Daniel Bard: What could have been
So last week, SB Nation had this bombshell of a story break: that Daniel Bard was actually retired now. Except it wasn’t much of a break at all. If you went on Bard’s MiLB.com player page, it actually showed he retired in October. It’s just no one noticed since he’s a washed up bum.
Plus, he hadn’t thrown an MLB pitch in like four years and had completely lost it with his command in the lower minors (62 walks plus hit batsmen in 13 MiLB innings from 2014 to 2017). He legit makes Henry Owens look good.
And to think this all could’ve been avoided.
Bard, who was one hell of a setup man for a couple years (1.93 ERA in 2010), requested the opportunity to start games prior to the 2012 season. This is something most every pitcher wants to do though. I’ve talked to guys who play pro baseball: they pretty much all prefer starting since starters make more money.
So instead of using Bard and his 100 mph fastball as the logical successor to Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning, they put him in the rotation. Mind you, Bard had an ERA over 7.08 in 22 Single-A starts back in 2007. His incompetence there was why he wasn’t a starter. The Red Sox should’ve looked at that and said hell no.
That didn’t go well. He blew out his arm in a game against the Blue Jays where he didn’t last two innings. He kept pitching and didn’t get surgery until 2015 but by then, it was too late.
The Red Sox hopefully learned their lesson there. They tried to fix something that wasn’t broken. A 7.08 ERA in Single-A is ugly. The fact that they even considered making the move is asinine. Maybe it was a little greedy on Bard’s part but then again, we live in a capitalist society and he just wanted a piece of the pie. His flaw was overconfidence in himself.