Red Sox

Roche: Bard Is The Difference, Now Keep Him In Pen

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Daniel Bard pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16, 2012 at Fenway Park. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Daniel Bard pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16, 2012 at Fenway Park. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Boston Red Sox

BOSTON (CBS) – There hasn’t been much to say these days when the question gets fired at you from all different places: “What’s up with the Red Sox?”

Everywhere I go that’s what you get. It’s been baffling to watch. From ownership to the GM to the manager to the players… it’s been ugly.

Rock bottom? Saturday’s humiliating 15-9 debacle at the hands of the Yankees better be, or it will be a long, long season.

The Sunday night rainout was huge and provided a mental break perhaps more than anything. It was stamped by Bobby Valentine expressing that he’s in a slump.

Read: Coming Out Of Pen ‘Like Riding A Bike’ For Bard

And then comes Monday and two words sum it up: Daniel Bard.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for baseball folks to admit that a great set-up reliever can be one of the best weapons in today’s game. Daniel Bard showed us just how valuable he is in Boston’s 6-5 win at Minnesota on Monday night. After getting skipped over Sunday due to the rain, Bard stepped out if the bullpen and kept a game tied. Alfredo Aceves stepped in for the ninth inning. End of ballgame and losing streak. Huge.

If I had my way I would do two things:

1) Keep Bard in that set-up role all season unless he needs to be over into the closer role.

2) Pay Bard more than you should. Give him closer money. If the reason Bard wants to start is it’s the way to make money in the big leagues, just pay him well now.

Read: Dan Roche’s Sports Blog

A settled down bullpen may be more important than anything else right now for this team. Bring up Aaron Cook or start Vicente Padilla. Either one could be your fifth starter.

Problem solved and the Red Sox move on.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ

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