Sports Radio Gasbag Pens Idiotic Column

In any other city this creature would be shunned and forced to live in the sewer

Just before the July 31st trade deadline, the Boston Red Sox engineered a three-team trade for Seattle Mariners pitcher Erik Bedard in order to shore up their rotation. Bedard is an oft-injured lefty, but he still has good stuff and has pitched effectively when healthy, striking out nearly a batter per inning. He also has a reputation for being a bit testy with the media. Still you think that most Boston sports commentators would give the guy the benefit of the doubt and at least talk to him in person before rushing to judgement. Not Gerry Callahan, WEEI morning show host and ginger. Bedard had barely arrived in Boston when Callahan penned a hilariously bad column for the Boston Herald declaring the trade a ‘recipe for disaster.’ Let’s break down Gerry’s reasoning piece by stupid piece FJM-style:

The Red Sox [team stats]’ long and arduous search for a starting pitcher is finished, Erik Bedard is on his way to Fenway Park [map], and now begins an even more daunting task: finding someone who believes Bedard is a good fit in Boston.

Hmmm, let me try and venture a guess at this one… the people who run the Red Sox perhaps? Or are they in the business of giving up assets to get guys who they think would be terrible fits on their team, which has the best record in the American League?

It was two minutes before the trade deadline Sunday when Theo Epstein acquired Bedard from Seattle, and it was about two minutes after the deadline that we began to wonder why. Maybe Theo couldn’t coax Matt Young out of retirement. Maybe the Sox decided John Lackey needed another ornery 32-year-old out of the AL West to keep him company. Or maybe they were so desperate for a starter to replace Clay Buchholz that they settled for a square peg and will try to jam him into a round hole.

Or maybe they saw a guy who has an FIP (an ERA-scaled pitching stat that adjusts for fielding and park factors) below 4 all but one season since 2005 and thought, “Hey, that’s probably better than the schlock at the back of our rotation and we can get him without giving up a top prospect. Let’s give it a shot.” No that would be way too obvious.

Bedard is a hard-throwing left-hander with the proverbial good stuff, but when you take a look at the complete package, it’s obvious he belongs in Boston about as much as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie belongs on an Abercrombie & Fitch billboard.

Hurr Durr, check out my awesome analogy guys!

Bedard doesn’t like the media. He doesn’t like crowds. He doesn’t like attention. He doesn’t like day games. Some people wonder if he even likes baseball.

Yes, he hates baseball. That would explain why he spent the time it took him to get to the major leagues. He played in all those games from Little League through the minors and spent all that time practicing because he doesn’t like baseball. Also, nice use of the straw man there, douche. I assume that Gerry Callahan is not “some people?” Then why waste my time with this column?

His disdain for the press is legendary. Once Bedard supposedly told the assembled media that he would answer five questions. When a reporter asked if he was serious, Bedard responded, “That’s one.” He allegedly answered four more before walking away.

Erik Bedard sounds awesome!

In attempt to get some answers from the enigmatic pitcher, ESPN The Magazine solicited the help of Bedard’s teammates in Baltimore. Aubrey Huff asked the first question, which was, “Why do you hate the media?”

Bedard’s answer: “I’m not going to answer that one. That just stirs up stuff and leads to more questions.”

Holy crap! I wouldn’t answer that question either, because it’s both loaded and retarded. Imagine if someone asked you this question: “Why do you hate blondes/old people/ arbitrary group X?” Would you answer that to a major media outlet?

Oh, there are lots of questions waiting for Bedard when he gets to Boston. Such as: How come you never pitch after July 31?

Injuries maybe? I thought we covered this.

Bedard has been on the disabled list 10 times in his career and hasn’t made a start in August or September in four years. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s August, and the Sox need him to pitch in big games down the stretch.

It is August, and Bedard is scheduled to pitch on Thursday. What’s your point Gerry?

Bedard was in Seattle for 31⁄2 years, and by all accounts enjoyed his time in the laid-back Northwest. Indeed, his propensity to end up on the DL just before the trade deadline has led some to wonder if it was his way to thwart any possible deals to big-market teams.

