August 28, 2012
Bedard out to prove Pirates wrong
By TIM BAINES, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - Erik Bedard has been cut before; he’s been doing what others said couldn’t be done for a long time.
Now he’s hoping to prove the Pittsburgh Pirates, who released him Tuesday, wrong.
From small-town Navan, Ont., Bedard was cut from little league teams, told he was too small.
The small kid (he was 5-foot-4 in Grade 12) grew to 6-foot-1, played U.S. college ball and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles. The pitcher’s left arm, able to propel a ball toward the plate at more than 90 mph, has made him millions.
Bedard says he’s not finished as a major-league pitcher despite being released. He wants to prove that he has a lot of mileage left in his arm.
“I still want to pitch, I still want to compete, I still want to win,” said Bedard, who entered June with a nice 3.12 earned run average, but has been 6.44 in his last 14 outings.
His 7-14 record and 5.01 ERA are ugly, but he’s got 118 strikeouts in 129 innings, a good indication he can still get the ball past batters. He has one of the more effective curveballs in baseball.
“I got called into an office and was told I was released,” said Bedard, 33. “If they don’t want you around anymore, they release you. It was out of the blue. They said they were going to try somebody else. When they tell you that, it takes a while to sink in. It’s hard to hear.
“I feel better than I have in four years. I think I still have a lot of years left.
I had good games and bad games ... I guess I just had more bad games than good.”
His nine seasons in the majors, which have also included stops in Seattle and Boston, have been interrupted by an elbow injury, strained oblique and torn labrum in his shoulder. During his career, he has 63 wins and in July 2007 he fanned 15 batters in a game.
He was the Pirates’ opening day starter this year and will be paid $4.5 million for the season.
“I’m going to stay in Pittsburgh for a couple of days and see what happens,” he said. “I really like Pittsburgh. It is awesome. Win or lose, we had fun.”
Any major-league team can negotiate a deal with Bedard, who is now a free agent. To be eligible for post-season play, he will have to be signed by Friday, the end of August.