Bard encapsulates fresh approach by Red Sox in 2013

Daniel Bard is looking to rebound from a horrid 2012.
Daniel Bard is looking to rebound from a horrid 2012.


Between 2010 and 2011 Daniel Bard was one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball. In 2010 he had a miniscule 1.93 ERA in 74.2 innings, followed by a 25 scoreless appearance streak the next year. He and Jonathan Papelbon were one of, if not the best set-up, closer tandems in the game.

Then came 2012 – a complete disaster. Bard and the Red Sox experimented with him in a starting role, and it blew up in their faces. He went 5-6 with a 6.22 ERA in 17 appearances.

Bard’s command was lost. His blazing fastball couldn’t find the plate. Everything was gone. The experiment of him as a starter was a failure. He was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 6, and remained there until the end of August.

At Pawtucket every appearance was an event and back in Boston people still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. In 32 innings Bard had a 7.03 ERA, walking 29 and hitting another 10. His control, which was one of the biggest reasons for his initial success, was now causing him to struggle tremendously.

Luckily for Bard, like for the Red Sox as an organization, 2013 is a fresh start – a new manager, a relatively new team, and a new attitude.

“Starting a new season, I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it,” Bard said to reporters last weekend. “The past is the past and I’m going to go off how I feel on a day-to-day basis, and today I felt really good.”

The North Carolina grad will be back in his more comfortable role as a reliever, and as of now will split set up duties with Andrew Bailey. Bard knows how talented he is, he just needs to show he can get back to what he was two seasons ago.

“I know I have something to prove but at the same time I feel really good,” Bard said.

Some reports have surfaced over the past few days of Bard potentially starting the season in Pawtucket. But at age 27 and holding the title of an MLB Players Association representative, Bard is unlikely to be treated like a rookie by the Sox.

Happy campers
Proceedings in Fort Myers have been relatively jovial for the Red Sox so far. Here are a few notes from spring training Tuesday:

- John Farrell told that as of now Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the No. 1 catcher on the roster, with David Ross currently serving as the backup.

- John Lackey will start Boston’s Grapefruit League opener against the Rays on Saturday. Jon Lester will start Sunday against the Cardinals and is in line to start on Opening Day in the regular season. – Matt Burke

Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84.


Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.


Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.


Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…


U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…


Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.


Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.


Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…


Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…