When the Red Sox sent struggling pitcher Daniel Bard to the minors for a stint that was sorely needed it was not surprising to hear the former set up man was disappointed by the move. Naturally any player that gets a demotion is going to feel that way, after all you put into gearing up for the season so you can have an impact at the major league level, only to have it set aside until a later date.
But recently Bard made some comments that are more than just showing his disappointment. He disagreed with the Red Sox move to send him down and that’s fine, but it’s what Bard said following that is concerning and borderline selfish.
“It’s not my decision. I’m just an employee here,” – courtesy of the Scott Lauber, the Boston Herald.
Is that how he sees himself to the Red Sox, is just an employee who collects his $1.6 million dollars throughout the year, shows up, puts in time and then has a merry off season? Just an employee? How about a valued asset that most teams would love to have on their employee payroll.
Then Bard added the following:
“Obviously, I’m not thrilled with it. If it was me making the decision it might have been different. But I tried to be respectful about it. Once I get the anger and disappointment out of the way, you just have to try to make the best out of the situation.”
‘He tried to be respectful about it’ doesn’t sit well with me. How about you respect the decision and while the disappointment is a natural feeling, the anger should be pointed in one direction and that’s back at Daniel Bard. There is no reason Bard should be angry with the Red Sox and their decision to send him down. He had become a liability on the mound and not just to the Red Sox but to opposing batters as well. Just ask Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays who’s lucky to only have a bruised wrist after getting hit by Bard’s uncontrollable fastball.
Bard could not find the strike zone and was piling up the walks faster than an all you can eat pancake house piling up the hot cakes. His numbers do not resemble that of a major league pitcher: 6.1BB/9 versus 5.6K/9 with a 5.24 ERA through 55.0 innings so it’s easy to understand the move to have him work on his mechanics and confidence in a league that is designed to do just that.
For Bard to think that the Red Sox should have allowed him to remain in the big leagues and work through his issues is down right absurd and selfish. Does he forget the Red Sox, his employer, are in the midst of a division battle with four other teams in which a loss on any given night could alter your position and potentially affect the postseason chances come September?
To have Bard on the mound trying to figure his problems out as a starter needs to happen in Pawtucket, not Boston or any other major league city. Why he can’t comprehend that is beyond me. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was speaking out of frustration and anger when he made those comments so let’s hope that when he does return to the big leagues he will have a new outlook on his career and maybe, just maybe he will learn not to be selfish in a game that demands the ultimate team comradery.