FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Daniel Bard, in a conversation on the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning, discussed his move from the bullpen to the rotation. Bard suggested that, while he is a different personality type from former Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon (he agreed with the assessment that he is "sane"), he embraced being a reliever. At the same time, he thinks that unlike Papelbon, his personality also lends itself to the five-day routine of starting.
"I love being in the bullpen. I think, in a different way from Pap, it fits my personality. I love the everyday aspect of it," said Bard. "I do think I can mold that into being a starting pitcher, too. I just haven’t done it in four years."
Bard said that he told Sox manager Bobby Valentine in their first conversation that he wanted to start or close. The prospect of starting appeals on many levels, acknowledging that the lifestyle of starters seems enjoyable and prosperous.
"I’ll let you know when it happens this year, but [the lifestyle] seems pretty good," said Bard. "As a reliever, you throw a dominant inning in relief in the eighth inning, it gets overlooked. There’s no media at my locker after the game. I’m fine with that. You don’t make the All-Star team. If you’re throwing well, you get kind of ignored."
Asked specifically about the greater earnings potential of starters, Bard acknowledged that he had observed the phenomenon.
"There is that. It’s hard not to notice that. The money’s better in closing and starting," said Bard. "But you look at an average starting pitcher vs. an average closer, you’ve got Mariano [Rivera] making 15 [million] and A.J. Burnett was making 15 last year. That was a great comparison I heard last year.
"There’s a cool comparison between Papelbon and C.J. Wilson’s career , how Papelbon was so much better for the first five years of their career, both being bullpen guys, then C.J. makes the conversion to starter, does it well for two years and then makes more than Pap."
Bard also touched on a couple of several other topics related to his conversion from the rotation to the bullpen, the role of his end-of-year struggles in the September collapse and the state of the Red Sox as they get ready for the season.