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July 15, 2007 at 9:12 pm ET
5 Comments
So, which is it?

Does Erik Bedard want to pitch in Canada or is he just an asshole?Mr. Congeniality, as a member of the Canadian National Team.

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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5 Responses to “So, which is it?”
  1. Spencer Kyte says:

    We’ll give you Gus Chacin, Reed Johnson and Sal Fasano’s mustache for Bedard right now!

    And you’re right about the lukewarm fans…

  2. Tao of Stieb says:

    Dude, English is Bedard’s second language. He speaks very well in English, but being put on the spot with microphones in your face is a whole different deal.

    How loquacious would you be if you were surrounded by a dozen Spanish reporters, asking you stupid questions?

    And moreover, what the fuck do you have to complain about, when Bedard is just about the only thing going right for your team?

  3. Alec says:

    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.

    I’m a fan of Bedard’s, and I don’t feel like I’m being scraped off his footwear when he gives his to-the-point answers. This is a lame argument used by those who are not happy with anything he says unless it is what they want to hear. He doesn’t have to tell me anything after any of his starts. What he does on the field is what speaks to me, and he’s been plenty good in doing so. Whatever he wants to add to that in his post-game comments is icing on the cake, and certainly not necessary for a good writer to still be able to file a good story.

    So what’s the verdict? Proud Canadian or asshole?.

    Looks like a proud Canadian to me, and certainly not an asshole. He does seem to be surrounded by more than a few from among the media in Baltimore, though.

  4. MasterlockJr. says:

    Asshole.

  5. JVarnier says:

    You are wrong about Bedard thinking he’s above everyone else. It is the opposite. Bedard is a humble and modest guy. He doesn’t like to talk about himself or about what he has accomplished in baseball. He is also a quiet guy. He has said more than a few times that he’s a man of a few words. That’s the reason he gives short answers, it’s not because he is an asshole. It’s obvious he is uncomfortable in the media spotlight He is not disdainful of fans, but of the media and what it represents. An intelligent fan would not make the mistake of confusing those things.

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