This, of course, brings to mind a scene from Family Guy in which Stewie Griffin walks amongst a crowd of fat guys shouting, “Find your penis! One dollar, find your penis, here!”
Here’s a challenge to Erik Bedard: find the sixth inning.
“Find the sixth inning, don’t be a wimp now, find the sixth inning, here!”
This isn’t a beer league softball contest. We don’t call games after five innings have been played.
This is the Major Leagues. We go a full nine here, and we like it when our starters can last for two-thirds of a game, at the very least.
That’s not the case with Bedard nor the Mariners, who seem content imposing Little League restrictions on their de facto No. 2 starter. No more than 100 pitches per outing, no more than five innings, no work on consecutive days.
He has to wear a cup, too, and the team requires that he inscribe his jersey number on the bill of his cap. His snack day is Wednesday. We request granola bars and Capri Sun. Gushers would be a nice bonus.
If you’re the Mariners, and you are about 90% sure that Bedard won’t be back next season, why not give him the CC Sabathia treatment? Why not run him out there every fifth day for as long as you possibly can, pitch counts be damned?
Let him throw his arm out for all you care. You’re trying to win ballgames, and this is one piece of the puzzle that can be expended by season’s end.
Instead, the team plays it cautious and careful with a man who has the physical stuff to be an ace.
Last year, it was Bedard who found it in his heart to yank himself on his own accord. This year, he’ll let the team do that for him.
Erik, meet the Sixth Inning; Sixth Inning, Erik.
Let’s make it happen.