“To me, that’s a sign he doesn’t want to be traded,” Jim Duquette, who was in the Orioles’ front office when Bedard was in Baltimore, told the Herald.

Oh yes, I forgot that Erik Bedard is one of the X-men. His mutant power? The ability to fake an injury that fools a team’s medical staff every year at exactly the same time so he doesn’t get traded.

Bedard did not come down with an injury at the deadline this year, but he did not make it easy for the Mariners to deal him. All the scouts were watching closely when he made his final start Friday night. It was the 157th start of Bedard’s career and probably the worst. He lasted 11⁄3 innings, his shortest outing ever, and gave up four walks and five runs in an 8-0 loss to Tampa Bay. Seattle radio guy Mike Salk said yesterday on WEEI that Bedard’s final outing began with three straight wild pitches to the backstop in the bullpen.

“There’s definitely a belief out here that he tanked it so he wouldn’t have to go anywhere,” Salk said.

Or maybe he was coming off the DL after not having pitched in a month?

If that was Bedard’s plan, it didn’t work, as Epstein acquired him two days later. Bedard will wear No. 23 (and not his usual 45, last worn here by Pedro Martinez) and start Thursday night against the Indians. Salk called Bedard to the Red Sox “the ultimate recipe for disaster.”

And there it is, Bedard is a recipe for disaster based on this one thing that this one guy told me. Case closed!

Let’s be fair: No one is alleging that Bedard fondled a waitress or crashed his Ferrari into another motorist while going 100 mph, leaving the other driver partially paralyzed. Bedard hasn’t stomped on the face of a defenseless opponent. That’s another new guy in town. That’s Our Albert, and it’s been, like, months since he assaulted a teammate (Ed note: anyone else sensing a racial undertone here?). And doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance, especially guys with lots of talent?

I’m not saying that Erik Bedard molests dogs, or has AIDS or anything. Also check out irrelevant comparison number 2. Gerry is really good at equating stuff guys!

And just like Our Albert, Erik Bedard has talent. Since 2006, he has the best batting-average against (.229) in the American League, and his ERA during that span is 3.41. And in his career, he’s averaging almost a strikeout an inning (8.8 per nine innings). Epstein saw the upside and took a chance.

Oh, so you do get it, you’ve just been wasting my time for a whole page.

With Buchholz apparently out for the season, the Sox had to do something. Hiroki Kuroda wouldn’t waive his no-trade, and the price for Ubaldo Jimenez was just too high. The Sox thought they had a deal for Rich Harden but were scared off by his medical reports. They settled for Bedard, and now can hope for an upset. Can a player who doesn’t want to be here, who doesn’t like the big stage or the bright lights, thrive in Boston in a pennant race? Seems like a longshot.

I base this solely on what one guy in Seattle told me. Seriously, at this point I can’t wait for Bedard to throw a shutout in his first start.

Duquette, now with the MLB Network, said he “even tried to dissuade a couple of big-market clubs” from acquiring Bedard, a shocking admission from a former GM. Apparently, the other clubs took Duquette’s advice and shied away.

This level of professionalism is exactly why Duquette was so successful in baseball. Oh what’s that? He got fired by both the Mets and Orioles? Jeez, that guy must really suck. As for the speculated other teams, clearly they shied away solely because of Duquette’s advice not because they had other needs, or they couldn’t match the package that Seattle ended up with, or they weren’t contenders, or any other host of reasons. It’s clearly all because of Duquette.

Not the Sox. They dragged Bedard to Boston against his will, and now they will ask him to pitch them into the playoffs and beyond.

Actual quote from Bedard press conference:

“It means the world,” said Bedard of playing for the AL East-leading Red Sox. “You play this game to be in the playoffs and be in the World Series and win the World Series. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m going to do the best I can.”

Sounds like he came kicking and screaming.

That’s asking a lot of a guy who hates answering questions.

Would it be too much to ask you to stop writing columns?

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Posted on August 3, 2011, in Baseball, Douchebags, FJM Style. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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