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April 15, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Tuesday tidbits, Bedard talks (briefly)

It’s kind of a sleepy afternoon here at Safeco Field. I wouldn’t be surprised if the crowd is one of the smallest in Safeco history, considering the weather, the 3:40 p.m. start time, the fact that it’s a school night, and the reality that KC is not the greatest draw in the world (even though I think they’re going to be much better than I ever expected, especially if Greinke has truly arrived). It sure looked like it yesterday. Greinke-Meche-Bannister ain’t a bad top 3, and their closer, Soria, is very good as well. Billy Butler looks like a stud, and so does Alex Gordon. Finally, the Royals have a future. But I don’t think they have enough offense to compete for the division title this year. I can see a .500 record as a nice stepping stone.
Now, on to the Mariners. Bedard played catch and reported that he didn’t feel anything in his hip. That’s an encouraging sign. But the Mariners are waiting until he throws a bullpen session to decide when his next start will be. That bullpen will probably come in the next couple of days, when the team is in Oakland, McLaren said. The upshot is that knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will almost certainly start Friday, the first game of a three-game series in Anaheim against the Angels.
“I will talk it over with Mel, but it looks like that is the way we are going to lean,” McLaren said.
I, for one, am eager to see how Dickey will do in a start. The way he pitched in spring, the way he pitched in Tacoma, and the way he pitched Monday leads me to think that they might have quite a find here. That will be a good showcase for him.
But obviously, for the sake of this season, the Mariners need a healthy Bedard. I keep hearing and reading ominous speculation that this injury is worse than anyone suspects, but it sounds like he’s getting better to me. I’d love to talk to Bedard about it, but he has been zealously avoiding the media
ever since his hip started hurting again. I have a feeling we won’t be getting many insights from him, but I hope he will eventually tell us how he’s feeling.
UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: I just want down to the clubhouse after batting practice ended, and Bedard very pleasantly, albeit briefly, talked to three reporters.
He said that he feels better each day. He said that they’re going “day by day” on his regimen. “I can’t say if I’m going to throw a bullpen Friday or Saturday. We’ll go day by day and see how it goes.”
Asked if he was encouraged by the progress of his injury, he said, “It’s always encouraging when it’s getting better.”
Asked if he was concerned that this injury was going to drag on, he said, “We’ll see after my next start if it hurts still. Then maybe it will be something that drags on.”
And if that’s the case, “I think rest is probably the only thing” that will help, he said.
Comparing how it feels now to how his hip felt in Baltimore last week when he was scratched the first time, he said, “I think it’s better.”
So there it is, straight from Bedard’s mouth.

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