Does Erik Bedard want to pitch in Canada or is he just an asshole?
For the second straight start, Bedard was absolutely lights-out Friday night. He beat the White Sox with seven shutout innings. And the start before that, he shut out Texas on two hits, no walks and 15 Ks. He’s 8-4, his ERA is 3.22, the league is hitting .219 against him, his WHIP is 1.10 and he leads the American League in strikeouts.
So, why’s he so miserable? In his postgame interviews, Bedard can barely be bothered to answer questions from reporters. And these aren’t exactly difficult questions. “Erik, did those double plays help when you were on the mound?” “Erik, is getting ahead in the count something you try to do?”
The Canadian lefthander responds with barely audible, borderline-insulting answers, rolling his eyes with contempt.
Typically, I’d say the questions themselves were making Bedard grouchy. But the Baltimore media is on eggshells around Bedard. They’ll ask any other Oriole the hard questions. But Bedard gets cupcakes about first-pitch strikes.
Sam Perlozzo, before he was fired, didn’t require Bedard to hang around after games and talk to reporters. So he didn’t. No quotes from Erik in the paper the next day.
Orioles interim manager Dave Trembley has encouraged Bedard to talk to the media after games. And Bedard behaves as if he thinks he’s above all this unseemly business of fan interaction.
There has been speculation that Bedard longs to pitch for Toronto, in his native country. Seems to me, most of this speculation comes from Canadian fans. Maybe they’re right. But unless Navan, Ontario gets an expansion team, that means Bedard is stuck in Toronto, 300 miles from Erik’s hometown. And while Toronto is a great city, who thinks Bedard would prefer pitching there? Terrible ballpark. Lukewarm fans. High taxes.
So what’s the verdict? Proud Canadian or asshole? It’s not mine to say.
I’m not so naive that I think ballplayers owe their communities anything more than their onfield performance. But it would be nice once in a while if Erik Bedard didn’t behave as though the fans were something he scraped off his cleats.
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