Erik Bedard faces 12 batters in first minor-league rehab start

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Out since August shoulder surgery, Erik Bedard made his first minor-league rehab start last night and allowed one run in 2.2 innings against rookie-ball hitters.
Bedard faced 12 batters and threw 52 pitches, striking out three, walking none, and giving up four hits. He’s scheduled to make his next rehab start Saturday, also against rookie-ball competition, and barring a setback is expected to move up to the high minors for at least one more outing before potentially joining the Mariners.
Bedard pitched very well after coming back from shoulder surgery last season, going 5-3 with a 2.82 ERA and 90/34 K/BB ratio in 83 innings before being shut down again. If he can jump into Seattle’s rotation at some point next month and perform similarly for a few starts the Mariners might be able to cash him in for something at the trading deadline.
Seattle re-signed Bedard to an incentive-laden one-year contract worth $1.5 million in guaranteed money and also holds an $8 million option or $250,000 buyout on the 31-year-old southpaw for 2011. He’d obviously be a very risky pickup, but the asking price probably isn’t much and if healthy Bedard could potentially help a contender in the second half.

Starts times of postseason games announced


Every year the playoff schedule is announced, every year people complain. And it’s understandable why they do. After six months of games starting at around 7pm — bam! — the playoffs come and you’re either staying up late or tuning in early to watch your local nine.

Of course, the reason for this is that Major League Baseball has two fundamental problems to deal with when the playoffs come around (a) the country is big; and (b) baseball is local and two-thirds and more of the fans don’t have a local team to root for in the playoffs. As such, baseball has to make a schedule that somehow deals with teams — like the Mets and Dodgers — who have big time differences between their home fan bases while trying to rope in as many national viewers as possible.

This means compromises and weirdness like, say, the first couple of Mets-Dodgers games starting after 9pm Eastern time on Friday and Saturday. Or the Texas Rangers starting a game at what, back home in Texas, will be 11:45AM. Which, admittedly, aren’t great start times, but do we expect Dodgers fans in L.A. to fight Friday rush hour traffic and be home in time to watch a game featuring the local team any earlier than 6pm? Seems like a tall order.

Anyway, the early round schedule was just released and you can see it below. If you are so inclined you can find all manner of inconveniences here. Sure, if you don’t have a job — or if being online and watching baseball all day is your job — Friday’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back playoff games are pretty sweet. But otherwise, just plan accordingly and do the best you can.

And remember: no one gives a rip about these schedule issues about ten minutes after the games start:

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Wild Card, Division series umpires announced

Angel Hernandez

Major League Baseball just released the umpire assignments for the Wild Card Game and the Division Series. As always, the basis for these assignments is a proprietary, scientific calculation undertaken by Major League Baseball, mixing in (a) skill; (b) seniority; and (c) trolling of baseball bloggers who, unlike 99% of the rest of the world actually know the names and track records of various umpires and who are easily riled.

Which is to say that, while we have no Joe West in the early playoff rounds this year — too obvious, perhaps? — we do get an Angel Hernandez.

Here are the assignments. The asterisks represent the crew chief of each unit. Guys with little up arrows next to their names are regular season crew chiefs in their own right. Print this out and keep it near your television so you know who to yell about before the broadcasters tell you who to yell at:

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