariners. Called Bedarditis. I referenced it in a post about a week ago but didn’t go into any lavish detail concerning it and I think it’s critical to talk about it right now being that there seems to building support to bring back Erik Bedard.
Bedarditis (Be-dard-i-tis): The overwhelming sensation and emotional association that overcomes local fans after the acquisition of a “prized” sports star. Coupled with over zealous expectations that are in fact higher than the player him/herself can sustain despite how hard they may attempt to validate those expectations. Leads the fan base to resentment, frustration and disdain for said individual(s).
The problem is that from the start 2008 was doomed. No matter how hard he tried he was not going to please local fans or sports writers in 2008, unless he brought them to the playoffs. It was either he wasn’t trying hard enough or he wasn’t pushing through his wimpy injuries. You had some of the reporters having a problem with his quiet behavior which to Bedard’s discredit almost came across as shunning the local media. In 2009 he braved one of the most horrible pitching injuries a person can sustain AND still pitched through it (not to mention that he was rather successful while doing so). Fans have developed a level of resentment, frustration and disdain for Bedard. There is always going to be a ton of controversy that follows him in Seattle. He has few if any reasons to really want to come back for another season.
I am not against the Mariners offering him a contract for half a season. Despite his injuries he still pitched very well in his combined 164 innings pitched and has shown why the former front office had such huge amounts of faith in his talent.
However, whenever he doesn’t go a full 6 innings or has a bad outing, people once again start to talk. He’s better off starting over in some place like Toronto, Detroit, Minnesota or Milwaukee (which I’m sure all and more will be watching his progress attentively) than choosing to come back to Seattle.
Being left handed and his ability to minimized contact rates against hitters, make him a perfect number #2 to go into this starting rotation. But, even Lookout Landing put in their two cents about the situation back in August. While he is a great pitcher we just are at a point where we need to say goodbye and cut ties.
I like Erik Bedard. I really do. Unfortunately he will forever be associated with a bad deal in Seattle. He needs a fresh start. We need someone that won’t remind us of how much we gave up every time we are disappointed with him. There is, of course, still a chance he comes back and pitches for us and really I have no problem with that. But, we need to modify our high expectations of him. Otherwise we’ll be let down and disappointed yet again.