Erik Bedard had a question to ask the media today when he met with them for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum and inflamed bursa - but he didn't ask it on-camera.
What was it?
"Do you believe me now?" Bedard said a bit later. "It seemed to me there were a lot of people who didn't believe I was hurt."
Bedard has now had season-ending surgeries in both his years with the Seattle Mariners, and while he hasn't talked to general manager Jack Zduriencik, he badly wants to return.
Among the problems he faces is that is one-year contract with Seattle ends after the season, and he'll likely become a free agent after the World Series.
Bedard won't be able to throw a ball before December at the earliest, which means he'll have zero leverage as a free agent left-handed pitcher.
About the most he can hope for with another team is a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training.
"I've always wanted to come back, and I said that months before I had the surgery," Bedard said.
Not surprisingly, a day after Bedard's surgery, the Mariners insist they haven't given the matter enough thought to discuss the future with him. But expect Zduriencik to at least talk to Bedard - and listen to whatever thoughts he might have about restructuring a contract.
Clearly, Bedard is not worth the risk of salary arbitration, nor his 2009 salary of nearly $8 million.For now, Bedard will begin the months of rehabilitation that come long before he picks up a baseball and tries to throw it again. Whether he ever does so again in a Mariners uniform is a question neither he nor the team can answer yet.