A nice glance up above at Cha Seung Baek covering first base during pitchers’ fielding practice earlier today.
We’ve gotten word within the past hour that Erik Bedard reached agreement on a one-year contract with the Mariners, thus avoiding arbitration. He’d been seeking $8 million, while the Orioles had countered with $6 million before his trade. So, you assume they split the difference to something in the middle.
Not much else going on here today. Many of you have commented that the players do not seem to be running all-out. Keep in mind. It’s only the second day of workouts with eight more months still to go before the post-season. The players have been told to dial-down the intensity level a notch, so I wouldn’t read too much into things.
Hey, anyone ever wondered about the difference between players signing autographs and coaches doing it?
Down below, there’s a look at Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima signing for fans while leaving the complex in a black Hummer H2 being driven by his assistant. Quite the mob scene.
And then, just below, we have new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre doing his own driving in a white Chevy Impala. The security guards were hanging well back. Lest you think I’m mocking his wheels, we’re both driving the exact same model down here. Hey, at least he gets asked for autographs. Not all coaches can say that.
That about does it for me here today. I have a function to be at in less than an hour. Things should start picking up the next few days when more pitchers throw and the regular players start showing up on the 19th. To answer a question, some position players have been working out down here ahead of their reporting date. They are allowed, even encouraged, to do that. Wladimir Balentien and Mike Morse are the two biggies.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS (8:45 p.m.): For Astrosteven in the comments thread, yes, they work out on both weekend days and every day next week as well.
For the person who asked about the coaches, so far, I’ve found them very accessible. I knew Eddie Rodriguez a teeny bit from before because he coached in Toronto in 1998 and I have a story on him running in tomorrow’s paper. He’s an interesting guy with quite the highs and lows in his career path and has been a professional coach for over 20 years in the majors and minors. Of all the coaches, he’s probably the one Seattle fans know the least about, so I thought I’d give you a glimpse.
Yes, Bill Bavasi is still talking long-term extension with Erik Bedard. Today’s signing of a one-year deal does nothing to change that. The one-year thing had to be gotten out of the way to avoid an arbitration hearing and is actually a routine, pretty non newsworthy event. As we saw with Ichiro, you don’t put a multi-year deal together overnight, so the Bedard thing will take more time.