Erik Bedard in town for M's physical
Thousands of miles away from a trade quagmire he helped create, reporter Augusto Cardenas is anxious to see whether the Mariners finally...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Thousands of miles away from a trade quagmire he helped create, reporter Augusto Cardenas is anxious to see whether the Mariners finally land their pitcher.
A deal that would send Baltimore Orioles starter Erik Bedard to the Mariners, in exchange for Adam Jones, George Sherrill and three minor-leaguers, is expected to finally be announced today.
Baseball sources confirmed that Bedard arrived in Seattle on Thursday to take a pre-trade physical. The physical was expected to carry over into two days, meaning a trade announcement would not be until this afternoon at the earliest and possibly Saturday.
But the proposed trade has already added an unexpected amount of notoriety and some acclaim for Cardenas, 27, the Venezuelan baseball writer from Diario Panorama who broke the news of the deal nearly two weeks ago.
An interview Cardenas did with Jones, shortly after the latter was pulled from his Venezuelan winter-ball stint, leaked details of the trade and is said to have infuriated Orioles owner Peter Angelos. All of a sudden, a paper from South America with just 100,000 daily readers was being cited by media across the United States.
"I was in the right place at the right time to get that interview," said Cardenas, who normally covers the Zulia Aguilas baseball team in Maracaibo, the city where his paper is based. "I never thought it would cause the Orioles management to get mad about it."
Considering that Jones leaked the news of the pending trade to Cardenas on Jan. 27, this could be a record of some sort for a "done deal" to be finalized.
Cardenas said Jones talked so confidently about the coming deal that he assumed everyone in the U.S. already knew about it. It was when Cardenas went online to seek out the other names of players being included in the trade that he realized there were no other stories about it.
That's when Cardenas sent an e-mail to The Seattle Times, a paper he had a previous relationship with.
"I wasn't looking for a big story," said Cardenas, who graduated from a university in Venezuela in 2002 and interned at Diario Panorama before landing his first professional writing job there. "I didn't know that the trade hadn't already been made."
But a big story is exactly what he wound up with. Colleagues sitting next to him at last week's winter-league finals in Venezuela were constantly tapping him on the shoulder, showing him Internet links to places like ESPN, USA Today and other big media outlets mentioning him or his newspaper.
"Before this, if you went on the Internet and did a Google search for Diario Panorama, it would be tough to find a link," he said. "At least not in English. In Spanish, we are well known. But now, there are several pages of English links."
His bosses at the paper are impressed. Cardenas knows he didn't exactly write a prizewinning expose or feature, but also realizes a little recognition never hurt a career.
Cardenas was a sports anchor at his university's television channel before getting into writing full-time when he graduated. He is fluent in English and would love one day to land a job at a U.S. newspaper or television station covering sports.
"That would have made my father proud," he said.
His father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last March while Cardenas was in Florida covering spring training for his paper — something he does every year. His father died two months later.
"Everyone who likes sports writing would like to go over there," Cardenas said. "It's like the big stage."
A stage he's now had a sneak peek at going on two weeks.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or email@example.com.
Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 08:52 AM
Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Mich. player
UPDATE - 09:40 AM
Norway's Tarjei Boe wins men's biathlon at worlds
NEW - 08:46 AM
Tripoli ruled unsafe for international soccer
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.