Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Farewell To Arms (Erik Bedard Edition)

No, he wasn't worth the boatload of prospects. He never was.

In a sense the Mariners lost the trade the moment they sent Adam Jones & Co. to Baltimore for the Erik Bedard. Not surprisingly he was who we thought he was.

47 starts, 15-14, 255.1 IP, 212 hits, 101 BB, 249 K

Talented but brittle like a strawberry wafer crisp Erik's legacy as a Mariner will always be one of underachievement. The lofty expectations were unfair, as it wasn't Bedard's idea to be acquired for a random and be immediately dubbed "The Missing Piece" for a Seattle club that frankly wasn't that good. Yet he was supposed to become the team's ace, even starting Opening Day 2008 ahead of Felix Hernandez. He was supposed to lead the Mariners to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Obviously. The M's sucked with or (mostly) without Bedard. Now I don't harbor any ill will toward him. In fact, I found his blunt comments and sly remarks to the media rather amusing. And Erik certainly didn't dog it with his injuries as certain uptight sports journalists would make it seem. He was inefficient as fuck but he wasn't a quitter.

He gets hurt. A lot. It's just the way he's built. The Mariners knew that. Bill Bavasi knew that. We all knew Bedard would probably break down. It happened a lot and it sucked.

But man, when healthy he was a sight to behold. My favorite Mariner memory of Erik is the first. Opening Day 2008 in fact. Seattle was hosting the Texas Rangers. The prized offseason acquisition would square off against a division rival. Anticipation was sky high. The very first batter was Ian Kinsler.

And Bedard fucking destroyed him.

That magnificent, knee-buckling curveball. That's what I'll take away from Erik Bedard and his all-too-brief stint with the M's. Because when it was right, everything was right.

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