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The Erik Bedard Trade: One Year Later

George Sherrill and Adam Jones, two of the guys we got in the Erik Bedard tradeStop, drop, and roll: today (the 8th) is the one-year anniversary of the trade that sent Erik Bedard to Seattle for a king’s ransom. If you didn’t realize it in time to plan a ceremony, don’t feel bad. I would have missed it completely if not for this Seattle Times article (which is well worth a read).

It’s odd, now, to remember that Seattle saw Bedard as their missing link. He was supposed to get them over the hump and, maybe, deep into the playoffs. Instead, he pitched just 81 innings over 15 games. Seattle went 61-101, while George Sherrill became an All-Star, Adam Jones became a symbol of hope, and Chris Tillman became can’t-miss.

Seattle eventually fired pretty much everyone involved in making the trade.

Perhaps the best quote I’ve heard from their side is in that Times article, and it comes from former pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre: “Sometimes you get a guy and he’s a little different than he looks from outside,” he said. “Not to knock him, because he’s a great talent, but basically he didn’t have the leadership qualities I thought we were getting.”

And thus the Bedard Enigma claims its latest victim. There’s a part of me that still wishes he was here because, frankly, he’s a fascinating person. Not that I’d undo the trade.

If you’re feeling like a walk down memory lane, head over to the February 2008 Loss Column archives to see how we all felt then.

13 comments to The Erik Bedard Trade: One Year Later

  • neal s

    Also, a couple of site notes:

    1. The search box in the upper left should now — in theory — return results that include comments in addition to posts. That’s long overdue, no? If you try it, let me know how it works.

    2. I tweaked the “Endorsements” sidebar to make it easier to contribute. Thank the plugin author for that one.

  • neal s

    Nice win by the Terps tonight. I’m starting to feel like they have just enough in the tank to make a run at 8-8 in the conference. That rematch with Duke on 02/25 at home will tell us an awful lot about this team.

  • dan the man

    That quote tells you everything you need to know about why some of those Seattle FO types got fired. Did anyone do any research?? I mean, it’s like they were completely surprised at what kind of dude they were getting. A quick online search of Baltimore-based media outlets would have produced enough blurbs about Bedard’s character to raise a red flag. A quick email to a beat reporter, scout, bat boy, O’s fan, beer guy might have revealed a few more red flags. It was certainly no secret. Surely it was just a case of the M’s being enamored with his talent and figuring a change of scenery would do him good.


    Did they really think Erik “I’m Done” Bedard would put the Mariners on his back and ride them to the playoffs?

    From that quote it’s clear the coaching staff aren’t buying what Bedard is selling. They can only hope he’ll be healthy and just be solid. A long cry from The Final Piece.

  • Andrew

    Well, Dan, I guess it’s considered a lot harder to be a leader and put a bad team on your back than a playoff caliber team. We’ve seen here how losing saps guys of their energy and zeal – guys like Miguel Tejada who just can’t stand the losing and don’t really step up for a loser, but who can and have put teams on their backs to get to the playoffs. So it’s not that much of a stretch to think Bavasi thought putting Bedard in a winning atmosphere (*chortle*) would do his personality a world of good.

    I miss Bedard. If baseball teams were measured not by wins and losses but rather hysterical post-game quotes, I would undo that trade in a minute. I’ll never forget his reaction to that near perfect game against the Rangers: “I don’t know. Perfect game? No-hitter? I just battled out there and threw some good pitches.”

  • neal s

    That’s a great point, Dan. We all knew about (and sometimes celebrated) Bedard’s eccentricities. I can only imagine the things that people close to the team knew but never mentioned.

    I mean, the guy is fucking weird. Maybe it’s just a case of nobody telling Stottlemyre and him just figuring that the talent came bundled with certain intangibles.

    Even if that’s true, it doesn’t excuse their front office.

    God bless ’em though. We got a hell of a haul in return.

  • neal s

    That’s right on, Andrew. Bavasi probably figured losing was the root of his weirdness, where all along we realized that weirdness was the root of his weirdness.


  • dan the man

    Yeah, Bedard certainly is nothing if not interesting. No one really knows why he acts the way he does, and that’s what I find most interesting. He seems to enjoy baseball or he’d just quit. But he doesn’t seem especially competitive, which is odd given his talent level and his apparent desire to play the game. He doesn’t seem like he’s just in it for the money because he grew up in humble surroundings and is a no-frills dude. So… what the hell IS it, then? He’s an introvert in an extrovert’s world which to me, in some ways, makes him one of the most relate-able guys in sports. But yet, it’s not really how we like our sportsmen. If they’re going to be introverts, we expect them to be like Nick Markakis, someone who’s just quiet, but leads by example – not someone who’s quiet, apparently not willing to give his all for the team, and downright surly. To be sure though, he’s a fucking hilarious personality and as a result, we’ll be following any Bedard news for as long as he’s in the game.

  • dan the man

    Man.. just reading about what we got in return again sounds so ridiculous. All Star closer and what could very well be a future All Star, Gold Glove center fielder.

    Oh yeah.. PLUS Chris Tillman, Tony Butler, and Kam Mickolio. I mean… WOW.

    -End gloating.

  • rick

    yup, an excellent trade that will continue to pay dividends for quite awhile.

    Never underestimate the damage a clubhouse cancer can inflict. Some make light of personality and clubhouse chemistry, but team building is so enhanced when individuals are willing to sublimate their personal needs to those of the team.

    Obviously, lead by example trumps just talking the talk, but a few men with talent and an excellent work ethic and attitude can do wonders for the team’s overall performance – especially in the marathon that is the baseball season.

  • Andrew

    @rick – Color me unconvinced. Kevin Millar is supposed to be a real chemistry builder: which is true, we all saw how together everyone seemed…and the Orioles teams he played on all still stunk and then some. Meanwhile you’ve got teams like the Bronx Zoo or the ’86 Mets which must have been awful to be a part of except for their rampant success.

    Basically, I’ve seen no proof that clubhouse chemistry actually adds wins. Not that I don’t want the Orioles clubhouse to be easy going. It’s more fun to root for guys who seem interested in going to work everyday win or lose (especially here in Baltimore in the 00s). But it’s even more fun to root for a winner.

  • neal s

    Wait, wait, wait: the kid’s pitching coach is named Rusty Filter??


  • dan the man

    Hahahaha didn’t catch that. What’s the other Rusty in sports… Rusty Kuntz? Incredible.