Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard joined The Big Show on Friday with Michael Holley and Rob Bradford, sitting in for Glenn Ordway. Bard said that he was open to any role that might present itself in the future, whether it's closing, starting or continuing as the team's set-up man, but that he wasn't worried about the future yet.
"I'm a pitcher. I don't see myself as locked into any one role," Bard said. "Right now I'm a middle reliever, I'm just going to be the best one I can be. If that means pitching in a different role down the road, whether that's pitching the ninth inning or pitching the first inning, I'm open to it."
Bard was asked if he had considered a scenario where he would start next season if pending free agent Jonathan Papelbon returns. Bard said that he would consider his options when they present themselves. "I'll address that situation if it comes next year. It's too tough, too many factors that are out of my control to really say right now how I would feel," Bard said. "I'm thinking about this year. I'm just thinking about right now. That's not much of answer for you."
Asked about his success this season, Bard said he didn't feel any different than when he started the season. "It's pretty much the same. I got asked a lot, 'What was wrong with me?' at the beginning of the season because I gave up a few," he said. "The first day of the season was pretty rough for me. I gave my interviews after that and I told everyone I thought I threw the ball OK, they weren't hitting the ball hard. Bad luck can look really bad on a reliever, just like good luck can look really good. Kind of like I'm having now. You take the bad with the good and not ride too high or too low when things aren't going well or they're going well because usually there's a lot of luck involved either way."
Bard also said that he learned from Billy Wagner about the importance of the set-up role. "I was able to watch Pap and we brought Billy Wagner in that year and he was setting up for Pap too," Bard said. "I got to learn from him, watching him. I really learned how serious those sixth, seventh and eighth innings are to winning on a consistent basis for a team. For me it's become basically my livelihood and it's my role on this team. I'm just trying to do it the best I can."
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