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Daniel Bard on demotion to Triple-A: “I’m just an employee here … obviously, I’m not thrilled with it”

Jun 8, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Daniel Bard Getty Getty Images

Lost in the speculation about how long Daniel Bard‘s demotion to Triple-A will last is the fact that the Red Sox right-hander wanted nothing to do with being sent to the minors.

Bard is scheduled to make his Pawtucket debut tonight, so he spoke to the local media and made it clear to Mike Scandura of the Boston Globe that he wasn’t on board with the decision:

It’s not my decision. I’m just an employee here. 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.

Bard then went on to question the changes he was asked to make moving from the bullpen to the rotation, saying “we probably did a little too much” with his mechanics and “it just wasn’t the same as it used to be.”

As a reliever Bard had a 2.87 ERA, .190 oppponents’ batting average, and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 193 appearances. As a starter he had a 5.30 ERA, .261 opponents’ batting average, and 5.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 10 outings, all while losing 4-5 miles per hour on his fastball.

He forced the Red Sox’s hand a bit by performing so poorly in the rotation, but it sounds like Bard is among the many people questioning how the entire situation was handled. For now the Red Sox have insisted that he remains in the rotation plans whenever he returns from the minors, but something will clearly have to change (or change back) for Bard to find success there.

  1. plummer2512 - Jun 8, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    He needs to stop crying like a little girl and get his work in and get back to the majors. I hate it when players are performing badly and then cry when they get demoted. Do something about it then! Use this time in the minors to hone your skills and as motivation to get back up and STAY UP! It’s not like he was doing all that great and if the Sox ultimate plan is to keep his as a starter (which I would love and totally agree with), then this will be a good thing. Work on your mechanics and other things in games that DON’T matter not ones that do.

    I wish the best to Bard but only if he stops acting like a bitch and grows up a bit.

    • psuravens19 - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      Not sure why you got so many thumbs down for this comment… it is spot on. Do your job or get demoted; it happens in the real world.

      • sabatimus - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Do you people have any idea how the Sox screwed with his arm? They groomed him for years to be a closer, and then they tell him he’s going to be a starter. I don’t see anything wrong with what he said, if he’s being honest. Bard threw no one under the bus here. He even said that he has to try to make the best of it. Because who enjoys getting sent down after a few years in the bigs?

        As far as “do your job or get demoted”–In my opinion the Sox really screwed with his mechanics, which were working VERY well for him as a setup guy, so the problem here began with his employer.

      • nolasoxfan2012 - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        Totally agree. Bard wants to be a starter so he can make more money. If that’s what he wants, he needs to go learn the craft in the minors, rather than costing them a bunch of games in the bigs.
        Sabatimus (below), you’re clueless. He didn’t want to be a setup man.

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Bard needs an Emmentaler wheel to do with that barrel of red.

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        How bout a case of cheese whiz and a vinter’s vat!

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      His job was to be the next closer for the Red Sox and he was doing great at it. Cherington came in and changed what had been the plan for years. I’m all for letting people fail as a starter first because an average starter is more valuable than the best reliever, but if that were the case this decision should have been years ago. The people who didn’t do their jobs were the ones in the organization who mismanaged this guys career.

      In the end people come down harder on ball players than they do execs because ballplayers don’t have to wear a suit to work. It’s not a gift to be a major league pitcher it’s a job you work hard at and earn. Same as becoming a GM.

    • ras1tafari - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      You read my mind – awesome post. Bard needs to understand that he is, in fact, and employee. And nothing more. No one wants to know what his opinions are. Shut up and pitch.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        If no one wanted to know what his opinion was I’d like to know why people are always sticking microphones in his face.

  2. eshine76 - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    “If it was me making the decision it might have been different.” Huh? You begged to be in the rotation. They gave you two months to work things out. TWO MONTHS! This is all your doing… let’s not take a shot at management. Shut your mouth and figure things out in the minors.

    • sabatimus - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      I don’t care if he begged to be in the rotation–you go where the team wants you to, and once Papelbon left they should’ve kept him to be the closer they were training him for. Making him a starter was a terrible idea the moment it was conceived.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        wait, is this Joba Chamberlain talking?

      • Kevin S. - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

        Joba had a MUCH better case for remaining a starter than Bard had for switching back. In Joba’s case, they made him a reliever out of necessity (he had pitched just fine as a starter, even in ’09). In Bard’s case, they switched him to a reliever because he couldn’t freaking throw strikes as a starter. Nothing changed in the past five years.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Red Sox Brass… I go to you. I stick up for you. And you no help me now… I say f#@k you Red Sox. I do it myself.

  4. aceshigh11 - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    So…why were people jumping all over me for comparing Bard to Joba Chamberlain again?

    I didn’t think it was exactly far-fetched.

    • sabatimus - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Me either.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      They both make the Red Sox look stupid!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Because you conveniently ignore all the points people make to show how they aren’t comparable.

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        Can you please summarize those points?

        Seriously…I’m not being facetious. I haven’t seen these counterarguments. Just give me a few reasons why they’re not comparable.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        Apologies then, real simple comparison:

        Chamberlain – starter at Nebraska, elite starter in minors, called up to majors for bullpen role because he was at his innings limit and the Yanks needed serious help in the bullpen. Goal was to always be a starter (and was actually successful, but never got half the leash Hughes got).

        Bard – starter at UNC, failed starter in the minors so he was converted to the bullpen. Came to the pros as a reliever and that was always their goal. Converted to a starter as an experiment.

        It’s their career path through the minors and the team’s goals in the majors that were entirely different. That they both ended up as relievers is the only real similarity.

  5. drewsylvania - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    We’ll never know whether it was the Red Sox messing with his mechanics that screwed him up. But he has to realize that the idea is to win games–if he’s terrible, they need to get him out of there until he’s better.

  6. drewzducks - Jun 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Something tells me if he didn’t nearly kill half of the Blue Jays he may still be in the majors. That’s all on him. However, if the “brain trust” had kept him in the pen where he belongs, especially after his dreadful numbers in the minors as a starter, maybe they wouldn’t now be dealing with a head case and a head hunter.

  7. 1baseballfan - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    I know this is a small sample but I think his problems started last year. From July 1 through September 5 he pitched 25.2 innings with 15 hits, 29 Ks and 5 walks for a whip of 0.8. From 9/7 through 9/28 he pitched 8.2 innings with 9 hits, 8 Ks and 9 walks for a whip of 2.2. Something clearly went wrong with him and you could see it in the at bats. Batters went from having little idea how to hit a pitch to drooling at the next offering. From memory I think his normal fastball dropped from 98ish to 93is and with no movement that ain’t enough. This isn’t just mishandling. There is still something wrong.

  8. biasedhomer - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Joe Blanton for Daniel Bard

    • The Rabbit - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Chad Qualls and Joe Blanton for Daniel Bard

  9. bigmikemdz - Jun 8, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I still don’t get why the Sox took last year’s set up man and decided to start him while the invaluable long relief guy from last season is closing.

  10. patsandsox - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Bard insisted on being a starter. If he could have made it as a starter with his stuff, and at his age, he would have been a darn good addition to the staff. I dont think anyone was really all that thrilled with the idea. I know Valentine was against it and wanted him in the bullpen, but Bard insisted on being a starter. So far he was very mediocre. The last start he was dangerous and looked lost. I think spending a few months, and maybe the rest of the season starting in the minors would be smart, IF he is going to be a starter, because he has to learn the role.
    If he is gonig back to the bullpen, he could probably get his head and stuff back a lot quicker and be back to an elite closer or setup man and Aceves could go back to being the best swing man in the majors.

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