I spent the day thinking about this whole Daniel Bard story. I like him. Seems like a good kid. Great pitcher. Came up huge for the Red Sox on Monday night in Minnesota.
Great arm … but not so smart.
Daniel Bard had this to say Monday regarding being put in the bullpen because of a rainout Sunday night:
“I already told them back-to-back is out of the questions for health reasons. I haven’t thrown one back-to-back all spring. It wouldn’t be fair to ask me. They were totally in agreement on that one.
I asked a lot of questions as to what their goals were in this. They said right now they had every intention of it being temporary and that I’d make my start on Friday. That’s where I’m at right now. I still view myself as a starter, and they said they do, too. It’s where they said they want me in the long run. For now, they want to address a need for a couple of days to keep me from going 10 days without throwing. I told them I was OK with it for now.”
Fine, I completely understand, Daniel. You want to be a starter. You’ve prepared your body to be a starter. You want to make good money some day.
It’s all good, except … don’t say it in public!
No one wants to hear any of that right now. You have a Red Sox team that has been horrible in 2012. It’s falling apart. You have injuries and a terrible bullpen.
Here’s what Daniel Bard needs to say:
“Whatever the team needs me to do right now I will do it. We are banged up and some guys are struggling. If they want me to close, I’ll close. If they want me to set up, I’ll set up. If they want me to start, I’ll start. Whatever it takes to get us on the right track. All I care about is winning.”
And then he needs to walk away.
I had a conversation with a good friend about this Tuesday and he said, “Imagine if David Ortiz said I only want to play first base!” Or, “How about if Kevin Youkilis said, ‘I want to play first base.'”
They haven’t done that and won’t.
Maybe Bard didn’t realize how his words would come across. But, even so, if I’m David Ortiz or Josh Beckett, I walk over to Bard and simply tell him he was wrong in what he said.
It comes across so poorly. It makes him look selfish.
It was just what this team doesn’t need right now.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