D-O-V Crunch on Bedard's 'Injury'

Flip:  Geoff Baker with an interesting report on Erik Bedard's shoulder.

Chop:  We may be getting a bit pollyanna here :- ) and if it turns out that Bedard's shoulder is Top Ramen at this point, fine, I'll cheerfully own up to a mis-read.

But my own cornball D-O-V translation of Capt Jack's and Wok's quotes are that they are classic "Sigh, roll your eyes, Erik being Erik" quotes.  When Wok says

"he felt a little stiffiness in there and didn't like what he felt. It's one of those things, you don't know how he feels,"

that is what we've heard coaches say for 35 years when they're wishing a guy would get out of the training room and onto the playing field, but they want to be nice about it.

Now, Wok seems sincere to me about his respect for Erik's judgment.  I'm just saying these are the quotes I associate with fairly routine playing-in-pain nicks and dings.


Wok:  "He's done a great job as far as letting us know he feels something in there that's not quite 100 percent."   You get it?  Not quite 100 percent?

At the same time "He's done a great job" is the kind of shmoozing you see when an org wants to impress a guy and keep him around.  And Bedard obviously appreciates the respect.


=== Fine Line Between Courage and Stupidity Dept. ===

Personally, I think that crashing into walls (so to speak) is appropriate in the NFL, where each game is 1/16 of the season.  Risking injury makes logical sense in the NFL.  But it does not make sense in MLB, where one game means much less.  Baseball players should be very concerned with staying healthy.

I suspect that Erik Bedard's refusal to pitch in pain stems from intelligence, rather than from cowardice.  I suspect this because there's no such thing as a more courageous pitcher when he's performing on the mound. And I suspect this because of his comeback from TJ -- as well as his very rapid comeback from last winter's surgery.  Did YOU expect Bedard to be firing seeds to open the 2009 season?

Courage is in the rehab, not in throwing ten extra pitches when you can feel something about to rip inside your shoulder.

In a pollyanna kind of way, I see Bedard's refusal to pitch when "he's not quite 100 percent" as helpful insurance AGAINST his injuring himself badly.   If you're investing 6 years in a pitcher, would you rather have a dummy who pitches with stuff about to tear, or a guy who goes "whoops, risky here, shut it down and go get 'em next time."


=== Nothin' We Didn't Expect, Dept. ===

As All-Star Roto champ Justynius told us right out of the gate, Bedard is always taking time off, but always from minor nicks and dings.  It's sort of scary to deal with, but that's Bedard's track record.  If he doesn't quite feel 100%, he's going to protect his future.

And as G-Money has reminded us many times, when you go through surgery, you can count on a couple of setbacks.  It's normal.  Mark Lowe was the poster boy for G-Money's "don't panic" preaching, and Lowe despite his rehab hiccups is now breathing 98-99 mph fire.


=== Fly By Your Instruments, Not Your Instincts Dept. ===

Somebody else wants a workhorse, a Freddy Garcia who goes 210 innings and looks like he could go 310.  I respect that. 

Most fans just want somebody who *feels* safer than Cone or Pedro or Bedard or Carpenter, and that's fine.

Me personally, I think that ALL pitchers are one pitch away from the knife and I'm prepared to manage the injury risk.   It's the MRIs and CAT scans that I'm going to go off -- fly by my instruments, not my instincts.  'Cause my instincts are that they'll all get hurt. :- )

Wok's you're-too-kind quotes about Bedard lead me to suspect that the M's are going to see it my way.  LOL.  We'll see.


In the meantime, check that about Bedard being the M's ace.  Since the Wok-shock, Felix has taken over the league.  Looking forward to getting Bedard back and seeing a real Koufax and Drysdale.


Dr D



I've always thought that Felix' main problem was that he was a bit too emotional...that when things did not go his way with blown calls or bad fielding or bad luck or when his stuff wasn't quite right, he'd get all upset and pitch without focus.  I always saw him as the kind of pitcher who throws with a chip on his shoulder and distinct hatred of the opposing hitters.  This year it was kind of shocking to see him lose focus not because he was upset about things not going his way because he stopped caring for like four starts.  I've never seen him do that.  I think Wok handled it very well though...he basically fired a few warning shots across the King's bow...re-awakened Felix' competitive spirit.  Since his "worst day" start, he's throwing WAAAYYY more curveballs, locating his fastball better, pitching backwards early in games and his velocity is rising as games progress.  I think maybe Felix got bored.  He seems to need constant prodding to stay interested these days.  He's so good he can roll out of bed at 3 PM and be throwing 95 in game situations at 7. :)  Easy to see how he might get a little bored.
But when he is fully mature, you won't see stretches like that.  It's coming very soon...the moment will arrive when he posts his first sub-2 seasonal ERA...and he'll never look back.

Taro's picture

Everytime Bedard hits the DL it scares the crap out of me.... Hes already had two major arm surgeries and has never gone through a full season healthy.
You've got to wonder how wise it is to throw a guy like that a long-term pricy deal...if we can land some blue chippers for him that might be my preference right now.. I wouldn't mind an extension either, but it would need to be a club-favored deal.


Taro...you can't land blue-chippers for a guy like Bedard.  It's non-possible.  No playoff contender is going to mortgage its future for a guy who may or may not stay healthy during his 3-month rental.

Taro's picture

Ya, that might be true.
I'd hate to lose him for nothing...Extending him may be a neccesary risk. It has to be a moderately club-favored deal though.


Included in Krueger's interview this afternoon, was the implicit assumption that Bedard would bring back a rich haul, especially from the NL.  An assumption that I would have thought was evident.
But Krueger wasn't interested in trading Bedard, as mentioned above.

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