Former major league executive Jim Duquette, now an analyst for MLB Network, joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Red Sox' acquisition of Erik Bedard.
Duquette, who was vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles from 2006-08 and was part of the front office that traded Bedard to Seattle, made some comments over the weekend questioning Bedard's reliability.
"When he's pitching, he's one of the top pitchers in the game," Duquette told D&C. "The problem has been his health."
Duquette, the cousin of former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette, said Bedard does not fit into the mold of a leader for a pitching staff, in large part because he doesn't like to deal with the media.
"If you're expecting him to be your No. 1 or No. 2 starter, he's not the guy," Duquette said. "He doesn't want to be that guy. I said this the other day: He doesn't want to be in the spotlight. Now, if you want to slide him into that fourth spot, it's a perfect spot for him. If you want to have somebody speak on his behalf, if you're not expecting a lot from a media standpoint, it's OK. To me, he has the goods from a pitching standpoint. His teammates have always liked him. So, those are some of the concerns that you might have with him if you're getting him. But in terms of pitching, he's a pretty good pitcher."
Added Duquette: "He just wants to pitch, get the baseball, go out and do his thing, and then kind of slide off into the back rooms and not be bothered. That's where I think he gets abrasive."
Duquette said if Bedard can avoid the media except on days he pitches, he should be able to make it work in Boston.
"I think in that environment, I think he'll be fine," Duquette said. "Because he pitched in Baltimore, he went to school in Connecticut [Norwalk Community College], he's familiar enough with what goes on there in Fenway. I don't expect that there'll be a huge adjustment for him."
Duquette also implied Bedard isn't likely to do well if the fans do not support him.
"Nobody likes to be booed. I think he's more sensitive -- he'll never admit it -- but I think he's more sensitive in that area than most," Duquette said. "So, from that area, it would concern me a little bit."
Duquette acknowledged that in previous years he discouraged big-market teams from acquiring Bedard. The difference here is that the Red Sox did not surrender too much. Plus, Bedard is on a one-year deal and has something to prove.
"What I liked about what Theo [Epstein] did was he didn't give up any of his top prospects here," Duquette said. "This is rather, what I'd say, low risk, in the sense that you didn't see [Anthony] Ranaudo], you didn't see [Will] Middlebrooks, you didn't see any of their top guys going anywhere. So, when you look at his ability and what they gave up, I think overall it was a good deal."