Erik Bedard gets mixed reviews for first start since mid-2009

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After missing the second half of 2009 and all of 2010 following shoulder surgery Erik Bedard returned to the mound last night against the Rangers and took a loss, allowing five runs in five innings.

Bedard served up homers to Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus, but two of the runs were unearned thanks to an Ichiro Suzuki error in right field and he allowed just two more hits along with the long balls while throwing 60 of 95 pitches for strikes against a red hot lineup.

It certainly wasn’t an impressive outing, but after 20 months on the sidelines it was decent enough to think Bedard can actually contribute positively this season if he remains healthy. Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner praised Bedard’s curveball and is optimistic that it can still be a knockout pitch if the oft-injured left-hander can throw his fastball for strikes consistently. His last win came on July 7, 2009.

The Mariners are hosting a “Celebrating Women in Baseball” night this summer

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The Mariners have announced that on August 15, the first event in their “Beyond the Baselines” series will be held at Safeco Field. This one is called “Celebrating Women in Baseball.” Those who purchase tickets will receive a Mariners Women in Baseball t-shirt and a voucher for a drink. The event will include a pregame panel discussion in which the members of the panel discuss women’s contributions to the game and much more.

The panel includes moderator Meg Rowley of Baseball Prospectus, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle, Orioles director of analytics and major league contracts Sarah Gelles, Mariners scout Amanda Hopkins, and Mariners manager of baseball information Kelly Munro. The panel discussion will be streamed on Facebook Live, starting at 5:10 PM PT.

This is how you hold an event designed for women. There is no patronizing “101” class that treats all women as if they have no knowledge of the game. Women directly from the industry are invited to speak, not men speaking about “what if”s. Hopefully, the event goes swimmingly and it becomes something all the other teams in baseball adopt until women holding positions in baseball becomes so normal we don’t even notice it.

Terry Francona will not manage tonight’s game against the Rangers

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As we wrote this morning, Indians manager Terry Francona left last night’s game against the Rangers after falling ill. Specifically, he was said to be experiencing a rapid heart rate and dizziness, just as he did back on June 13 when he left an Indians-Dodgers game.

According to a release from the team, Francona was evaluated by doctors at Cleveland Clinic last night. The tests, thankfully, have ruled out any major health concerns, but Francona will not manage tonight’s game against the Rangers and was advised to stay at home rather than come to the ballpark. He will continue to be monitored.

Francona experienced some chest pains and had an elevated heart rate that caused him to leave a game early last season. In 2005 a similar episode caused him to miss three games while managing the Red Sox. He also has a history of embolisms and blood clots, some of which have hospitalized him in the past, so caution is certainly in order.

Bench coach Brad Mills will manage the team tonight.