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Baltimore Orioles-Seattle Mariners: Torture, One Hit at a Time

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Baltimore Orioles-Seattle Mariners: Torture, One Hit at a Time
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It always hurts when the Mariners play Baltimore, but tonight Seattle fans will feel a special kind of pain.

That’s because Erik Bedard, the “game-changing” lefty the Mariners acquired two years ago for a king’s ransom, will be facing off against the prize of that deal, Adam Jones. Jones is the player who has blossomed into a legitimate star much to the chagrin of M’s fans everywhere who vehemently protested the deal then and have little to show for it now.

It’s like your parents making you break up with a girl you knew was going to be hot in a couple of years, and sure enough, she started blossoming right as she went off to college. Damnit!

Just think about the difference if Jones, who is hitting .344 with 11 HRs, 36 RBI, and 41 runs scored, was inserted into the Mariners’ anemic lineup? Instead, he’s one of the cornerstones of a rapidly improving Orioles squad, joining Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, and recent callup Matt Wieters.

This isn’t just any ordinary trade where no one could have predicted that one team was going to get fleeced. No, the Mariners brass knew full well that Jones was a five-tool player—they touted him as such for years! Yet they didn’t display any patience with Jones, shuttling him up and down from Tacoma, and barely giving him a chance to get his feet under him in Seattle.

Except for some rare occasions, young players need time to adjust to the bigs, and the Mariners pushed too hard.

So, in his infinite wisdom, former GM Bill Bavasi decided to send Jones, along with George Sherrill (another curious decision, seeing as how the Mariners would later jettison J.J. Putz), top prospect Chris Tillman (oh, only the No. 16 prospect in baseball according to MLB), and others to Baltimore for Bedard.

Now, Bedard has been OK for Seattle, but OK doesn’t cut it in this case. And when you throw in the fact that Bedard is likely headed elsewhere before the July 31 deadline, this has the potential to be the worst trade in Mariners history, if it isn’t already.

For his part, Jones has tried to downplay his return and the trade, saying Seattle is “just a regular city.” But you have to figure that some part of Jones wants to stick it to the M’s. Heck, I want Jones to stick it to the M’s, to remind Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong what an awful trade that was—one that Mariners fans have to live with during each and every painful Orioles series.

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