Mariners update

Today’s game

Opponent: Detroit Tigers

When: 1:10 p.m.

Where: Safeco Field

TV: Fox Sports Net

Radio: KOMO (1000 AM)

Pitchers: Seattle left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1, 3.05 earned run average) vs. left-hander Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.56).

Clement has an eye for (fully dressed) art

There’s a side to Jeff Clement that he doesn’t mind talking about — his artistic ability. And there’s a side to his subject matter he’d rather not see.

Clement, who enjoyed drawing pictures of athletes when he was a kid and won a regional art contest in high school, was exposed to the real deal when he took a class at USC.

Or, rather, it was exposed to him.

“I took a beginning drawing class my freshman year and they said there would be a model for us to draw,” he said. “I had this vision.”

It wasn’t what he thought.

“It was this man with a pony tail and a middle-aged woman,” Clement said. “We had to draw models that were middle-aged and naked. I thought, ‘That’s enough. I don’t need to see any more of this. It was not pretty. College was a real eye-opener for me.”

Clement, the Mariners’ 24-year-old starting catcher, says art was an outlet during his idle hours growing up in Marshalltown, Iowa.

“When I first started, I would draw Michael Jordan pictures,” he said. “I really wouldn’t call it art. I would call it drawing pictures. I’d look at pictures in Sports Illustrated and draw things like that. In high school I took some art classes because I had to take an elective, and I knew I wasn’t going to be taking a music class.”

Clement hasn’t drawn seriously in about five years, not because of anything those middle-aged naked bodies did to him at USC. Baseball is taking up too much time.

Asked if he could concoct an artist’s rendering of irascible catching coach Roger Hansen, Clement smiled.

“Maybe that’s why I quit,” he said. “I met Roger in ‘05 and I haven’t thought about drawing a picture since then.”

In defense of Bedard: Mariners manager Jim Riggleman says pitcher Erik Bedard, who has frustrated the team with his pattern of leaving games after no more than 100 pitches, isn’t fully healthy after dealing with hip and back problems early this season.

“Eric is not going to make excuses, but I don’t think he really, totally feels right,” Riggleman said. “It could be that he’s actually pitching a lot more than he should. I might be wrong, but I don’t think he’s coming out of a game saying, ‘I don’t want to pitch anymore.’ I think he’s giving us everything he can give us, knowing his body and knowing what’s going on with his hip and his back. Maybe we should appreciate what we’ve got to this point.”

Of note: The Mariners’ bullpen had pitched four or more innings in 27 of the Mariners’ 86 games entering Saturday. … Tigers catcher Dane Sardinha, who started Saturday night, is the older brother of Mariners minor leaguer Bronson Sardinha. … Mariners starters for the four-game series at Oakland will be Jarrod Washburn on Monday, Carlos Silva on Tuesday, Erik Bedard on Wednesday and R.A. Dickey on Thursday.

Kirby Arnold, Herald Writer

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