Monday, February 11, 2008

Let's Get Bedarded.... Out There

The merits of the Erik Bedard trade (or, as it will be known in a few years, the Adam Jones deal) are still being debated across the baseball universe: Did Seattle give up too much? Will Baltimore regret trading one of the best left-handers in the game? What are the fantasy implications here? And, if Adam Jones goes to a Baltimore strip club, will anyone get shot? I have my own opinions (yes; perhaps; no real change to Bedard's draft position; and, probably not), but in order to consolidate the opinions of those writers who actually get paid to analyze these things, I'm gonna drop it like Buster Olney on ya'll (with a few decidedly un-Olney-like comments from me):

Rick Maese acknowledges in the Baltimore Sun that the trade represents a gamble by the Orioles, but he thinks it's a risk worth taking for the future—especially given the fact that, in his words, "the Orioles will be bad this season. I mean, really bad. Last-place bad. Meatballs 4 bad."

Steve Kelley
of the Seattle Times writes that acquiring Bedard gives Seattle one of the best rotations in baseball and a legit shot at making the playoffs. To paraphrase William Carlos Williams:

so much depends


Ted Miller of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer drags an otherwise good marriage metaphor across a few too many paragraphs, but he ultimately reaches the conclusion that this is a win-now deal for a Mariners team that boasts a win-later lineup. Nevertheless, he takes the Bread and Circuses approach by writing that Bedard will, at the very least, put butts in the seats.

Interesting piece by Laura Vecsey in which Bedard talks about how happy he is to be out of Baltimore. I can't blame him, really. Still, Mariner fans can't be too happy to read that Bedard says he felt "lost" whenever he faced the Red Sox and the Yankees last year, even though he dominated both teams.

Peter Schmuck warns O's fans not to expect any immediate returns from the team's most-recent acquisitions, but is otherwise pleased with the haul. (I'm intentionally avoiding a name joke here. Readers of the Sun know that attempts at comedy at the expense of Mr. Schmuck's good name are as trite as those "why don't they just make the entire thing out of the black box" jokes that people make whenever a plane crashes).

Larry Stone prepares M's fans—and his fellow members of the Seattle media—for Bedard's arrival with an in-depth look at the pitcher's cerebral approach and seemingly prickly personality. And, perhaps the most-fascinating revelation from Stone's comprehensively-researched and well-written piece is this: Bedard still lives in his parents' basement. What is it with baseball players living well-below their means?

The felicitously-named Tristan Cockcroft weighs in on the fantasy impact of the trade, noting that the two key players in the deal—Bedard and Jones—may not be the ones who see the greatest leap in value come draft day.

This blog entry from Sun reporter Roch Kubatko—who, with a name like that, sounds like he could be working the docks with Frank Sobotka—is interesting mainly because, in it, Kubatko reveals that erstwhile Oriole closer Jamie Walker "had no idea which players were coming to the Orioles" in the Bedard deal. Walker's employer—you know, the one who paid him $3,000,000 last year—was planning one of the biggest trades in recent memory, and he couldn't be bothered to open a newspaper or read about it online? When he was drinking Schaefer Light with his buddies in the clearly made-up locale of McMinnville, Tennessee, no one ever said something like, "So, ya'll are chasin' after Adam Jones, huh? Supposed to be a pretty good ballplayer, I hear." As Zack de la Rocha, the world's angriest poet, said, "If ignorance is bliss, then knock the smile off my face."

And, for the final word on this drawn-out saga, we turn to Keith Law, who acknowledges Bedard's utter beast-ness but questions whether the Mariners paid too much to acquire him. (Note: Law's column is Insider-only, although if you don’t have an Insider account by now then you probably don't care about sports, and you're likely not reading this anyway).


Jay Z said...

Dude, way to drop Bill C. Bills on us. And I totally agree with most everyone's assessment, especially the "win-now deal, with a win-later lineup." I like the trade, if it put us ahead of the Angels. It doesn't. But Bedard will be exciting if he stays healthy, and I think it will help Felix not having so much pressure on him. I think it was a great trade for the O's though. Of course there's risk, but you have to take it now.

Oh, and Schaefer Light? Somebody's been reading Fantasyland, you Bill Mueller fan you.

Jeff Rudnicki said...

Great summary, I missed at least two of these articles. The Meatballs 4 line killed me. Let's just hope in three years they're Leonard Part 6 good.

Wilson said...

Good piece, good collection.

Ryan Smith said...

Fantasyland, such a great book. I drafted Bill Mueller in 2004, too... Although I must say that Jeff, Jon, and I were drinking Schaefer Light with our buddy Eric long before Sam Walker ever put it in print.

Schaefer Light tastes like the Atlantic Ocean.